Whitworth Set To Take On Whitman, George Fox

The Whitworth women's basketball team continues Northwest Conference action as the Pirates host Whitman College for a midweek game before traveling to George Fox this weekend. The Pirates will take on Whitman at 6:00 pm on Tuesday in Whitworth Fieldhouse. The Bucs will face George Fox at 6:00 pm on Friday in Newberg, Ore.

Live stats, audio and video links will be available for the Whitman game.

Live stats and audio will be available for the game at George Fox.

The Pirates: Whitworth hosts Whitman in a midweek game and then travels to George Fox after dropping a pair of conference road games over the weekend.

On Friday, the Pirates lost 65-60 at Pacific (Ore.). Kayla Johnson led the Pirates with 14 points, and Jamie Lyons tied her career-high with four assists. Emily Guthrie finished the night with 11 points and Kendra Lahue grabbed seven rebounds. Whitworth had 16 assists on 22 made baskets, and forced 20 turnovers, but were only able to convert them into 15 points.

On Saturday, the Pirates struggled offensively in the first half of the 76-65 loss at No. 5 Lewis & Clark. The Bucs made just eight baskets in the first 20 minutes, and four of those came in the first three minutes of action. Kayla Johnson and Emily Guthrie led the Pirates with 13 points apiece, while Jamie Lyons pulled down seven boards. The Pirates forced 16 Pioneer turnovers and converted them into 24 Whitworth points, but the poor first half shooting proved too much to overcome.

Pirate Leaders:  Whitworth is led by freshman guard KC McConnell, who is averaging 9.7 points per game for the Bucs, and senior guard Emily Guthrie, who averages 5.5 rebounds per game. Guthrie is second on the team in scoring with 8.8 points per game, while unior forward Kendra Lahue is second in the team rebounding, averaging 5.1 rebounds per game.

Redshirt junior guard Emily Travis and senior guard Lauren Picha lead the team with 2.8 assists per game. Guthrie averages 2.2 assists per contest. McConnell leads the team with 1.7 steals per game, while junior forward Jamie Lyons and Guthrie each average 1.5 steals per contest. Guthrie also averages 0.5 blocked shots per game. McConnell and junior forward Bethany Fleming each average 0.4 blocks per game for the Pirates.

The Missionaries: Whitman holds an 11-1 record overall this season, with a 4-0 record in the Northwest Conference.  Over the weekend, the Missionaries handed No. 5 Lewis & Clark its first loss of the season, defeating the Pioneers 88-72 in Portland, and then defeated Pacific (Ore.) 69-54 in Forest Grove.

The Missionaries are led by Sarah Anderegg, who averages 15.8 points per game and Meghan White, who pulls down 7.8 rebounds per game. Heather Johns is second on the team in scoring and rebounding, averaging 12.1 points per game and 4.9 rebounds per game. Mary Madden also averages 4.9 rebounds per game for Whitman. Johns leads the team in assists per game (3.7) and steals per game (1.8) as well. Tiffani Traver is second on the team with 3.5 assists per game, while Sarah Anderegg averages 1.7 steals per game for the Missionaries.

Whitman averages 73.8 points per game and 44.6 rebounds per game this season. The Missionaries have made 38 three-pointers this season and average 3.2 threes per game. The Missionaries are second in the league in both rebounding (44.6) and assists per game (15.8).

The Pirates dropped both games against the Missionaries last season, falling 78-70 in Spokane, and 71-52 in Walla Walla. Tuesday's game is the 64th meeting between the two teams, and Whitworth leads the all-time series 46-17.

The Bruins: George Fox enters this week with a record of 10-3 overall, 3-1 in the Northwest Conference. The Bruins defeated Linfield, 55-35, and Willamette, 68-55, over the weekend.

Hannah Munger leads the Bruins with 14.5 points per game and 7.0 rebounds per contest. Jami Roos (10.8) and Megan Arnoldy (10.4) are second and third in scoring, while Arnoldy (6.9) and Megan Hays (5.8) are second and third in rebounding for George Fox. Hayley Cusick averages 4.1 assists per game and 2.8 steals per game to lead the Bruins.

The Bruins average 63.7 points per game and 41.8 rebounds per game this season. George Fox is third in the conference with 14.9 assists per game and fourth in the league with 10.9 steals per contest.

Last season, the Pirates dropped both games against George Fox, falling 81-69 in Spokane, and 75-48 in Newberg. Friday's game is the 36th meeting between the two programs. George Fox leads the all-time series, 22-13.

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

Whitworth's KC McConnell leads the conference with her .571 three-point field goal percentage, while Lauren Picha (.477) comes in second. McConnell also ranks in the top five for her .553 field goal percentage. In the assist to turnover ratio category, four of the top six players come from Whitworth's roster. Lexie Zappone is tied for first with a 3.0. Laure Picha (2.1) is third, while Emily Travis (1.8) and Emily Guthrie (1.8) are part of a three-way tie for fourth.

Whitman's Sarah Anderegg leads the conference with her .622 field goal percentage and is in the top five for her 15.8 points per game. Meghan White ranks among the top five in field goal percentage (.543) and rebounds per game (7.8) Heather Lovelace's .565 field goal percentage ranks her among the top five, while Tiffani Traver's 1.8 assist to turnover ratio puts her in the three-way tie with Whitworth's Travis and Guthrie.

George Fox's Hannah Munger's 14.5 points per game rank her in the top five in the conference. Hayley Cusick (2.8) and Jami Roos (2.2) rank in the top five for their steals per game, while Cusick's 4.1 assists per game lead the league.

Helping Hands: Whitworth leads the conference with its 15.9 assists per game average. In their past four games, the Pirates have 66 assists on 107 made baskets. Against Warner Pacific, the Bucs had 21 assists on 31 made field goals, and at Lewis-Clark State College, Whitworth had 21 assists on 26 made shots. At Pacific, Whitworth dished out 16 assits on 22 field goals. During that span, three players tied or set career-highs in assists. Junior Jamie Lyons' four assists at Pacific tied a career high, while senior Lauren Picha (8) and redshirt junior Emily Travis (10) set new career highs against Warner Pacific and Lewis-Clark State College, respectively.

Whitworth For Three: In thirteen games this season, the Pirates have made 122 three-point field goals, while their opponents have made 31. The Bucs average 9.4 three-pointers per game, while their opponents average 2.4. The Pirates have hit 10 or more threes in seven of their 13 games this season. Five Pirates have made 10 or more threes this season. Senior Emily Guthrie leads the team with 25 three-pointers, while senior Lauren Picha is second with 21 three-pointers apiece. Freshman KC McConnell is third on the team with 20 three-point baskets while junior Jamie Lyons and redshirt junior Emily Travis each have10 treys this season.

Receiving Votes: Whitworth received its first vote of the 2012-13 season in the Week 3 d3hoops.com Top 25 poll. Whitworth received votes again in the latest d3hoops.com poll. Lewis & Clark is the highest NWC team, ranked fifth in the latest poll, while George Fox is 24th. Whitman is also receiving votes.

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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