Pirate Defense Stifles War Hawks in Blowout Win

Pirate Defense Stifles War Hawks in Blowout Win

by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant

SPOKANE, Wash. – Aimee Smith's first career double-double led the Whitworth Pirates in a 71-47 win over the McMurry War Hawks on Sunday afternoon.

The Whitworth defense stifled the War Hawks, holding them to 30 percent shooting and 13 percent from three. The Bucs also outrebounded the War Hawks 50-30 with 22 offensive rebounds.

"Our defensive intensity was good today," head coach Joial Griffith said. "We were able to turn them over a little bit and force them into some tough shots. 

Smith led all scorers with 18 points and grabbed 16 rebounds with 4 blocks as well. Megan Dorney joined Smith in double figures with 14 points. Isabell Carrion led McMurry with nine points. 

The War Hawks jumped out to an early lead, going on a 7-0 run after Dorney scored the game's first basket for Whitworth. Carrion led the charge with five points, including three from the free-throw line. 

Whitworth responded with a 23-4 run that closed the quarter. Freshman posts led the way for the Pirates, as Dorney scored eight points and Smith contributed six more. 

Smith led the charge again in the second quarter, pulling down six rebounds and finishing the half with a double-double. The freshman's efforts were key for the Pirates as they stretched their lead out to 43-25 at halftime. 

"Aimee killed it on both sides of the ball today," Griffith said. "We have been asking our team to rebound more and she really took that to heart." 

The break cooled off both teams shooting percentages, with each team making just 30 percent of their shots during the period. Whitworth managed to extend its lead to 56-35 thanks to stifling defense and forcing six turnovers during the quarter. 

With a 21-point lead, the Pirates sat their starters for the entirety of the fourth quarter, treating fans to a glimpse of the team's future. Five freshman played together for chunks of the quarter, extending Whitworth's lead to 24 points at the end of the game. 

"Across the board, our freshman all had good moments today," Griffith said. "Talia Brandner gave us some good minutes, Megan did her thing, and Morgan Winder was in the right spots."

The Pirates shot 40 percent from the floor in the win and 28 percent from three. The Bucs got to the free throw line 20 times and made 90 percent of their shots from the charity stripe. 

Whitworth opens Northwest Conference play next weekend when they take on Willamette at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30.