by Kelsey Segren, Sports Information Assistant
SPOKANE, Wash. – Sydney Abbott scored 18 points to lead the Whitworth Pirates to a 67-48 win over the visiting Lewis & Clark Pioneers in Saturday evening's Northwest Conference women's basketball game.
Whitworth (9-4, 2-2 NWC) trailed to open the third quarter, but quickly pulled away to hand Lewis & Clark (1-11, 0-4) its eleventh consecutive loss.
Whitworth finished the first quarter with an 18-12 lead. The Pirates held the Pioneers to 22.2% (2-9) from beyond the arc in the quarter.
Lewis & Clark opened the second on a 12-2 run to take the 24-20 lead with 05:37 left before the break. Whitworth struggled to make shots, finishing 21.4% (3-14) from the field in the period. Delsie Johnson scored nine points in the quarter for the Pioneers to enter halftime with a 28-27 advantage.
Whitworth opened the third outscoring Lewis & Clark 13-4. The Pirates tied the game at 30-30 less than two minutes into the third after a made free throw by Courtney Gray. Back-to-back turnovers from the Pios followed by baskets from Abbott and Gray put the Bucs up 34-30. Macey Morales powered in a layup to bring Whitworth's lead to 40-32 with less than five minutes remaining in the quarter.
Talia Brandner and Abbott got the scoring going in the fourth with a pair of layups as the Bucs opened the period with a 53-38 lead. Brandner knocked in a three to give the Pirates the 60-43 advantage with less than five minutes left in the game. A layup from Morgan Winder gave the Bucs their largest lead of the night, 66-46, with 27 seconds left on the clock. The sophomore finished with eight points.
Abbott tallied five rebounds and three steals in addition to her 18 points, shooting 7-13 from the floor. Brandner finished with 12 points, 10 coming in the second half. Gray added 10 points and seven rebounds.
Johnson led the Pios with 15 points and six rebounds. Jessica Cerne finished with nine points, making 3 of 5 attempts from three-point range.
Whitworth shot 40% (26-65) from the floor and 16.7% (2-12) from beyond the arc. Lewis & Clark shot 35.3% (18-51) from the field and 26.1% (6-23) from three-point range. The Pirates outrebounded the Pioneers 45-38 and forced 24 Pio turnovers.
Up next, Whitworth travels to Oregon to face George Fox and Pacific on Jan. 17-18.