Whitworth Resumes NWC Play At Pacific, Lewis & Clark

The Whitworth women's basketball team continues Northwest Conference action as the Pirates travel to Pacific (Ore.) and Lewis & Clark this weekend. The Pirates will take on Pacific (Ore.) at 6:00 pm on Friday in Forest Grove before facing Lewis & Clark at 4:00 pm on Saturday in Portland. Both games will be the first halves of doubleheaders with the Whitworth men's team.

For live stats, video and audio links, check the women's basketball schedule.

The Pirates: Whitworth continues NWC action after wrapping up the non-conference portion of the schedule with wins over Warner Pacific and Lewis-Clark State College.

On Friday, the Pirates defeated Warner Pacific, 77-62, in Whitworth Fieldhouse. Four players scored in double-figures, with Emily Travis leading the way with 14 points. Lauren Picha added 13 points and finished the night with 8 assists. Jamie Lyons finished the night with a double-double, scoring 11 points and pulling down a career-high 10 rebounds. KC McConnell added 11 points for the Bucs, while Kendra Lahue grabbed 10 boards. Whitworth recorded five blocked shots, with KC McConnell finishing the night with a career-high three blocks. The Pirates finished the night with 21 assists on 31 field goals.

On Sunday, the Pirates traveled to Lewiston, Idaho where they gave Coach Higgs her first win over Lewis-Clark State College. The Bucs tied a season-high by sinking nine three-point baskets in the first half. Emily Guthrie hit a game-high four threes as she recorded a double-double to lead the team, finishing the night with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Guthrie also dished out five assists and blocked two shots. Emily Travis finished the night with a game- and career-high 10 assists. As a team, the Bucs had 21 assists on 26 made baskets.

Pirate Leaders:  Whitworth is led by freshman guard KC McConnell, who is averaging 10.5 points per game for the Bucs, and senior guard Emily Guthrie, who averages 5.5 rebounds per game. Junior forward Kendra Lahue is second in the team in scoring and rebounding, averaging 9.1 points per contest and 5.1 rebounds per game.

After dishing out 10 assists against Lewis-Clark State, redshirt junior Emily Travis leads the team with 3.2 assists per game. Senior guard Lauren Picha is just behind her, averaging 3.1 assists per game, while Guthrie averages 2.3 assists per contest. McConnell leads the team with 1.8 steals per game, while junior forward Jamie Lyons is second with 1.7 steals per contest and Guthrie is third with 1.4. Guthrie also averages 0.6 blocked shots per game. KC McConnell's three blocks against Warner Pacific bumped her average up to 0.5 blocks per game for the Bucs.

The Boxers: Pacific holds an 8-2 record overall this season, with a 1-1 record in the Northwest Conference.  In their last game, the Boxers defeated New Hope Christian College, 58-42. In the NWC, Pacific defeated Willamette, 69-39, and fell to George Fox, 61-56, in overtime.

The Boxers are led by Paige Jensen, who averages 11.7 points per game and 10.6 rebounds per game. Alex Pfefferle is second on the team in scoring, averaging 9.8 points per game. Heather Hitch averages 9.3 points per game and 5.2 rebounds per contest for Pacific. Erica Colter is averaging 2.6 assists per game for the Boxers while Jensen averages 3.8 steals per game.

Pacific averages 64.7 points per game and 41.1 rebounds per game this season. The Boxers have made 42 three-pointers this season and average 4.2 threes per game. The Boxers lead the conference with 13.9 steals per game.

The Pirates split last season's games against Pacific, winning in Spokane and falling to the Boxers in Forest Grove. Friday's game is the 53rd meeting between the two teams, and Whitworth leads the all-time series 37-15.

The Pioneers: Lewis & Clark College enters this weekend with a perfect 11-0 record, including a 2-0 mark in Northwest Conference action. Lewis & Clark defeated George Fox on New Year's Eve, 80-68, in Portland. In NWC play, the Pioneers have also defeated Linfield, 76-33.

