Whitman women clinch No. 3 seed in NWC playoffs

Whitman picks up its 11th victory in 13 games with a 65-38 lashing of Linfield.

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MCMINNVILLE, Ore. - Whitman College turned up the defensive pressure in the second half, holding Linfield to just 14 post-intermission points, and clinched the No. 3 seed in the Northwest Conference playoffs with a 65-38 women's basketball victory here Saturday afternoon.

Winning for the 11th time in 13 games, Whitman is 10-4 in the NWC (14-9 overall) as it heads to the final week of the regular season.

Undefeated George Fox has locked down the top seed in the four-team playoffs while Lewis & Clark is ensconced into the second spot. That means Whitman travels to Lewis & Clark for a first-round playoff game in two weeks.

George Fox will host either Puget Sound or Whitworth in the other first-round battle.

Whitman commenced the strengthening of its grip on third place in the conference standings with an 82-70 victory over Pacific on Friday night.

Whitman jumped on the Wildcats to start Saturday's game, shooting its way to 8-0 and 10-1 leads in the first four minutes. But the Wildcats came scratching back on a 16-5 run to lead 17-15 with seven minutes left in the half.

Jumpers by Jenele Peterson, Kelly Peterson and Heather Lovelace put Whitman back in front by a point, but a final bucket by Linfield's Alex Christensen gave the Wildcats a 24-23 lead at the break.

After Gretchen Owens finished a three-point play for the home team to start the second half, Whitman regained the lead for good with a 10-0 spurt.

Ahead 38-33, the Missionaries ran off seven unanswered points to extend their advantage into double digits by the midway point of the second half.

Owens countered from the 3-point line for the Wildcats at the 9:16 mark, but senior Jennifer Keyes responded in kind on Whitman's next possession.

The Missionaries pulled away from there, ending the contest on a 20-2 run. Kaely Maltman's jumper with 5:11 left were the last points the Wildcats scored.

Kelly Peterson, who hit two of three shots from the 3-point arc, led Whitman with 14 points and three steals. Jenele Peterson added 13 points and three assists.

Whitman also got eight points and six rebounds from Meghan White and five points and eight boards from Tiffani Traver.

Other contributors included Mary Madden (four points, six rebounds), Sarah Anderegg (five points, four rebounds) and Keyes (five points)

The Missionaries outscored Linfield 42-14 in the second half while shooting 58.3 percent from the floor over the final 20 minutes. That included five 3-point strikes in nine attempts.

Whitman won the rebounding battle 43-30 while holding the Wildcats to a 28 percent shooting night (14-50 fig).

Owens and Maltman combined for 26 of Linfield's 38 points. Only three other players scored for the Wildcats.

Whitman returns home for its final two regular season games, hosting Whitworth at 6 p.m. Tuesday and Willamette at 6 p.m. Friday.

Whitman 65, Linfield 38

WHITMAN (65) - Madden 2-4 0-0 4, Traver 2-4 0-0 5, J. Peterson 5-14 2-2 13, White 2-4 4-4 8, K. Peterson 5-7 2-2 14, Alindogan 0-0 2-4 2, Buse 1-4 0-0 3, Lovelace 2-4 0-0 4, Anderegg 2-8 21-1 5, Forge 1-3 0-0 2, Gilbert 0-1 0-0 0, Keyes 2-2 0-1 5. Totals 24-55 11-14 65.

LINFIELD (38) - Fuller 2-7 0-0 6, Owens 6-22 1-2 14, Maltman 4-7 4-8 12, Henson 1-7 1-2 4, Christensen 1-4 0-0 2, Owen 0-1 0-0 0, Barton 0-2 0-0 0, Barawis 0-0 0-0 0, Sherrard 0-0 0-0 0, McConville 0-0 0-0 0, Mason 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 14-50 6-12 38.

Halftime - Linfield 24-23. 3-point goals - Whit 6-14 (Traver 1-3, J. Peterson 1-4, K. Peterson 2-3, Gilbert 0-1, Keyes 1-1, Buse 1-2), Lin 4-20 (Fuller 2-5, Henson 1-3, Owens 1-8, Owen 0-1, Barton 0-1, Christensen 0-2). Total fouls - Whit 17, Lin 16. Fouled out - none. Technical fouls - none. Rebounds - Whit 44 (Traver 8), Lin 32 (Henson 8). Assists - Whit 14 (J. Peterson 3, Forge 3), Lin 7 (Maltman 3). Turnovers - Whit 20, Lin 18.

Whitman 82, Pacific 70

WHITMAN (82) - Madden 6-10 1-1 13, Traver 2-4 2-2 7, J. Peterson 5-10 4-5 14, White 4-8 0-0 8, K. Peterson 5-9 0-0 12, Alindogan 0-1 0-0 0, Buse 1-3 0-0 2, Lovelace 1-2 0-0 2, Anderegg 5-7 2-2 12, Forge 3-6 0-0 6, Gilbert 0-1 0-0 0, Keyes 2-5 0-0 6. Totals 34-66 9-10 82.

PACIFIC (70) - Schultz 3-12 0-0 6, Hitch 1-2 0-0 2, Jensen 10-13 4-4 24, Johnson 3-4 0-0 9, Colter 2-5 2-4 7, Ostrom 2-4 0-0 5, McArthur 0-1 0-0 0, Koga 0-0 0-0 0, Highley 3-3 2-2 9, Anderson 2-4 4-6 8. Totals 26-49 12-16 70.

Halftime - Whitman 35-29. 3-point goals - Whit 5-13 (Traver 1-2, J. Peterson 0-2, K. Peterson 2-4, Gilbert 0-1, Keyes 2-4), Pac 6-11 (Schultz 0-1, Johnson 3-3, Colter 1-2, Ostrom 1-3, McArthur 0-1, Highley 1-1). Total fouls - Whit 16, Pacific 10. Fouled out - none. Technical fouls - none. Rebounds - Whit 33 (White 11), Pac 25 (Schultz). Assists - Whit 17 (J. Peterson 6), Pac 14 (Colter 4). Turnovers - Whit 11, Pac 16.

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