WALLA WALLA, Wash. - In a game in which it never trailed, Whitman outrebounded Linfield 51-31 on its way to a convincing 66-49 Northwest Conference victory over Linfield Saturday night at Sherwood Center.
The Missionaries dominated the backboards all night, overmatching the ‘Cats in the paint. Whitman (11-8, 5-5 NWC) hauled down 27 offensive rebounds, while only giving up seven offensive boards to Linfield (9-9, 4-6 NWC).
During the first half the Missionaries set the tone with an aggressive defensive effort. Whitman held Linfield to just 20.8 percent shooting during the first half, building a 28-13 lead going into intermission.
Leading 13-11 with 8:52 remaining in the first half, the Missionaries rolled off an 11-0 run, taking a 24-11 advantage on a pair of Sarah Anderegg free throws. During the spurt the ‘Cats failed to score a point over the 5:23 stretch.
Facing a 15-point deficit coming out of the break, Linfield put a dent into the Whitman lead, trimming the deficit to 31-22 on a Gretchen Owens layup with 16:18 remaining.
After seven-straight points pushed the lead out to 16, the Missionaries cruised the rest to the evening.
Mary Madden paced Whitman with a game-high 16 points on 8-of-14 shooting, while Jenele Peterson chipped in with 13 points. Rebecca Sexton gave the Missionaries a spark off the bench, scoring 11 points and grabbing eight rebounds. Of Sexton’s eight rebounds, five came on the offensive end.
Whitman took care of business at the charity stripe, knocking down 20-of-24 attempts from the free throw line.
Kaely Maltman (Jr., Sandy, Ore.) led the Wildcats with 15 points, while Owens scored 13 points and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds.
Linfield struggled to shoot the ball from the perimeter, making just 1-of-10 attempts from beyond the arc.
NEXT: Linfield returns to action Tuesday when the ‘Cats play host to Lewis & Clark at 6 p.m.
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