by Brandon Loiler, Sports Information Assistant
SPOKANE, Wash. – Grace Douglas scored 11 first half points and finished the game with 14 (5-9, 3-6 3PT) as Whitworth fell to visiting Puget Sound 78-71 at the Whitworth Fieldhouse in a Northwest Conference matchup.
The Pirates drop to 6-8 (2-3 NWC) and the 18th ranked Loggers stay perfect in NWC play at 5-0 (13-1 overall). Puget sound is on a six-game win streak with their last loss coming against Trinity (Tex.) on December 17.
Madison Moffat started off the game with a layup just 30 seconds in to give the Pirates an early lead and Grace Douglas launched her first half performance shooting 3-3 from the floor (2-2 3PT) to give the Pirates a 16-14 edge at the under five media timeout. The Loggers finished the first quarter on a 7-2 run, going up 21-18.
Puget Sound took control in the second quarter leading for eight minutes, going up as much as six (33-27) with a layup by Mara Henderson with three minutes left to play. The Pirates chipped away at that lead with 10 of their 18 second quarter bench points. Courtney Gray and McKenzie Harsin scored four apiece and Lexi Tinney added two, extending Whitworth's lead to four (37-33) heading into the half.
To start the second half, Jessica Thoens hit a jumper to extend the lead the Pirates lead to 39-33 less than 30 seconds in. Clair Fitzgerald, Alexis Noren, and Caitlin Malvar cut Whitworth's lead to one (41-40) with six minutes left, but the Pirates would climb back to a six-point lead (48-42) with a three from Thoens and a jumper from Erika Kuehn. Despite solid defensive play from Whitworth, holding the Loggers' leading scorer Elizabeth Prewitt (17.8 ppg) to zero points, Puget Sound would end the period on a 13-6 run to go up 56-54.
Moffat started the fourth quarter in similar fashion to the first, finishing a short range shot less than 30 seconds in to tie the game for the seventh time. The Pirates would go up one three more times within the next five minutes and extend their lead to four on the back of a Gray three-pointer before Jamie Lange would give the Loggers the last lead change of the game. Prewitt scored her first bucket of the game with two minutes left to play to give Puget Sound a three-point lead. Malvar knocked down a three with under a minute left for the largest margin of the contest (76-68).
On 25-54 shooting, Moffat led the Pirates with 14 points, ended with 14, and Thoens scored 13. Whitworth shot 46.7% (7-15) from behind the arc and 93.3% (14-15) from the free throw line. "We have players that know what they are good at and don't try to do too much, but also arent afraid to take their shots when they come." said Whitworth head coach Helen Higgs on the team's balanced scoring attack. The Loggers (28-62, 45.3 FG%) had four players in double figures, Lange and Jackson leading the way with 18 apiece. Moffat and Lange led their teams with nine boards apiece and Thoens led all with six assists.
The Pirates will return to the Whitworth Fieldhouse on Saturday, January 14 to face Pacific Lutheran at 4:00 pm in another Northwest Conference game.