Shorthanded Bearcats Fall to Whitworth, 83-47

Kalugin, Beeson Reach Double Figures for Willamette

By Timothy Walsh, Assistant Athletics Communications Director

SPOKANE, WASH. -- Down to just eight players due to a raft of injuries, Willamette University dropped an 83-47 decision to Whitworth University in a Northwest Conference women's basketball game on Friday, Jan. 31 at the Whitworth Fieldhouse.

The Pirates improved to 13-5 overall, including 7-2 in the NWC. Willamette fell to 3-15 overall, 1-8 in the NWC.

Katie Kalugin (Jr., G, Woodburn, OR/Woodburn HS) and Alexa Beeson (Sr., G, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) each reached double figures for the Bearcats, scoring 13 points and 12 points, respectively. Both players nabbed seven rebounds apiece.

Whitworth countered with a balanced scoring attack that featured seven players who scored at least eight points. Kayla Johnson led the Pirates with 13, while Katara Belton-Sharp added 11, and Kendra Lahue and Jessica Kramer added 10 points each.

A jumper from Kalugin opened the scoring, but Lahue drained a three-pointer at the 18:38 mark to give the Pirates the lead. Whitworth gained a 13-4 advantage on a three from Johnson with 14:57 left in the first half.

The Pirates used a series of small runs to gradually increase their lead before the halftime break. After Kalugin made the score 13-6 with 14:36 remaining, an 8-1 Whitworth spurt increased the margin to 21-7. Whitworth later used a 12-5 run to grab its largest lead of the first half, 35-14, with 4:50 left in the period.

Jojo DeLong (Jr., PG, Santa Clarita, CA/Canyon HS) nailed a trifecta to cut the Bearcats' deficit to 39-22 with 53 seconds left, but KC McConnell hit a three for the Pirates with 13 seconds on the clock, pushing the lead back to 20.

Willamette twice cut the lead down to 18 after halftime, on a Beeson layup at 19:24 and on a Kalugin jumper at 18:09, but Whitworth eventually extended its lead.

The Bearcats shot 35.8% (19 of 53), including just 5 of 20 from 3-point range (25.0%). The Pirates were 35 of 73 from the field (47.9%), and pounded the undersized Bearcats inside, gaining a 46-14 advantage in points in the paint and a 21-4 edge in second chance points. Whitworth also won the rebounding battle, 46-31.

WU will stay on the road tomorrow night, traveling to Walla Walla, Wash. for a matchup with the undefeated Whitman Missionaries, currently ranked #3 nationally by D3Hoops.com. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. (PST).

BOX SCORE

Whitworth University 83
Willamette University 47

Katie Kalugin led Willamette with 13 points and seven rebounds.

Katie Kalugin led Willamette with 13 points and seven rebounds.