by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
SPOKANE, Wash. – The Whitworth Pirates continue the second half of Northwest Conference play this week with a road contest against Whitman before returning home to take on Lewis & Clark.
The Bucs travel to Walla Walla, Wash. to battle the Blues at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, January 29. They host the Pios at 4 p.m. on Saturday, February 2.
Live video and statistics links for both games are available on the Whitworth women's basketball schedule.
The Pirates: Whitworth (10-9, 5-5 NWC) split last weekend's contests with Pacific (Ore.) and Willamette, defeating the Boxers before falling to the Bearcats.
Camy Aguinaldo poured in 16 points to lead the Bucs in a commanding 68-58 win over Pacific. The sophomore guard was excellent on both ends of the floor, swiping five steals and shooting 6-12 from the field. Aguinaldo opened up an 11-0 first quarter run that gave Whitworth its first double-digit lead of the game, and the Pirates led by at least ten points for most of the contest. Jordan Smith (11 pts), Megan Dorney (10 pts), and Sydney Abbott (10 pts) joined Aguinaldo in double figures. Madison Moffat pulled down 11 rebounds and Talia Brandner contributed 3 blocks with 4 assists.
The Pirates led for most of the first half against the Bearcats, but couldn't hold on as Willamette took a small lead in the third quarter and pulled away in the final minutes to earn an 80-74 win. Brandner led Whitworth with 17 points and 5 rebounds and Aguinaldo contributed 16 points for the second straight night. Madison Abbott added 10 points on 3-4 shooting from the floor for the Bucs
The Opponents: Whitman (15-4, 9-1 NWC) defeated Willamette (82-59) and Pacific (69-55) last weekend to bounce back from their first NWC loss at the hands of Puget Sound (75-67) the weekend prior. The Blues defeated the Pirates 91-86 in the two teams' first contest. Makana Stone led six Blues in double figures with 21 points and 17 rebounds. Camy Aguinaldo paced the Bucs with 20 points and 4 assists.
Stone's performance against the Pirates was not an exception. The junior post looks to be ticketed for First Team All-NWC honors with 15.4 points and 8.9 rebounds per game. She is joined in double figures by sharpshooting guard Mady Burdett (14.9 points/game, 47.4% 3PT). The inside-outside duo are a big part of why the Blues lead the NWC in scoring with 77.9 points per game. Whitman also leads the NWC in three-point shooting (36.3%) and offensive rebounds (14.7 per game).
Lewis & Clark (2-17, 1-9 NWC) enters the weekend on the other end of the NWC standings. The Pios will be looking for their first victory since December 1 after falling last weekend to #14 George Fox (97-46) and Linfield (70-60), extending their losing streak to 13 games. The Pirates are among the teams that handed Lewis & Clark a loss during that stretch after winning 78-69 in Portland. Aguinaldo led the Pirates with 26 points and the Bucs forced 27 turnovers to earn the win.
Though they have a pair of double figure scorers in Delsie Johnson (13.2 points/game) and Alyx Crager (11.3 points/game), the Pios struggle offensively. Lewis & Clark is last in the NWC with 55.9 points per game. The Pios struggle on the boards as well with just 34.7 rebounds per game (8th in the NWC), though Johnson is the fourth leading rebounder in the conference with 8.9 boards per game.
Tough Sledding: The Pirates have played a schedule stacked full of nationally ranked teams from Division II and III. The Bucs have taken on #2 Thomas More (#4 at the date of the game), #14 George Fox (#12), and Division II #1 Northwest Nazarene (#7). Whitman has also appeared in the Division III rankings, though they were not ranked when they played the Bucs.
All-Conference Camy: Sophomore point guard Camy Aguinaldo established herself as one of the best point guards in the Northwest Conference on the way to an NWC Freshman of the Year award last year. This season Aguinaldo is making an impact all over the court once again with a team-leading 12.9 points, 3 assists, and 1.9 steals per game.
High-Motor Madi: Madison Moffat has been one of the best hustle players in the Northwest Conference, and placed in the top-five of the NWC in rebounds, steals and minutes last year. Moffat is continuing to stuff the stat sheet this season with 8.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.6 steals per game.
She Shoots, She Scores: When Megan Dorney shoots, odds are high that the ball is headed to the bottom of the net. The freshman post is Whitworth's third-leading scorer (8.5 points/game) thanks to shooting 51.4% from the floor, which is the second-best percentage in the NWC.
Easy as 1-2-3: Talia Brandner has been one of Whitworth's best shooters from all over the court this season. The freshman combo guard shoots 90% from the free throw line, 49.1% from the floor, and 40.7% from three (4th in the NWC).
On the Air Again: Whitworth's Northwest Conference games are once again carried live in Spokane this season on KSBN 1230am. The relationship between Pirate athletics and KSBN goes back to 1994, a span of 24 years. Bud Nameck is in his third 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.
One More SWX TV Game: The Pirates' February 8th NWC doubleheader with Linfield will be televised locally on cable station SWX. Owned by local NBC affiliate KHQ (channel 6), SWX stands for Sports & Weather Right Now. 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 112 in Spokane and Time Warner channel 306 in North Idaho.
Looking Ahead: The Pirates remain at home for rematches with Linfield (Feb. 8) and George Fox (Feb. 9).
The Coach: Joial Griffith, a former assistant coach at Williams College (Mass.), begins her first season as the head women's basketball coach at Whitworth University in 2018-19. Prior to her year at Williams, Griffith was the assistant coach at Claremont-Scripps-Colleges in Southern California, near where she grew up. The Athenas made back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances during her two seasons, finishing 20-9 in 2017 and 23-6 in 2016.