Whitman women beat PLU Friday night, 72-53

Hilary White scores 24 points and nabs nine rebounds as the Missionaries pull within a game of Whitworth.

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Whitman College' Hilary White (left) fights Pacific Lutheran University's Jordan Westering as the two push and shove for posession of the ball. White tipped the ball away from Westering and was able to out-position her for the steal.

WALLA WALLA - Whitman's Hilary White scored 24 points and grabbed nine boards to lead the Missionaries to a 72-53 win over Pacific Lutheran in Northwest Conference play at George Ball Court on the Whitman College campus Friday night.

Freshman guard Kelly Peterson dropped in 16 points and had five rebounds to back up White.

"Both Kelly and Hilary played great tonight," Whitman coach Michelle Ferenz said.

White was 4-of-9 from downtown in the game, scoring 17 points in a dominant first-half performance.

Whitman shot 56 percent from the field in the first half and finished at 49 percent.

Post Mary Madden scored 13 points and fouled out in 15 minutes of play.

"Thirteen points off the bench was a nice contribution for Mary," Ferenz said, "even though she fouled out."

Rebecca Sexton scored nine points on 4-of-6 shooting, and grabbed five rebounds.

"Rebecca really doesn't take any bad shots," Ferenz said. "She should actually be shooting more."

Whitman outrebounded PLU, 41-27, in the game.

"We really picked our rebounding in the second half," Ferenz said. "And we outrebounded them on the night. It was really important that we took care of the glass. We haven't been consistently rebounding all season long like we should."

Whitman went on an 11-2 run to start the night and never looked back.

The Lutes pulled to within three points early in the first half, but the halftime score was a 14-point lead, 42-28, for Whitman.

PLU also made a late charge at Whitman in the second half, cutting Whitman's 22-point lead to 12 with four minutes remaining.

The Missionaries answered with two 3-pointers, one by Emilie Gilbert and the other by White, for an 18-point lead with two minutes left.

"We've improved a lot lately," Ferenz said. "We lost to this same team just last month. Too bad the season might be over in a week."

Whitman sits in fifth place at 6-7 in conference as of Friday, a game behind Whitworth.

The Missionaries played Puget Sound Saturday night, and host Whitworth Tuesday.

PLU (53) - Pixler 5-12 3-4 16, Backstrom 4-10 0-0 8, Bieker 0-3 0-0 0, Goehri 2-8 0-1 4, Dowling 1-7 2-2 4, Wall 4-5 2-4 10, Harris 0-1 0-0 0, Mull 1-1 2-2 4, Westering 2-7 2-4 7. Totals 19-54 11-17 53.

WHITMAN (72) - Mello 1-5 1-2 3, Peterson 6-11 4-4 16, White 9-17 2-2 24, Sexton 4-6 1-3 9, Krall 0-5 2-2 2, Vaculik 0-0 0-0 0, Gilbert 1-2 0-0 3, Madden 5-7 2-2 13, Keyes 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 27-55 12-15 72.

Halftime - Whitman 42, PLU 28. 3-point goals-PLU 4-17 (Pixler 3-7, Backstrom 0-3, Bieker 0-1, Harris 0-1, Westering 1-5), Whitman 6-17 (Mello 0-1, Peterson 0-2, White 4-9, Krall 0-2, Gilbert 1-1, Madden 1-1, Keyes 0-1). Total fouls-PLU 12, Whitman 14. Fouled out-Whitman (Madden). Technical fouls-none. Rebounds-PLU 27 (Goehri 7), Whitman 41 (White 9). Turnovers-PLU 15, Whitman 16. Assists-PLU 9 (Goehri 5), Whitman 18 (Krall 5).

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