PASADENA, Calif. – Junior forward Kendra Lahue scored a career-high 20 points and grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds to lead the Whitworth women's basketball team to a 67-62 win over Occidental College at Braun Athletic Center on Friday afternoon.
The Pirates improve to 3-0 on the season while the Tigers fall to 1-1 overall.
"As defending SCIAC champions, Occidental was a tough early season test for us," said Whitworth head coach Helen Higgs. "They have great senior leadership and athleticism."
After Occidental got on the board first, the Tigers and Pirates traded baskets for the first four minutes of play, with neither team able to get much of a lead in the early going. Junior Kendra Lahue gave Whitworth the largest lead of the game for either team after making a free throw and a three-pointer to put the Bucs ahead 12-8. Lahue gave the Pirates some momentum and Whitworth continued to build its lead, going up by as many as eight points before heading into halftime with a 36-31 lead.
The Tigers had a quick start to the second half, as Elizabeth Messick made a basket to cut the Whitworth lead to three and then Makenzie Brandon hit two free throws to get Occidental within one point. The Pirates responded with a 7-0 run on baskets by Lahue, junior Jamie Lyons and a three-pointer from senior Lauren Picha that put them back in front by eight points. Whitworth went ahead by as many as 12 points, but Occidental kept fighting and was able get within three points with 40 seconds left in the game, but Lahue came up with an offensive rebound and junior Kayla Johnson made two free throws to seal the victory for the Pirates.
"Our depth again paid dividends as we had another balanced effort," Higgs said. "Kendra Lahue and Emily Travis both had special games to lead us in scoring and a number of intangibles on both ends of the court."
Kendra Lahue's 20 points and 11 rebounds were her first career double-double. Emily Travis scored 17 points to lead Whitworth, while senior Emily Guthrie grabbed eight rebounds. Kayla Johnson had seven rebounds for Whitworth, while Lauren Picha and Travis each had three steals for the Bucs.
Occidental was led by Makenzie Brandon, who had a double-double with a game-high 32 points and 14 rebounds. Elizabeth Messick had a double-double for the Tigers, scoring 12 points and grabbing a game-high 17 rebounds.
Next up, Whitworth will play Caltech at 1:00 p.m. PST on Saturday, November 24.