by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
SPOKANE, Wash. – Whitworth women's basketball is back on the road this week for a pair of Northwest Conference games against Lewis & Clark and Pacific (Ore.).
The Pirates match-up with the Boxers on Friday, Feb. 2 at 6:00 p.m, and face off with the Pioneers at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 3.
Fans can watch the games or follow live statistics feeds through links on the Whitworth women's basketball schedule.
The Pirates: Whitworth (7-11, 3-7 NWC) split their games last weekend with Pacific Lutheran and Puget Sound. The Bucs opened last weekend with a blowout 87-60 win over the Lutes. After entering halftime with a seven-point lead, Whitworth blew the game open in the third quarter. The Pirates won the quarter 30-8 and used the lead to coast to an easy victory. Camy Aguinaldo led all scorers with 24 points and snagged 3 steals as well. Grace Douglas (14 points) and Alli Kieckbusch (10 points) also scored in double figures.
After defeating the Lutes, Whitworth looked ready to defeat Puget Sound the next night. The Pirates led 20-6 early in the first quarter, but the Loggers overwhelmed Whitworth in the paint to beat the Bucs 72-67. Jamie Lange scored a game-high 26 points for UPS. Four Pirates scored in double figures. Douglas led Whitworth with 15 points. Kieckbusch and Madison Moffat added 13 each, and Erika Kuehn scored 10 points for the Pirates.
The Opponents: Pacific (3-15, 2-8 NWC) comes into the weekend looking to snap a five-game losing streak. The Boxers fell to Lewis & Clark 61-56 on Tuesday, and Linfield soundly defeated Pacific 62-45 on Friday. As a team, the Boxers average just 59.2 points per game, eighth in the NWC. Jenee Brown is their leading scorer, averaging 10.1 points per game and Charli Elliot leads Pacific on the glass, averaging 6.7 rebounds per game. The Boxers defeated the Pirates 80-72 at home on January 6th. Camy Aguinaldo scored 22 points and Alli Kieckbusch added 19.
Lewis & Clark (10-9, 5-5 NWC) split its games last week, defeating Pacific 61-56 and falling to Willamette 71-51. The Pioneers are currently slotted to make the Northwest Conference tournament as the fourth-best team in the NWC, but do have Linfield and Puget Sound just one game back for the final tournament spot. Lewis & Clark is third in the NWC in blocks with 3.2 per game and is the fourth-best team in the conference at hanging on to the ball (17.6 turnovers per game. Four Pios average double-figure scoring, including Miyah Leith whose 14.5 points per game are fourth-best in the NWC. Lauren Wood averages 10.3 rebounds per game, third-most in the conference. The Pios beat the Bucs 75-72 at home on January 5th. Kieckbusch led Whitworth with 18 points and Madison Moffat contributed 16 points with 13 rebounds.
Green Light Grace: As far as Whitworth fans are concerned, Grace Douglas can fire away as much as she wants from behind the arc. Douglas is the best three-point shooter in the Northwest Conference, draining 47.2% of her shots from downtown. She is second on the team in scoring with 13.6 points per game.
Bombs Away: Douglas isn't the only Pirate firing away from beyond the arc. The Bucs are the best three-point shooting team in the Northwest Conference and make 36.3% of their shots behind the three-point line. Whitworth makes the 13th-most threes in the country, 8.2 per game.
Speed Kills: Freshman point guard Camy Aguinaldo is ready to establish herself as one of the best facilitators in the Northwest Conference. Her 5.9 assists per game are the most in the NWC and the freshman leads the team in scoring with 14 points per game. Aguinaldo is also shooting 36.8% from beyond the arc, second best on the Pirates and sixth-best in the NWC.
High Motor Madi: Madison Moffat established herself as one of the NWC's top rebounders last season when she averaged 7.7 per game. This season, she's been even better. Moffat is averaging 10.5 rebounds per game, which is most on the team and places her in second in the conference. Entering this weekend, Moffat has accumulated 10 double-doubles.
Stretch 5: The Pirates are among the many teams in college and professional basketball who are electing to spread the floor. They're able to do so thanks to the contributions of Alli Kieckbusch. Since the start of conference play, the 5-foot-7 forward has averaged 11.9 points per game and is making 33% of her three-pointers.
Not in Her House: In her senior year, Chloe Quinnett looks like one of the best defensive posts in the Northwest Conference. Her 1.67 blocks per game are third-best in the NWC and her 7 rebounds per game are seventh-best.
They're Free for a Reason: The Pirates have made opposing teams pay for sending them to the free-throw line this season. Whitworth makes a conference-leading 73.7% of its shots from the charity stripe.
On the Air Again: Whitworth's games are once again carried live this season on KSBN 1230am in Spokane. The relationship between Pirate athletics and KSBN goes back to 1994, a span of 24 years. Bud Nameck is in his second season as the voice of Whitworth basketball. The co-host of 920 KXLY radio's Morning News, Nameck has more than 30 years of experience calling college basketball at Gonzaga University and Washington State.
Looking Ahead: This weekend begins a stretch of three games in five days for the Whitworth women. After taking on the Boxers and Pioneers, the Pirates return home to battle Whitman on Tuesday, Feb. 6 and hit the road again to match up with George Fox on Friday, Feb. 9.
The Coach: Heading into her 24th season at Whitworth University, Helen Higgs is the winningest and longest serving women's basketball coach in school history. She has a record of 351-238 heading into the 2017-18 season, the most wins in school history. Her winning percentage of .595 is also the best all-time among Pirate women's basketball coaches. Since becoming members of the NCAA in 1999, Higgs has put together the two best stretches of records in school history. Whitworth went 124-53 (.700) in the seven seasons from 1999-2005 and the Pirates were 78-31 (.715) over four years from 2013-2016.