Lewis & Clark is led by Kristina Williams, who averages 20.4 points per game and 7.9 rebounds per contest. Sara Villanueva averages 3.3 assists per game and 2.1 steals per game for the Pios. Williams has blocked 10 shots this season as she averages 0.9 blocks per game.

Lewis & Clark averages 76.9 points per game and 45.1 rebounds per game this season. The Pioneers have made 81 three-point field goals and average 7.4 threes per game. The Pios have 33 blocks on the season and average 3.0 blocks per game. Lewis & Clark averages 11.7 steals per game.

The Pioneers won both meetings last season, 69-56 in Spokane and 82-70 in Portland. This weekend's contest is the 54th series meeting with Whitworth leading the all-time series 36-17.

NWC Leaders: All three teams feature multiple players that are among the top five in several statistical categories in the Northwest Conference.

KC McConnell's 57.6 three-point field goal percentage is the best in the NWC.  Lauren Picha (53.8 percent) comes in just behind McConnell with her three-point field goal percentage.  McConnell's 58.3 field goal percentage also ranks among the top five among conference players. Picha (2.1) leads the conference with her assist-to-turnover ratio, while Emily Travis (1.9) and Emily Guthrie (1.9) also rank among the top five.

Paige Jensen leads the NWC in two categories. Her 10.6 rebounds per game and 3.8 steals per game are the best in the conference. Heather Hitch's 56.1 field goal percentage ranks among the top five, while Kaila Johnson's 39.3 three-point field goal percentage and 2.1 steals per game put her in the top five in both categories.

Kristina Williams' 20.4 points per game leads the league this season. Williams is also among the top five for her 7.9 rebounds per game and 0.9 blocks per game. Sara Villanueva's 3.3 assists per game put her in the top five in the conference as well.

Whitworth For Three: In eleven games this season, the Pirates have made 112 three-point field goals, while their opponents have made 26. The Bucs average 10.2 three-pointers per game, while their opponents average 2.4. The Pirates have hit 10 or more threes in seven of their 11 games this season. Four Pirates have made 10 or more threes this season. Seniors Emily Guthrie and Lauren Picha lead the team with 21 three-pointers apiece. Freshman KC McConnell is third on the team with 19 three-point baskets, and junior Jamie Lyons is fourth with 10 treys this season.

Triple Digits: In the win over Colorado College on November 30, Whitworth broke into triple digits for the second time this season and the third time in its history. In the 102-40 win, freshman Faith Emerson sank a pair of free throws with 1:25 remaining in the game to get the Bucs past the 100-point barrier. In the November 24th win over Caltech, the Pirates scored 105 points, which set a new record for most points scored in a game. This season is the first time that Whitworth has scored over 100 points in multiple games.

Three SWX Broadcasts: Local cable station SWX will carry three Whitworth women's games live this season. The Dec. 8 contest against Puget Sound featured play-by-play from Sam Adams and color commentary from Greg Hannan. In the other two broadcasts (Jan. 18 vs. Willamette and Feb. 1 vs. Lewis & Clark), John Fritz will provide play by play, while former Gonzaga star and NBA player Dan Dickau provides color commentary. SWX stands for Sports & Weather Right Now and is owned by local NBC affiliate KHQ channel 6. SWX can be seen both over-the-air and through some cable services in the Spokane-Coeur d'Alene, Kennewick-Pasco-Richland, and Yakima viewership areas. In the Spokane-Coeur d'Alene area, SWX is found on digital channel 6.2, on Comcast channel 115 in Spokane and Time Warner channel 306 in North Idaho.

The Coach:
Now in her 19th season at Whitworth University, Helen Higgs is the winningest and longest serving women's basketball coach in school history. Not only does she have a record of 263-192 heading into the 2012-13 season, the most wins in school history, her winning percentage of .578 is also the best all-time among Pirate women's basketball coaches. Since becoming members of the NCAA in 1999, Higgs put together the best stretch of records in school history. Whitworth went 124-53 (.700) in the seven seasons from 1999-2005.

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