$n$ Wolves' rally falls short at WWU tourney

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COLLEGE PLACE - Johnson & Wales University won the battle on the boards and took the game from Walla Walla University 59-51 in WWU women's tournament play Thursday night.

Johnson & Wales is the No. 1-ranked NAIA independent school and has already clinched postseason play.

"We played them extremely tough," said WWU head coach Mike Patterson. "It was by far our best game of the season. It was an intense battle from the tip off."

Johnson & Wales took a 25-18 first-half lead, shooting 31 percent in the half to WWU's 24 percent.

But the Wolves rallied after intermission and streaked to a six-point lead of their own before the Wildcats bounced back to tie it at 34.

The Wolves capitalized on a turnover-heavy game - WWU had 19 to Johnson & Wales' 27 - to build another lead.

Johnson & Wales went on a 13-8 run with two minutes to play to tie the score again at 53-all.

The Wildcats' Sarah FitzPatrick's late 3-pointer continued to swing the momentum for Johnson & Wales, then hit 2-of-2 free throws with a few seconds left on the clock to clinch the win.

Johnson & Wales led the Wolves with 53 boards, while WWU had 36.

"We rebounded a little better than we have in the past, but that's still a weakness we need to improve on," Patterson said. "We got outrebounded but we hung around better than we have in the past."

Heather McFadden led the Wolves with eight rebounds and 21 points. Sierra King had 16 points and eight boards of her own.

The Wolves did a good job in forcing turnovers, Patterson said.

Johnson & Wales had 27 turnovers, while WWU had just 19.

"It was really nice, because we're usually on the other end of that," Patterson said.

The loss drops the Wolves to 2-20 on the season. They play Northwest Indian College at 2 p.m. today and close out the season with a rematch with Johnson & Wales at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

"We're looking forward to our game this afternoon and again Saturday night," Patterson said.

Johnson & Wales 59, WWU 51

JOHNSON & WALES (59) - Neal 6-17 4-7 18, Shirley 4-5 4-6 14, Kostoroon 2-2 0-0 5. Huebner 0-6 2-4 2, Austin 2-7 0-2 4, Huber 0-2 0-0 0, Eageln 1-10 0-2 2, Norris 0-0 0-0 0, Sinohui 1-4 0-2 2, FitzPatrick 2-5 6-6 1. Totals 18-58 16-29 17.

WALLA WALLA UNIVERSITY (51) - McFadden 7-14 4-6 21, Warner 5-9 0-1 10, Tan 0-2 0-0 0, The 0-2 0-0 0, Manley 0-4 0-0 0, Sulzie 1-2 0-0 3, Sims 0-5 0-2 0, King 8-22 0-1 16, Blackley 0-0 0-0 0, Fitch 0-1 0-0 0, King 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-61 7-10 51.

Halftime score - J&W 25, WWU 18. 3-point goals - J&W 7-28 (Neal 2-8, Shirley 2-3, Kostoroon 1-1, FitzPatrick 2-4, Huebner 0-3, Austin 0-2, Engeln 0-5, Sinohui 0-2), WWU 2-5 (McFadeen 1-2, Tan 0-1, Sulzle 1-1 King 0-1). Total fouls - J&W 17, WWU 19. Fouled out - Austin (J&W). Technical fouls - none. Rebounds - J&W 53 (Huebner 17), WWU 36 (McFadden 8, King 8). Turnovers - J&W 27, WWU 19. Assists - J&W 5 (Huebner 2), WWU 5 (McFadden 4).

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