by Kelsey Segren, Sports Information Assistant
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Whitworth women's basketball used a double-digit first half lead to earn the 61-55 victory over host Colorado College in the season-opener for both teams on Saturday.
McKenzee Gertz led all scorers with 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Tigers (0-1). Rosie Braley joined Gertz in double figures, tallying 13 points on 5-9 shooting.
After trailing 7-9 with 5:09 left in the first quarter, the Bucs went on a 11-2 run sealed by a Macey Morales three-pointer. Whitworth extended its lead to 34-22 going into halftime as Morgan Winder scored four consecutive points to close the second quarter.
Colorado College slowly started to cut into Whitworth's lead, trailing 48-40 after the third quarter. The Tigers went on a 10-6 run to open the fourth quarter, cutting the Pirates' lead to four with 3:12 remaining.
The Pirates responded as Abbott and Morales sent in back-to-back three-pointers to extend the Pirates' lead back to ten with 1:41 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Tigers outscored the Pirates 5-1 in the final minute but the Bucs held on for the victory.
The Pirates shot 36.9% (24-65) from the floor and 34.8% (8-23) from three. The Tigers made 40% (20-50) of their shots and shot 50% (9-18) from three-point range.
Whitworth will battle Johnson & Wales University in Denver tomorrow at 1 p.m.