WALLA WALLA — The Whitman College women’s basketball team forced 19 Walla Walla University turnovers as the Missionaries improved to 5-0 this season with an 83-42 win at Sherwood Center on Tuesday.
The Missionaries, who played in their fifth game in 10 days, rolled out various defenses which kept the Wolves’ offense in check for the majority of the game.
Whitman head coach Michelle Ferenz said the team has focused on installing different defenses to keep opponents off balance.
“We were playing with our zone a little bit,” Ferenz said. “We needed to run it and see what it does. We’ve been trying to mix up defenses this year. We just need to continue to mix it up and play with it. We’re playing with some different types of zones that we haven’t played in the past.”
Whitman’s stingy defense restricted WWU to only 29 percent shooting from the floor and 18 first-half points.
“We’re still young and it’s hard for us to adjust on the fly and notice different things, which is going to come with experience,” Wolves head coach Marnie Johnson said. “They flew around and we had a hard time finding gaps and attacking. It comes with confidence and experience.”
Whitman jumped out to a 16-2 lead in the first half behind senior Sarah Anderegg, who had six points and an assist in the early going.
Whitman extended its lead to 27-6 minutes later, as Meghan White and Chelsi Brewer accounted for nine of the 11 points.
But Walla Walla University cut into the Whitman lead, as senior Karly Joseph scored eight of her game-high 20 points to close the first half.
Ferenz said Joseph, who is playing with a torn meniscus, showed off some nice post moves against the Missionaries.
“When we got in trouble is when we tried to body her up,” Ferenz said. “She’s pretty good at spinning off of us. We were much better when we were moving and the zone did a nice job of shifting so she couldn’t spin off of us.”
Johnson said Joseph is a major part of the Wolves’ offense, and Johnson was proud of her lone senior.
“She’s our stud,” Johnson said. “She definitely works hard. She’s even injured right now and she’s still going at 100 percent. I can’t ask for any more than that. She goes as hard as she can with an injured knee.”
The second half looked a lot like the first, as the Missionaries capped a 19-6 run to begin the half with a Brewer 3-pointer.
Whitman forced four Wolves’ turnovers in the beginning of the half, which led to easy baskets on the other end.
With a bevy of team speed, Ferenz said generating easy points from rebounds and turnovers will be paramount to Whitman’s success this season.
“We talked a lot about defense and rebounding and cleaning some things up,” Ferenz said. “I think we relaxed a little bit at times and you don’t want to play that way. The challenge was to come out and shore it up defensively and rebound-wise.”
From there, Anderegg and White secured the victory by scoring 13 of Whitman’s next 15 points. Ferenz said it was good to see her two seniors finish the game strong.
“Sarah has been playing very well and I thought Meg was a nice spark, especially at the beginning of the second half,” Ferenz said.
“(She) really helped us on the boards. It was nice to see her have a nice scoring game (and) make some nice moves.”
Whitman played without junior guard Heather Johns, who missed the game due to an ankle injury. Ferenz said Johns’ injury is not serious and she should be back in time for Sunday’s road game with Concordia University.
Whitman 83, Walla Walla University 42
WHITMAN (83) — Anderegg 7-10 1-2 15. White 6-9 2-2 14. Alindogan 3-7 4-4 12. Mcdonald 5-10 0-0 10. Traver 2-10 2-2 8. Ketner 3-5 1-3 8. Brewer 3-8 0-0 7. Buse 2-7 0-0 5. Gray 2-3 0-1 4. McGann 0-2 0-0 0. Maeda 0-5 0-0 0.
WWU (42) — Joseph 8-14 4-8 20. King 3-11 2-2 8. Pernu 3-6 1-2 7. Garcia 2-20 1-5 6. Friesen 0-1 1-4 1. Sims 0-2 0-0 0. Chandran 0-0 0-0 0.
Halftime score — Whit 42, WWU 18. 3-point goals — Whit 7-20 (Traver 2, Alindogan 2), WWU 1-7 (Garcia). Total fouls — Whit 19, WWU 14. Fouled out — none. Technical fouls — none. Total rebounds — Whit 54 (White 9, Maeda 9), WWU 37 (Pernu 10). Turnovers — Whit 10, WWU 19. Assists — Whit 22 (Ketner 6), WWU 6 (Joseph 2).