THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Despite getting 20 points from freshman KC McConnell, the Whitworth women's basketball team could not overcome committing 15 turnovers as the Pirates fell to Cal Lutheran, 75-60, on Monday night in Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center.
Whitworth falls to 4-1 on the season while Cal Lutheran improves to 3-1 overall.
It is disappointing to lose this game, but there a number of things we can learn from the game to improve for the season," said Whitworth head coach Helen Higgs. "For the first time we didn't shoot the ball well and we didn't get enough defensive stops to offset that."
The teams traded leads in the first half before Whitworth pushed out to an 18-14 lead with just over 11 minutes to go in the half. Cal Lutheran put together an 11-0 run to take a nine point lead as Whitworth went five minutes without a basket. Whitworth was down by nine points with 3:35 left to go in the half, but the Bucs rallied together to go on a 10-2 run and cut the Regal lead to one. Junior Emily Travis made a three-pointer off of a pass from sophomore Kendra Knutsen to give Whitworth the lead with 11 seconds left in the half. Whitworth took a 33-31 lead into halftime.
Senior Lauren Picha made a three-pointer to start the second half and increase Whitworth's lead to five before the Regals took advantage of Whitworth turnovers and fouls to tie the game at 38-38 with 17:13 remaining. Once Cal Lutheran was able to get the lead, the Pirates were unable to come up with an answer, falling behind by as many as 12 points in the second half. Emily Travis sank a three-pointer to get the Bucs within eight, but the Regals responded with a three-pointer of their own to get the lead back into double digits.
The Pirates made nine three-pointers (9-34, .265) on the night, but the Regals scored 22 points off of turnovers and got 12 points on fast breaks.
McConnell's 20 points were a new career-high for the freshman and were also a game-high on the night. Joining McConnell in double figures were Emily Travis, who added 13 points, and junior Kendra Lahue, who chipped in 10 points. McConnell also had six rebounds to lead the Pirates. Lahue and Lauren Picha each grabbed five rebounds for Whitworth. Senior Emily Guthrie had four assists for the Bucs.
The Regals were led by Jazmyne Porter's 17 points. Erica Whitley and Rachel Heagy each added 15 points for Cal Lutheran while Alex Nelson chipped in 13 points. Whitely had eight boards to lead Cal Lutheran, while Heagy grabbed six rebounds.
Next up, Whitworth will host Colorado College in the Whitworth Fieldhouse at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, November 30th.