Despite a strong start and late rally, the Puget Sound women couldn’t overcome their sloppy play early in the second half and visiting Whitworth held on for a 55-50 basketball victory Friday night.
After carrying the lead for the first 17 minutes of the game, the Loggers (10-8 overall, 3-6 Northwest Conference) began to scuffle at the start of the second half when Whitworth (13-5, 6-3) took over with its 3-pointers.
“Those teams that are living and dying by the 3, when they’re hitting, they’re tough to stop,” Loggers coach Loree Payne said. “I think we weren’t as disciplined defensively as we need to be and we gave them some looks they’re comfortable and confident in hitting. They knocked big shots down.”
After falling behind by as many as 15 points, the Loggers pulled close in the final eight minutes while holding Whitworth without a field goal.
Puget Sound scrambled to cut its deficit to five points, but was never in position to mount a serious rally despite desperation fouls to end the game.
“We had a great run at the end,” Payne said. “You can’t dig yourself that big of a hole and be able to come out of it. The run at the end was huge. It’s positive for us playing Whitman tomorrow.”
The big culprits in the Loggers demise bridging halftime was their 17 turnovers.
Whitworth seized the opportunities, scoring 17 points off the mistakes.
Puget Sound sophomore guard Erin Stumbaugh came off the bench for eight points, eight rebounds, two steals and two blocks.
The Loggers’ leading scorer, Kelsey McKinnis, had a rough game, however, scoring nine points on 3-for-12 shooting. She was 0-for-3 from the free-throw line.
Whitman 64, at Pacific Lutheran 57: The Missionaries held the Lutes scoreless for the first 3 minutes, 8 seconds of the second half, and sent PLU to its third consecutive loss with a NWC victory in Parkland.
Samantha Potter led PLU with 20 points and five rebounds. Tiffani Traver of Whitman had 17 points, and teammate Heather Johns scored 15.
Whitworth 62, at Puget Sound 53: Loggers junior Rex Nelson came off the bench to score 25 points and grab 10 rebounds, but UPS (6-12, 1-8) couldn’t stop the Pirates (17-1, 9-0), who shot 41.4 percent in the second half, compared to Puget Sound’s 29.6 percent.
At PLU 74, Whitman 68: Cameron Schilling led four Lutes in double figures with 16 points, and PLU (5-13, 3-6) snapped its four-game skid by defeating the Missionaries at Olson Auditorium.
Whitman led 52-51 midway through the second half before back-to-back 3-pointers in a 27-second span by Cameron Reister gave the Lutes the lead for good.