SPOKANE — Another stellar defensive effort and a hot shooting second half spurred the Whitman women basketball team to an 85-45 win over Colorado College here Saturday.
The victory followed a Northwest Conference-opening 71-51 win over Pacific Lutheran at Sherwood Center on Friday night.
On Saturday night, Whitman used a 21-1 run over an eight-minute stretch midway through the first half to break open a close game.
Meghan White sank two free throws with 3:53 left to go in the initial stanza to make it a 20-point advantage at 34-14.
Prior to the run by the Missionaries, the score had been knotted at 13 apiece.
Whitman held Colorado to only one more bucket the rest of the way, while adding 10 more points of its own to enter the intermission with a 46-16 lead.
Numerous layups were set up by steals on the defensive end — Whitman forced the Tigers into 26 turnovers for the game — and the bench played a major role in creating the big first half lead, contributing 20 points.
In the second half, the script remained the same as the Missionaries saw their lead grow to as many as 40 when Sarah Anderegg made a layup with 16:15 remaining, and 42 when forward Heather Lovelace drilled a jumper moments later.
The teams traded baskets the rest of the way, with Whitman seeing its lead never drop below 33 as it kept the Tigers at bay with 56-percent shooting from the field.
The Missionaries converted 51-percent of their shots for the game.
Whitman got another stellar offensive effort out of Anderegg who poured in 14, guard Heather Johns had 12, and forward White tossed in 11 along with six boards.
Lovelace came off the bench to add 10. Johns, Mary Madden and Marah Alindogan all had the steals in the game.
On Friday at Sherwood Center, a blistering shooting performance in the first half gave Whitman a commanding 48-18 halftime advantage en route to the 71-51 NWC victory.
Coming off an overtime road loss to nationally NAIA-ranked Eastern Oregon University, the Missionaries started fast and ran their offense almost to perfection, finding open looks on back cuts, well-delivered entry passes and ball screens, on their way to shooting 58-percent for the first half.
The defensive effort produced several fastbreak layups as the Missionaries broke away from PLU after a tight first few minutes.
Johns finished the game with 12 points, sharing the top scoring honors with White and Anderegg.
Johns recorded a double-double as she paired 10 rebounds with her dozen points.
Nine Missionaries got in the scoring book.
In the second half, the Missionaries cooled off, shooting 38 percent from the field — they ended up shooting 48 percent for the game — but still maintained a comfortable lead throughout the second 20 minutes, seeing their advantage bulge to as many as 31 points and never less than 20.
Whitman, now at 5–1 overall and 1-0 in NWC play, head to College Place for another non-conference game tonight at Walla Walla University at 7 p.m.