GEORGETOWN, Texas – Senior Emily Guthrie made five three-pointers as Whitworth opened its season with an 83-64 win over Texas Lutheran University in the Southwestern Tip-Off Tournament on Friday afternoon. Whitworth improves to 1-0 on the season while Texas Lutheran falls to 0-1.
"It was an encouraging start to the season," said Whitworth head coach Helen Higgs. "We hit four of our five team game goals, only missing on points allowed."
Texas Lutheran jumped out to a four point lead in the first minute of play, before the Bucs went on an 11-0 run that included three-pointers by Guthrie and junior Jamie Lyons to take the lead. The Pirates never trailed after Lyons' three-pointer put them ahead at the 17:47 mark in the first half. Whitworth continued to build its lead, going up by as many as 17 points in the first half. The Bulldogs fought their way back and a layup from Chasmin Betters just before halftime cut the Pirates lead to ten heading into the break.
TLU continued to cut into the Pirates' lead after halftime, getting it down to single digits with just over 17 minutes to play in the game. The Bulldogs got as close as seven points on three occasions, with the last being at the 12:58 mark. Senior Emily Travis made a pair of free throws with eight and a half minutes left to get the Bucs back to a double-digit lead. Whitworth continued to cruise for the rest of the half, going up by 22 points with just over two minutes left in the game and the Pirates came out with the first win of the season.
"Our starters got us off to a fast start executing and hitting shots early.Our depth really paid off with half of our points and rebounds coming from the bench," Higgs said.
Whitworth shot 35.5 percent from behind the arc (11-31) and held a 45-39 edge over the Bulldogs on the boards. The Bucs had just eight turnovers for the game.
Jamie Lyons led the Pirates with 16 points, while Emily Guthrie scored all 15 of her points on three-point baskets. Emily Travis added 12 points for the Bucs while junior Bethany Fleming chipped in 10. Freshman KC McConnell and Guthrie led Whitworth in rebounding, each pulling down seven boards, while Lyons, senior Lauren Picha and sophomore Katara Belton-Sharp each grabbed five rebounds.
Texas Lutheran was led by Chasmin Betters, who had a game-high 19 points and nine rebounds. Italy Taylor added 15 points for the Bulldogs, while Katy Scott chipped in 10 points and eight boards.
Next up, Whitworth faces Mary Hardin-Baylor on Saturday at 3:00 pm in Georgetown, Texas.