SPOKANE, Wash. -- While the final score will go down as an 81-69 win for visiting George Fox, host Whitworth hopes that tonight's Northwest Conference women's basketball loss means that the missing shooting touch has returned.
The third-ranked Bruins improved to 6-0 overall and 2-0 in the NWC with its weekend road sweep of Eastern Washington. The Pirates fell to 2-6, 0-2, but made 10-20 from three-point range to regain a shooting touch that had been missing for much of the season. After leading the NWC in three-point percentage last season, Whitworth's long-distance average had fallen to 28.8% this year.
The Pirates jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead on a three-pointer by Lexi Belcher and a long two by Emily Guthrie. But the Bruins took control by going inside to 6-5 Hannah Munger who scored eight points in a 21-9 run that helped GFU open up a seven-point lead six minutes into the game. The Bruins eventually stretched that lead to 40-25 at halftime by outrebounding the Pirates 22-13 in the first half, including an 11-5 in offensive boards. They had 13 second-chance points.
George Fox eventually opened up a 23-point lead with 9:50 to play on a free throw by Carrie Myers. But Whitworth refused to give up and the Pirates hit five of their ten three-pointers over the final nine minutes of the game, outscoring GFU by 11 points down the stretch.
Belcher scored 19 points to lead Whitworth, while Guthrie finished with 10 points and a team-high six rebounds. Kayla Johnson scored nine and dished six assists. Whitworth finished 10-20 from three-point range, 25-55 (46%) from the field.
Keisha Gordon scored 14 of her game-high 23 points in the second half to lead George Fox. She added five steals as the Bruins forced 19 Pirate turnovers. Munger finished with 19 points and a game-high ten rebounds. Megan Arnoldy led GFU with four assists. The Bruins made 51% (30-59) of their shots from the field and finished with a 38-26 edge in rebounding.
Coming Up: Whitworth will travel to Walla Walla next weekend where the Pirates will play UC Santa Cruz and Lancaster Bible at the Kim Evanger Classic hosted by Whitman College.