WALLA WALLA - With five players scoring all but two of its points, Warner Pacific held off Whitman College 72-61 in a non-conference women's basketball game Saturday afternoon in Sherwood Center.
Warner Pacific, picked by a preseason coaches poll to finish second this season in the Cascade Collegiate Conference, improved to 6-5 on the season.
Whitman, which was coming off a long Finals Week in the classroom, slipped to 3-6.
Kelly Peterson and Mary Madden both made 6-of-10 shots from the floor and finished with 13 points apiece to pace Whitman's attack.
Jenele Peterson chipped in with 12 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals. Sarah Anderegg added eight points and five boards.
Guard Chelsey Christensen had a game-high 20 points to lead four Warner Pacific players into double digits. Christensen also had six rebounds and four assists.
Morgan Wolf, another guard and the only reserve to score for the Knights, contributed 15 points and six rebounds. Cameryn Calhoun, gave the visitors 13 points, seven assists and six boards, while guard Kelsey Mattsen was good for 13 points and five rebounds.
The NAIA-affiliated Knights, who led 33-27 at halftime, shot 49 percent from the floor and outrebounded Whitman 45-31.
The Missionaries won the ball-control battle, collecting 12 steals while forcing Warner Pacific into 19 turnovers. Tiffanie Traver nabbed three steals to match Jenele Peterson for game-high honors. Anderegg and Shiann Dreadfulwater both had two steals.
Meghan White, a 6-foot, pulled down six rebounds and blocked a pair of shots for Whitman.
Madden scored five points as Whitman jumped in front 7-4 to start the game, but Christensen and Wolff hit a pair of free throws to fuel a 12-0 Warner Pacific run.
After baskets by Anderegg and Kelly Peterson helped Whitman close to within five points with 11 minutes left in the half, the Knights stretched their lead back into double digits at 30-19 with three minutes remaining.
Jenele Peterson's layup and a jumper by Anna Forge trimmed Whitman's deficit to 33-27 the break.
The Knights upped their lead to 13 points early in the second half, but the Missionaries stayed within reach for most of the half. Whitman trailed by just eight points, 52-44, after Traver made two free throws with 8:02 left to play.
Warner Pacific countered with four straight points and maintained a double-figure bulge the rest of the way.
Whitman travels to Lewiston on today for a 2 p.m. game against Lewis-Clark State.
Warner Pacific 72, Whitman 61
WARNER PACIFIC (72) - Christensen 9-17 0-0 20, Wolff 5-6 3-4 15, Calhoun 4-10, 4-5 13, Mattsen 3-6 7-9 13, Tucker 3-5 2-2 0, White 1-7 0-2 2, Smith 0-0 0-0 0, Silva-Ramirez 0-0 0-0 0. Totals - 25-51, 16-20 72.
WHITMAN (61) - Peterson, K. 6-10 0-0 13, Madden 6-10 1-3 13, Peterson, J. 6-22 0-1 12, Anderegg 3-8 2-3 8, Traver 2-4 2-2 6, Forge 2-8 0-0 4, White 1-4 1-2 3, Dreadfulwater 1-2 0-2 2, Keyes 0-2 0-0 0, Lovelace 0-0 0-0 0, Buse 0-0 0-0 0. Totals - 27-70 6-13 61.
Halftime score - WP 33, Whit 27. 3-point goals - WP 6-11 (Wolff, Morgan 2, Christensen 2, Calhoun, Tucker, White, Whit 1-10 (Peterson, K.). Total fouls - WP 15, Whit 17. Fouled out - none. Technical fouls - none. Rebounds - WP 45 (Wolff, Christensen, Calhoun 6), Whit 31 (Peterson, J., White 6). Turnovers - WP 19, Whit 8. Assists - WP15 (Calhoun 7), Whit 12 (J. Peterson 4)