Lewis-Clark end Whitman women's season

The Missionaries watch a six-point second-half lead evaporate in a 60-51 loss to Lewis & Clark.

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PORTLAND - With a six-point lead slipping away in the second half, the Whitman College women's basketball team saw its season come to a close with a 60-51 Northwest Conference first-round playoff loss to Lewis & Clark Thursday night.

Whitman, which won the last three games of the regular season to earn the fourth and final playoff spot, ended its season with a 15-11 record.

Lewis & Clark, now 21-5 on the season and the top seed in the four-team playoff, hosts second-seeded George Fox Saturday night for the NWC's automatic berth in the NCAA Division III national championship field.

George Fox, also 21-5, downed third-seeded Puget Sound 62-56 tonight in Newberg, Ore., to advance to Saturday's playoff finale.

Tied with Lewis & Clark at 25-25 at halftime, Whitman opened the second stanza on a 9-3 run to lead by six points with 14 minutes left to play.

After Jenele Peterson sparked the spurt with a 3-pointer, Anna Forge hit two jumpers and Rebecca Sexton added a third for a 34-28 Missionary lead.

The Pioneers responded with nine unanswered points to regain the lead. After the home team extended its advantage to 41-36 with 7:51 left to play, Whitman pulled to within three points on three occasions.

Peterson's jumper cut Whitman's deficit to 48-44 with 2:44 left, but Lewis & Clark made 12 of 16 free throws the rest of the way to finish off the victory.

Late in the first half, Forge made two free throws to give Whitman a 21-20 lead. Tiffani Brewer completed a three-point play in the paint, and Peterson made a steal and drew a foul.

She made one of two charity tosses, staking the Missionaries to a 25-20 lead with 2:20 left in the half.

Lewis & Clark erased that lead with two offensive rebound putbacks and a foul shot, squaring the game at 25-25 at intermission.

Peterson paced Whitman with a game-high 15 points and added four assists. Brewer had 11 points and five rebounds while Sexton, the lone senior on Whitman's roster, had 10 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots in her final game.

Forge combined six points with five rebounds.

Whitman shot just 34 percent from the floor for the game, but that was better than the 30.5 percent shooting night that hampered the home team.

Lewis & Clark 60, Whitman 51

WHITMAN (51) - Brewer 3-8 4-4 11, J. Peterson 4-12 5-6 15, K. Peterson 0-5 0-0 0, Madden 0-0 0-0 0, Sexton 5-8 0-0 10, Giolbert 0-2 2-2 2, Anderegg 2-5 0-0 4, Forge 2-4 2-2 6, Keyes 1-6 0-0 3. Totals 17-50 13-14 51.

LEWIS & CLARK (60) - Williams 3-16 4-4 11, Dowling 2-9 0-0 4, Herring 3-8 4-8 11, Hauser 3-6 3-3 10, Spence 5-11 4-7 14, Villanueva 0-3 6-8 6, Howe 0-0 0-0 0, Dean 1-3 0-0 2, Wang 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 18-59 21-30 60.

Halftime score - Whitman 25, L&C 25. 3-point goals - Whit 4-20 (Brewer 1-4, J. Peterson 2-7, Keyes 1-5, K. Peterson 0-3, Gilber 0-1), L&C 3-16 (Williams 1-5, Herring 1-1, Hauser 1-3, Dowling 0-3, Spence 0-4). Total fouls - Whit 24, L&C 16. Fouled out - J. Peterson (Whit). Rebounds - Whit 33 (Sexton 8), L&C 51 (Dowling 13). Turnovers - Whit 17, L&C 11. Assists - Whit 10 (J. Peterson 4), L&C 12 (Williams 4).

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