WHITTIER, Calif. – Kaely Maltman (Jr., Sandy, Ore.) scored a career-high 29 points and Gretchen Owens pumped in 23 but Linfield’s dynamic duo came out on the losing end of a see-saw 76-69 nonconference bout against the Whittier Poets Wednesday night at Graham Athletic Center.
The Wildcats (3-2) dropped their first game of the three-game swing through Southern California. The game, Linfield’s final tuneup prior to beginning conference play on Tuesday, featured seven lead changes.
Whittier (1-3) picked up its first win of the 2011-12 campaign, getting balanced scoring from its starters and a burst off the bench. Alex Coon scored 19 points, Brittany Aranda had 16, and backup Danielle Quinones contributed 13 points.
Linfield freshman Tyra Barawis (Soph., Albany, Ore.) pulled in a game-high 13 rebounds as the Wildcats topped the rebounding statistics 45-43. But the ‘Cats coughed up six more turnovers (23-17), leading directly to 25 Poet points.
Following a pair of free throws from freshman Alex Christensen (Soph., Hillsboro, Ore.), Linfield owned a seven-point bulge midway through the first half. Owens and Maltman each dropped in 10 points in the period yet Whittier lead 30-28 at the break.
With the exception of a two-point deficit at the 14:20 mark following Owen’s jumper, the Poets remained in control for virtually the entire second half.
Maltman kept the Wildcats within striking distance, knotting the game at 54 on a free throw with 10:21 remaining. But Whittier outscored Linfield 16-6 over the next seven minutes to take its largest lead at 70-60.
Though Maltman and Owens did their damage, the Wildcats got very little support as the Linfield bench was outscored by the Whittier reserves 14-0 in the period.
Owens, who was 8-of-8 at the free throw line, added eight rebounds and four steals. Maltman had five caroms and four assists.
COMING UP: The Wildcats open Northwest Conference play Tuesday in Forest Grove when they take on the Pacific Boxers at 6 p.m. Play-by-play action can be heard on Linfield’s internet broadcast starting at 5:50. All conference games, home and away, are scheduled to be streamed on the internet with Devin Higgins handling the play-by-play.
11-of-13 from the field
Injuries, illness derail promising season
Henson, Maltman receive all-NWC nods
Barton seals career in fashion as Wildcats finish season with win
'Cats go down fighting, Missionaries have chance at share of NWC title
Director of Sports Information
McMinnville, OR 97128