by Kelsey Segren, Sports Information Assistant
NAMPA, Idaho – Northwest Nazarene University defeated the visiting Whitworth Pirates 90-61 in Tuesday evening's non-conference women's basketball contest in the Johnson Sports Center.
Avery Albrecht led all scorers with 21 points on 8-10 shooting for the Division II Nighthawks (4-3) of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. McKenna Emerson added 15 points and six rebounds. Marina Valles totaled 14 points and seven rebounds. NNU finished with 29 steals with Valles tallying six of them.
Whitworth (3-2) committed 41 turnovers in the loss. Quincy McDeid led the Pirates with 14 points. Megan Dorney finished with 11 points on 5-6 shooting. Morgan Winder added 10 points to give the Bucs three double-digit finishers. Sydney Abbott totaled nine points and nine rebounds.
After Dorney put in a layup for the first basket of the game, the Nighthawks went on a 16-1 run to take the 16-3 lead with 05:15 remaining in the first. Jordan Smith made a three-pointer with 03:17 left in the quarter to cut the NNU lead to 10.
Whitworth and NNU each scored 21 points in the second quarter. NNU scored the first three baskets of the quarter, but McDeid responded with eight consecutive points in less than two and a half minutes for the Bucs to narrow the Nighthawks' lead to 27-19. The Nighthawks followed the Pirate run with an 8-0 run of their own to stretch their lead to 35-19 with 03:41 left in the second.
The Pirates continued to battle the rest of the quarter, outscoring the Nighthawks 13-8 going into the break. Winder made a jumper as time expired as the Nighthawks went into halftime with the 43-32 advantage.
Zoe Wessels tallied nine rebounds for the Nighthawks over the first two quarters.
NNU began to pull away for good in the third quarter. The Nighthawks went on a 10-0 run and forced five Pirate turnovers in less than four minutes to extend their lead to 60-40 with 02:26 left in the third. Whitworth trailed by 22 points (66-44) entering the fourth.
The Pirates committed nine more turnovers in the fourth quarter as the Nighthawks sealed the 90-61 victory. NNU finished with 44 points off Whitworth turnovers.
Whitworth shot 38.2% (21-55) from the floor and 29.4% (5-17) from beyond the arc. Northwest Nazarene shot 43.2% (38-88) from the floor, 26.7% (8-30) from three-point range and 37.5% (6-16) from the free throw line. NNU outrebounded Whitworth 47-45.
Up next, the Pirates play in the Whitworth Alumni game on Sunday, Dec. 8 at 1 p.m. before heading to Walla Walla the following weekend to compete in the Kim Evanger Raney Classic.