WALLA WALLA — Whitman College’s women’s basketball team will face the Emory University Eagles in the NCAA Division III Regional semifinals Friday night at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass.
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Game time is 3 p.m. local time, and the game will be streamed online at www.teamline.cc/teampage?teamcode=0126.
The two other teams in the regional are Ithaca, N.Y., and host Williams They face off following the Missionary-Eagles game on Friday, with the Regional final Saturday night at 4 p.m. PST.
The Missionaries (22-5) are making their first trip to the NCAA Tournament. They punched their ticket to Williamstown, Mass., by downing Cal Lutheran in the opening round Friday night, 61-37, and then upending No. 13-ranked of Lewis & Clark on its home floor in the second round Saturday, 66-57 — the second time this season that Whitman had defeated L&C in Portland.
The Eagles (24-3), ranked 14th in the nation, are the champions of the University Athletic Association and advanced to the Sweet 16 by beating Whitworth, 72-65 in the opening round and Huntington, 88-62, in the second round. Both games were played in Atlanta, Ga., on Emory’s homecourt.
The Eagles are led by 5-11 forward Misha Jackson, who averages 11 points and nine rebounds per game.
Emory’s leading scorer is Hannah Lilly, a 5-8 guard from Mercer Island, Wash., who pours in 13.2 per contest.
Point guard Savannnah Morgan also averages in double figures (11.7).
Junior post Sarah Anderegg comes into the contest as Whitman’s leading scorer at 13.3 points per game, providing a game-high 18 in the second round win against L&C.
Sophomore point guard Heather Johns averages 11.8 points per game along with 5.6 rebounds — she tallied 11 points, eight rebounds and six assists vs. L&C, despite missing a good portion of the second half with a cut above her left eye.
Meghan White is the team’s leading rebounder at 8.5 per game.
Whitman continues to rank second nationally in rebounding margin per game (plus-13.3) and is allowing only 51 points per contest, which puts them in the top 40 in the nation.
Emory is stingy also, allowing just over 54 points to their opponents.
Although Whitman ranks 21st nationally in field-goal percentage (42.9 percent), defense and rebounding were the key factors in the Missionaries’ two postseason wins, as they held Cal Lutheran to 20 percent from the field and L&C to 32 percent, outrebounding the Regals and the Pioneers 45-34 and 43-35, respectively.