PARKLAND, Wash. – Whitworth University road a dominating first quarter to a 72-60 Northwest Conference women's basketball victory on Friday night at Pacific Lutheran University.
Four players reached double figures in scoring as the Pirates improved to 10-12 overall and 6-7 in the NWC with their third win in the last four games. The Lutes dropped to 1-21, 0-13.
After Whitworth opened a 20-point lead on two occasions in the third quarter, PLU rallied to within nine (56-47) in the final period with five minutes to go. The Lutes fueled their charge by forcing Pirate turnovers. Whitworth committed 27 turnovers in the game, 14 of those came in the final quarter. But the Bucs regrouped to keep PLU from gaining any more ground down the stretch. Whitworth was helped by PLU as the Lutes lost some composure and committed a pair of technical fouls in the final 90 seconds.
Whitworth opened a double-digit lead just over five minutes into the game, taking a 14-4 advantage on Madison Moffat's basket. The Bucs eventually led 21-6 at the end of the period and 39-23 at halftime.
Whitworth took its largest lead of 20 points two times in the third quarter, the final time on Madison Tudor's put-back basket with just under three minutes to go, but PLU was able to get back to within 52-37 at the end of the period.
Jessica Thoens scored 21 points and Grace Douglas had 20 to lead the quartet of Pirates who reached double figures. Thoens finished 9-10 at the free throw line while Douglas hit 3-4 from three-point range and was 7-10 from the field overall.
Moffat and Callie Harwood each added a dozen points. Moffat made it a double-double, leading all players with 11 rebounds as Whitworth finished with a 41-29 edge on the boards. Moffat had six assists and Thoens dished five.
Other than the high turnover numbers, the Pirates were efficient on offense. Whitworth shot 49.1% from the floor (26-53) and 44.4% from three-point range (4-9). The Bucs had 16 assists on their 26 baskets.
PLU got 15 points from Kaelyn Voss and 14 from Lacey Nicholson, who also led her team with nine rebounds. The Lutes never got going from three-point range, finishing the night 0-20 from beyond the arc. PLU shot 38% (25-66) from the field overall.
Whitworth swept the season series from PLU and has won the last ten meetings between the teams. The Pirates will conclude their trip west with a game at 6th-ranked Puget Sound on Saturday.