LA GRANDE, Ore. – Eastern Oregon took advantage of 20 Whitworth turnovers as the Mountaineers defeated the Pirates 76-61 on Sunday evening at Quinn Coliseum. Eastern Oregon improves to 11-2, while Whitworth falls to 7-2.
Junior Jamie Lyons got Whitworth on the scoreboard first as she hit a three-pointer on the Bucs' opening possession, but Eastern Oregon responded with an 8-0 run. After falling behind 32-19, Lyons came up with back-to-back steals that the Pirates converted into points on baskets by senior Emily Guthrie and sophomore Kendra Knutsen. Whitworth went on an 11-5 run over the last five and a half minutes of the first half, and trailed Eastern Oregon 37-30 at the break.
The Pirates trailed at halftime for the first time this season. The Mountaineers shot 60 percent from the field in the first half, while holding the Bucs to a field goal percentage of 37.9. Whitworth also committed 12 turnovers that Eastern Oregon turned into 14 points. The Pirates turned 10 Mountaineer turnovers into 11 points.
Junior Kendra Lahue came out of the second half and hit a three to cut Eastern Oregon's lead to three, but the Mountaineers responded by going back up by nine. Junior Bethany Fleming sank a pair of free throws with 7:47 remaining to cut the lead down to four, but the Mountaineers again responded with another seven point run. Each time the Pirates got close, Eastern Oregon had an answer and pulled away down the stretch.
Emily Guthrie led the Pirates with 10 points, while sophomore Katara Belton-Sharp chipped in nine points for the Bucs. Freshman KC McConnell and redshirt junior Emily Travis each had eight points. Junior Kayla Johnson led the Bucs in rebounding with eight boards. Senior Lauren Picha had four assists for Whitworth.
Brooke Randall led the Mountaineers with a game-high 20 points. Jorie Freeman added 14 points, while Chayla Jones chipped in 10 points for Eastern Oregon. Jorie Freeman pulled down 11 rebounds for the Mountaineers. Kelsea Hurliman dished out six assists, while Tina Miller had four.
Whitworth will host its alumni game on Sunday, December 16th at 2:00 pm in Whitworth Fieldhouse and will return to action on December 28th when the Pirates host Warner Pacific at 7:00 pm in the Fieldhouse.