Whitman Shoots 50.9%, Defeats Bearcats, 75-51

Westermann Earns Career-High 21 Points for Willamette

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

WALLA WALLA, WASH. -- Whitman College shot 50.9% for the game, including 56.0% in the second half, as the Missionaries defeated visiting Willamette University, 75-51, in a Northwest Conference women's basketball game on Friday, Feb. 17 at George Ball Court. Whitman hit 14 of 25 shots in the second half to finish 29 of 57 overall. Jenele Peterson topped Whitman with 19 points and seven assists.

Kaileigh Westermann (Sr., F, Belfair, WA/South Kitsap HS) of Willamette scored a career-high 21 points on 8 of 15 field goals and 5 for 6 free throws. She passed her previous high of 20 points, set earlier this season against Johnson & Wales University (Colo.) on Nov. 26, 2011.

Most of Whitman's advantage was earned by accurate field goal shooting. The Missionaries made 12 more field goals on six more attempts than the Bearcats. Whitman also gained a slight edge on 3-pointers, hitting 4 of 12  compared to 2 of 6 for the Bearcats. Whitman made 13 of 19 free throws (68.4%).

Willamette connected on 33.3% of its field goals during the game (17 of 51) and hit 15 of 28 free throws (53.6%).

The Missionaries improved to 16-9 overall, including 12-4 in the NWC. Willamette fell to 1-23 on the season, 0-15 in the NWC.

Peterson led four Whitman players in double figures.

Also reaching double digits in scoring were Tiffani Traver, Mary Madden and Anna Forge. Traver achieved 15 points and did not miss a shot, as he sank 5 of 5 field goals (including 3 for 3 on 3-pointers) and made 2 of 2 free throws. Madden provided 13 points and was 5 of 8 from the field. Forge tallied 11 points and tied for the team lead with seven rebounds. Meghan White also hauled down seven boards.

Following Westermann on the scoring chart for Willamette was Maya McFaddin (Sr., Wing, McMinnville, OR/McMinnville HS) with eight points. Julia Band (Fr., Wing, Kaneohe, HI/Punahou School) tacked on seven points, while Rebecca Josephson (So., Wing, Fair Oaks, CA/Del Camp HS) contributed six points and four rebounds.

Whitman attained a 39-33 rebounding margin. The Missionaries forced Willamette into 20 turnovers, but Whitman lost the ball 19 times. Willamette earned a 16-14 advantage in points off turnovers.

The Bearcats held a 4-3 lead over the Missionaries just under two minutes into the game. Willamette trailed by only four points, 13-9, after Brand hit two free throws at the 15:33 mark in the first half. The Missionaries responded with a 6-0 run for a 19-9 advantage with 13:08 on the clock.

WU scored the next three points to pull within 19-12. Whitman countered by earning eight of the next 10 points to claim a 27-14 lead with 8:29 left in the half. Peterson started the run with two free throws, before Forge added a pair of jump shots, and Madden chipped in two free throws to complete the run. The Missionaries led by double figures for the remainder of the game.

Even so, the lead was just 11 points, 32-21, with 4:34 left in the half, following a successful jumper by Katelyn Nordlien (Fr., Wing, Salem, OR/North HS) of Willamette. Whitman closed the half with an 8-3 run for a 40-24 margin at the break.

The Missionaries used a 22-6 offensive surge at the start of the second half to extend the lead to 62-30 with 11:59 remaining.

Willamette will conclude the season on Saturday, Feb. 18 with a Northwest Conference game at Whitworth University. Game time in Spokane, Wash. is set for 6 p.m. (PST).

BOX SCORE

Whitman College
Willamette University

Senior forward Kaileigh Westermann

Senior forward Kaileigh Westermann