Bruins Dominate Paint to Defeat Pirates

Bruins Dominate Paint to Defeat Pirates

by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant 

SPOKANE, Wash. – George Fox scored 60 points in the paint en route to an 84-62 win over Whitworth on the Pirates' senior day. 

Tavin Headings scored a game-high 24 points on 10-15 shooting for the Bruins (20-3, 13-1 NWC), using her length and size to create opportunities in the paint. Hailey Hartney led the George Fox defense with four steals.

The Pirates' (11-12, 6-8 NWC) got excellent production from their seniors, who were celebrated in a ceremony before the game. Madison Moffat paired a team-high 15 points with 6 assists and Alli Kieckbusch scored 12 points thanks to a perfect shooting day from the floor. 

"I don't think there are enough words to express what these seniors mean to this program," Whitworth head coach Joial Griffith said. "A coaching change can be difficult, but they jumped in with both feet and bought in really early on."

Moffat, Kieckbusch and Annie Estes appeared to be ready to celebrate senior day by upsetting the 13th-ranked Bruins. The trio scored the first three baskets of the game to keep Whitworth within striking distance of George Fox. 

The Bruins began to pull away early in the second quarter, taking a 24-14 lead with 7:58 remaining in the period. Moffat and Kieckbusch responded with three straight treys to pull Whitworth within one. Jordan Smith slipped in a layup off a curl to give Whitworth a 30-28 lead minutes later. 

"Alli and Madison both had great games," Griffith said. "Alli played fearlessly and Madison did a little bit of everything for us tonight." 

Whitworth looked ready to battle early in the second half, playing the Bruins even until there were 4:09 left in the third quarter. Kieckbusch played a key role in the early part of the period, sliding open and knocking down multiple jumpers. 

The Bruins pulled away over the final 4:09 of the third quarter. George Fox finished the period on a 14-3 run, led by Headings' 6 points. The Bruins built on that momentum throughout the fourth quarter as they extended the lead out to 22.

George Fox shot 50.8% (32-63) from the floor and 12.5% (1-8) from three. The Bruins made 19 of their 24 free throw attempts. Whitworth made 45.7% (21-46) of its shots and 28.6% (4-14) of its threes. The Pirates shot 69.6% (16-23) from the charity stripe. 

Four Bruins scored in double figures, including Headings. Emily Spencer (12 points), Haley Strowbridge (10), and Emily Holder (10) all contributed to the George Fox attack. 

Madison Abbott rounded out the Pirates in double figures with 11 points. The sophomore post also pulled down nine rebounds. 

The Pirates travel to the west side next weekend for their final games of the season. The weekend opens with a 6 p.m. matchup against Pacific Lutheran on Friday, February 15.