Whitman women drop NWC basketball game to Pacific in closing seconds

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WALLA WALLA — Mallory Goldhammer’s whirling lay-up with five seconds left lifted Pacific University to a wild 71-70 Northwest Conference victory over Whitman College Saturday night on George Ball Court in Sherwood Center.

Goldhammer’s heroics negated a three-point play in the paint by senior Michelle Krall, which had given Whitman a 70-69 lead with 13 seconds left.

After the Boxers regained their final lead, Whitman first-year guard Kelly Peterson dribbled the length of the court, split two defenders at the hoop and left a lay-up just short at the buzzer.

The thrilling final seconds left Pacific with a 2-2 mark in the NWC and 5-6 record overall. Whitman slid to 1-3 and 6-7.

Pacific’s Rochelle Reeves-Howe made eight of 21 shots from the floor and led all scorers with 23 points. Julianne Erbe added 20 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and four steals. Erica Shultz gave the Boxers 12 points.

Krall paced a balanced Whitman attack with 17 points and four assists. Peterson and Hilary White both finished with 15 points and four assists. Junior post Rebecca Sexton was good for 12 points, eight boards and two blocked shots before fouling out late in the game.

Up by two points at halftime, Pacific worked its way to a 51-40 lead over the first seven minutes of the second half. Whitman fought back with a 17-4 spurt to regain a 57-55 lead with seven minutes left on the clock.

Whitman stayed in front until the Boxers eased ahead 64-63 with 90 seconds left. The lead changed hands four more times down the stretch before the final Missionary shot fell just a little short.

The first half was a back-and-forth affair that featured a dozen lead changes. Whitman twice led by five points, the second time at 23-18 with about eight minutes left. Pacific reeled off the next eight points and eased in front 30-26, its largest lead of the half, with just under four minutes remaining.

Krall and White responded with back-to-back 3-pointers to give Whitman a 32-30 edge, but Reeves-Howe answered back with a pair of buckets to give the Boxers a two-point halftime lead.

Whitman plays its next three NWC games on the road, starting next Friday and Saturday at Pacific Lutheran and Puget Sound.

PACIFIC (71) — Schultz 4-10 4-4 12, Goldammer 1-4 1-2 3, Reeves-Howe 8-21 5-8 23, Erbe 9-14 2-4 20, Jensen 1-3 3-4 5, Frank 0-2 0-0 0, McArthur 0-3 0-0 0, Akers 1-4 0-0 2, Anderson 3-4 0-1 6. Totals 27-65 15-23 71.

WHITMAN (70) — Mello 2-6 0-2 4, Peterson 5-7 5-5 15, White 5-16 3-4 15, Sexton 6-11 0-0 12, Krall 7-10 1-1 17, Vaculik 0-0 0-0 0, Gilbert 1-3 0-0 2, Madden 0-2 0-0 0, Brice 2-5 1-2 5, Keyes 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 28-61 10-14 70.

Halftime score — Pacific 34, Whitman 32. 3-point goals — Pacific 2-12 (Reeves-Howe 2-7, Schultz 0-1, Jensen 0-1, McArthur 0-1, Frank 0-2), Whitman 4-15 (Krall 2-3, White 2-8, Mello 0-1, Gilbert 0-1, Brice 0-1, Keyes 0-1). Total fouls—Pacific 17, Whitman 20. Fouled out—Pacific (Reeves-Howe), Whitman (Sexton). Technical fouls—none. Rebounds— Pacific 42 (Erbe 10), Whitman 41 (Sexton 8). Turnovers—Pacific 14, WWCC 18. Assists— Pacific 10 (Erbe 4), Whitman 22 (Brice 5).

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