SPOKANE, Wash. – KC McConnell had 22 points to lead Whitworth to a season-opening come-from-behind 67-55 win over visiting Eastern Oregon on Saturday night at the Whitworth Fieldhouse.
The Pirates claimed their season-opener while the Mountaineers fell to 4-1.
EOU jumped out to double-digit lead at 20-10 only 12 minutes into the game as the Pirates struggled to hit their shots in the opening half. Kassy Larson's lay-up extended the EOU lead to 31-15 late in the half. But Whitworth's comeback began in those final minutes as the Bucs closed the half on a 6-0 run to pull within 31-21.
Whitworth still trailed 37-25 a 10-0 got the Bucs within 37-35 on a basket by McConnell. EOU extended the lead back to 41-35 on another Larson jumper. But then the momentum went Whitworth's way for good. The Pirates outscored the Mountaineers 19-2 over the next six minutes to open a 54-43 lead on McConnell's jumper.
Eastern got as close as 59-53 with 2:45 left on a pair of Kelsey Hill free throws. But McConnell answered with a three-pointer to stem the tide.
Jessica Kramer added a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds for the Pirates. Katara Belton-Sharp scored 16 points for the Bucs, while Faith Emerson had nine points off of the bench. After shooting only 28% in the first half, Whitworth was 15-27 (56%) in the second half.
Hill led EOU with 16 points, while Madeline Laan added 13 and a team-high five boards. Larissa Quintana came off of the bench for 10 points.
Whitworth returns to action next Thursday when the Pirates host Rutgers-Camden from New Jersey.