by Brandon Loiler, Sports Information Assistant
SPOKANE, Wash. – The Pirates dominated the boards 50-24 in a 66-43 win over visiting Pacific Lutheran at the Whitworth University Fieldhouse on Saturday on the back end of a four game Northwest Conference home stretch.
Whitworth improves to 3-3 in the NWC (7-8 overall) and Pacific Lutheran stays winless in the conference at 0-6 (1-14 overall).
The Pirates dominated control of the game, leading since 8:51 to play in the first quarter. Mackenzie Cooper went to the free throw line early to give the Lutes a 2-0 lead. Madison Moffat finished a layup to tie the game and Whitworth would take control from then on, going on an 8-0 run before Kristen Sturdivan found the net again for the Lutes. Allie Kieckbusch, Erika Kuehn, and Lexi Tinney finished the quarter for the Pirates with another 6-0 run to go up 16-7.
In the second quarter, Whitworth's lead wouldn't fall to less than seven. Jessica Thoens had back-to-back layups to give the Pirates a 13-point cushion just over a minute in, 20-7. Pacific Lutheran's Lacey Nicholson attempted to keep the game close with consecutive buckets to cut the margin to seven, but Whitworth would answer with an 8-1 run to end the half, taking a 32-18 lead into the locker rooms. Nine Pirates statted rebounds in the first half for a 27-11 advantage in that category.
Nicholson, Anna Hurd, and Lauren Furu cut the Pirates' lead to six with a 12-4 run that lasted five minutes of the third quarter. Flirting with a double digit lead, with a three-pointer by Grace Douglas and a layup from Callie Harwood, Whitworth stretched the margin back to 11 before Lute guard Samantha Kelleigh scored five unanswered points to bring the game within six (43-37) with 20 seconds to go in the third.
The fourth quarter was all Whitworth, outscoring the visitors 21-4 to finish the game. After another Nicholson layup to drop the Lutes' deficit to single-digits (50-41), Whitworth went on a 16-0 run with six points from Harwood to go up 25 (66-41) with less than a minute left.
The Pirates finished the game 24-58 (41.4%) from the floor, 2-10 (20%) from behind the arc, and 16-21 (76.2%) from the charity stripe. Whitworth held Pacific Lutheran to 28.8% shooting (15-52), 1-7 (14.3%) from long range, but the Lutes earned their points at the free throw line sinking 12-15 (80%). Moffat recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, Chloe Quinnett led all with 11 rebounds and Whitworth's Callie Harwood and Pacific Lutheran's Lacey Nicholson led all scorers with 12 apiece.
The Pirates will take a road trip to Oregon next weekend to battle Lewis & Clark and George Fox on January 20 and 21.