Whitworth Hits 10 Threes, Wins Rebounding Battle, to Move Past Willamette, 88-46

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Whitworth University hit 10 three-point shots and outrebounded Willamette University by 18 boards, as the Pirates defeated the Bearcats, 88-46, at Cone Field House on Friday, Jan. 20. The Pirates were led by Kendra Lahue, who scored 15 points and by Kayla Johnson, who added 14 points.

Kaileigh Westermann (Sr., F, Belfair, WA/South Kitsap HS) topped the Bearcats in scoring with 10 points. She also grabbed six rebounds, earned two assists and provided two steals.

Whitworth upped its record to 8-9 on the season, including 4-4 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette dropped to 1-15 overall, 0-7 in the NWC.

The Pirates shot 43.7% for the game (31 of 71). Whitworth hit just 3.24% of its shots in the first half, but hit 9 of 12 free throws during the first 20 minutes to build a 34-19 lead. The Pirates improved their shooting to 54.1% (20 of 37) in the second half to pull away.

Willamette played without key players Mackenzie Lamson (So., Wing, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) and Rebecca Josephson (So., Wing, Fair Oaks, CA/Del Campo HS), who missed the game due to injury. The Bearcats shot just 28.8% (15 of 52) from the field, including 25.9% (7 of 27) in the first half.

Whitworth built an 8-3 lead in the first three minutes. After Westermann scored on a layup for the Bearcats at the 16:45 mark, the Pirates went on a 9-0 run to take a 17-5 advantage. Taylor Taylor provided four points during the run.

The lead reached 23-7 when Lexi Belcher sank a jump shot with 11:25 left in the half. Willamette eventually pulled within eight points at 27-19 after Jojo DeLong (Fr., PG, Santa Clarita, CA/Canyon HS) completed a 12-4 run with a 3-point basket as the clock reached 2:42.

At the start of the second half, Whitworth put together a 14-2 run to take command of the game. Lauren Picha, Jamie Lyons and Johnson each contributed four points to the offensive surge. With 15:51 left in the game, the Pirates owned a 48-21 lead.

Lahue and Johnson were joined in double figures by Picha and Lyons. Picha supplied 13 points, was 5 of 6 from the field, grabbed six rebounds and earned five assists. Lyons totaled 11 points to go with eight boards. Whitworth ended the game with a 51-33 rebounding margin.

In addition to scoring 14 points, Johnson tied Picha for game-high assist honors with five. Emily Guthrie added seven points and seven rebounds for the Pirates.

Following Westermann on Willamette's scoring chart was Dora Rabih (Sr., F, Denver, CO/John F. Kennedy HS/Arizona Western Coll.) with eight points. Rabih also supplied the Bearcats with seven boards -- just one less than her career high of eight, set last week at Lewis & Clark College.

Maya McFaddin (Sr., Wing, McMinnville, OR/McMinnville HS) achieved five points and five rebounds for Willamette.

The Bearcats will host Whitman College in NWC action on Saturday, Jan. 21 at Cone Field House. Game time is scheduled for 4 p.m. (PST).

Whitworth University 88
Willamette University 46
Kaileigh Westermann tallied 10 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Kaileigh Westermann tallied 10 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals.