by Brandon Loiler, Sports Information Assistant
SPOKANE, Wash. – An 18-2 run that lasted the entirety of the third quarter from the Whitworth women's basketball team helped them overcome a six point first half deficit to take down visiting Willamette 68-62 on Friday night in a Northwest Conference matchup.
The Pirates improve to 8-11 overall (4-6 NWC) and hold the Bearcats to 10-8 (3-6 NWC) with a the help of a 38-24 point differential in the second half.
Chloe Quinnett started off the game with an easy layup on Grace Douglas's first assist of the game less than 15 seconds in and continued that run, going up 8-5 on a Callie Harwood layup less than four minutes in. An Alex Wert layup started a 11-6 run with the addition of seven points from Marisa Hamilton that would finish out the quarter, giving the Bearcats a 16-14 lead.
Marisa Hamilton scored her eighth point in the beginning of the second quarter and despite a free throw from Harwood to cut the lead to three, the Bearcats scored seven unanswered to stretch the lead back to double digits (25-15). Whitworth countered that with a run of their own cutting the lead to four with a pair free throws from Douglas. Kylie Towry, Sarah Heinly, and Drew Farmer scored a bucket apiece to give the visiting team a 38-30 lead heading into the half.
The Pirates didn't score until nearly two minutes into the third quarter, but then went on an unmatchable run starting with a layup from Quinnett. They continued their run with 11 straight points followed by another 7-0 run to finish the quarter.
Erika Kuehn struck first in the fourth for Whitworth, stretching the lead to double digits (50-40). Thoens, Alli Kieckbusch, and Kuehn added six more to that bucket for Whitworth's largest lead of the game (16 points). A comeback led by Willamette forward Elizabeth Logsdon's seven points was matched by 6-8 shooting from the free throw line by Thoens to ice the game and send the Bearcats home with a loss.
Jessica Thoens finished the game with 17 (5-10 FG) points to lead both teams. Sarah Heinly went 5-12 from the floor to lead the Bearcats with 14 points. The Pirates finished the game 41.5% (22-53) from the floor and 75% (21-28) from the charity stripe including six from Jessica Thoens to end the game. Moffat led both teams with 12 rebounds and Grace Douglas dished four assists to lead both teams in that category.
Coming Up: Whitworth will travel to Oregon to take on Linfield and Pacific (Ore.) in a pair of Northwest Conference games on February 3rd and 4th.