Whitman Uses Strong Second Half to Defeat Bearcats, 68-44

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

WALLA WALLA, WASH. -- Whitman College led Willamette University by eight points at halftime, then scored the first eight points of the second half, as the Missionaries began to pull away for a 68-44 victory over the Bearcats on Friday, Feb. 1 at the Sherwood Center. Laura Payne (Sr., G, Sammamish, WA/Skyline HS) tallied 16 points for Willamette to lead all players in scoring, but it wasn't enough, as Michelle Krall tallied 15 points and Kelsey Krumdieck added 14 points for Whitman.

The Missionaries upped their overall record to 11-7, while improving to 5-4 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette dropped to 4-14 overall, 2-7 in the NWC.

Whitman opened the game with an 11-0 run, but the Bearcats cut the lead to 14-11 after Payne hit a 3-pointer with less than 12 minutes remaining in the half. Whitman countered with a 13-4 run, as the Missionaries took a 27-15 advantage. WU pulled within 29-21 at halftime.

After Whitman opened the second period with an 8-0 run, the Missionaries owned a 16-point margin with 16:30 left. Willamette was unable to respond with another comeback, as Whitman secured the win.

Payne's 16 points and six rebounds topped Willamette, while Molly Fillion (Jr., G, Silverton, OR/Silverton HS/Linn-Benton HS) provided the 'Cats with seven points, six rebounds and three assists. Alex Zennan (Fr., G, Sammamish, WA/Eastlake HS) also registered seven points for WU. Jenny Fillion (Jr., G, Silverton, OR/Silverton HS/Linn-Benton HS) recorded six points, five rebounds and a game-high four steals.

Krall and Krumdieck led the way for Whitman, with Emily Shubin contributing a game-high 13 rebounds to go with seven points. Whitman's defense limited the Bearcats to 28.3% field goal shooting (15 of 53) during the game, including 2 of 17 on 3-pointers

Whitman shot 40.7% from the field (22 of 54) and hit 20 of 26 free throws (76.9%). The Missionaries also achieved a 46-33 rebounding edge.

The Bearcats will play another NWC game on Saturday, Feb. 2, when they continue their road swing against Whitworth University in Spokane, Wash. Tip-off is slated for 6 p.m. (PST).

Whitman College 68, Willamette University 44
In addition to scoring 16 points, Laura Payne hauled down six rebounds against Whitman.

In addition to scoring 16 points, Laura Payne hauled down six rebounds against Whitman.