SPOKANE, Wash. – The shots simply would not fall for Whitworth University in a season-opening 72-56 women's basketball loss to Mary Hardin-Baylor on the first night of the Quality Inn Whit Classic.
The Pirates were held to only 27.7% (18-65) from the floor, 7.1% (1-14) from three-point range. Meanwhile the visiting Crusaders made 41.8% (28-67) from the field.
The game was decided in the third quarter after a wide swing in momentum. Whitworth trailed 34-27 at halftime, but went on a 12-0 run to open the second half. Callie Harwood scored the first and last baskets of that run, the second score giving the Bucs a 39-34 lead. The Crusaders came back to tie the game at 41-41 on a basket by Jessica Poole before Whitworth grabbed its final lead when Allie Kieckbusch scored inside. Then it was UMHB's turn to go on a run, outscoring the Pirates 13-0 to open up a 56-43 lead. Whitworth's final two points of the quarter came at the free throw line as the Bucs went the last 5:40 of the third period without scoring a basket from the field.
Whitworth briefly cut the margin back to ten points early in the fourth quarter on a pair of free throws from Faith Cebula. UMHB then went on a quick 7-0 run to open a comfortable 66-49 margin.
Harwood finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds to lead all players in both categories. Cebula added a dozen points, while Madison Moffat chipped in eight points and ten rebounds before fouling out of the game in the fourth quarter.
Jonelle Smith and Tyra Gatson each scored ten points in a balanced offensive effort for the Crusaders. Fourteen different players scored points for UMHB. Kendra Wynn led the Crusaders with eight rebounds.
Whitworth will take on UC Santa Cruz on Saturday at 4:00 pm. UMHB will play Whitman in the early game at 2:00 pm.
Whitman 67, UC Santa Cruz 56
The Banana Slugs took a 36-29 lead at halftime, but Whitman outscored UCSC 38-20 in the second half to get the win in the Quality Inn Whit Classic opener.
The Blues forced the Banana Slugs into 24 turnovers, most of which came in the second half.
Chelsi Brewer led Whitman with 15 points, while Maegen Martin came off of the bench to score 10. Katie Young scored 14 points for UCSC.