PLU women rally late to subdue Whitman

Four players score in double figures as Pacific Lutheran rallies in the final five minutes to defeat Whitman's women 58-52.

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TACOMA — Finishing the final five minutes on a 16-6 run to erase a four-point deficit, Pacific Lutheran rallied past the Whitman College women 58-52 here Friday night.

With four players scoring in double figures, the Lutes improved to 2-3 in the Northwest Conference and 4-10 overall. Whitman slid to 1-4 in conference and 6-8 overall going into Saturday night’s game at the University of Puget Sound.

Senior Hilary White tallied a game-high 16 points and first-year teammate Kelly Peterson added 15 to pace Whitman. Senior Michelle Krall led all rebounders with nine.

Trailing 23-20 at halftime, Whitman outscored the Lutes 13-6 to open the second stanza, moving in front 33-29 on two free throws by first-year forward Mary Madden. After Pacific Lutheran regained the lead, White drilled a 3-pointer to even the game at 40-40 with 8:24 left to play.

Krall followed with a jumper, White converted two more Missionary free throws and Peterson added a layup, thanks to a steal by senior Dawna Mello, to stake Whitman to a 46-42 advantage with five minutes left.

The Lutes answered with two baskets to forge a final tie, but Peterson put Whitman back in front with two more strikes from the charity stripe with 3:35 left on the clock.

Sara Backstrom’s 3-pointer triggered a game-deciding seven-point spurt that gave Pacific Lutheran a 53-49 spread with 90 seconds remaining. Whitman twice closed to within three points before the Lutes pulled away in the closing seconds.

WHITMAN (52) — Mello 3-4 0-0 6, Peterson 6-8 2-2 15, White 5-15 4-5 16, Brice 0-3 1-4 1, Sexton 3-4 0-0 6, Krall 1-7 3-4 5, Gilbert 0-2 0-0 0, Madden 0-1 3-4 3, Keyes 0-1 0-0 0.Totals 18-45 13-19 52.

PLU (58) — Pixler 6-10 0-0 13, Backstrom 4-8 4-4 15, Bieker 0-2 0-0 0, Goehri 5-13 0-0 10, Dowling 3-6 1-5 7, Harris 0-2 0-0 0, Mull 1-1 0-0 2, Westering 1-5 8-8 11, Olson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-47 13-17 58.

Halftime — PLU 23, Whitman 20. 3-point goals — Whitman 3-16 (White 2-8, Peterson 1-2, Brice 0-1, Keyes 0-1, Krall 0-2, Gilbert 0-2), PLU 5-13 (Backstrom 3-6, Pixler 1-3, Westering 1-3, Harris 0-1). Total fouls—Whitman 15, PLU 14. Fouled out—none. Technical fouls—none. Rebounds—Whitman 31 (Krall 9), PLU 33 (Westering 8). Turnovers—Whitman 18, PLU 19. Assists—Whitman 8 (Peterson 3), PLU 13 (Backstrom 3, Dowling 3).

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