Whitworth’s attempt at a game-tying three-pointer at the final buzzer rimmed off and visiting Lewis & Clark came away with a 74-71 Northwest Conference women’s basketball win on Friday night in the Whitworth Fieldhouse.
The Pirates (6-6 overall, 1-2 NWC) jumped out to a 14-3 lead and led 17-7 after one quarter. But the Pioneers (7-5, 2-1) outscored the Bucs 27-18 in the second period to get within one point at halftime.
“Lewis & Clark was able to exploit some mismatches after halftime, which led to some easier scoring chances,” said Whitworth head coach Helen Higgs.
The Pioneers took a 46-42 lead in the third quarter on a pair of free throws by Rachel Cox. Whitworth bounced back to go ahead 53-48 on a three-pointer by Grace Douglas. But the Pioneers closed the third on an 8-2 run to take a 56-55 lead to the final period.
The Pirates took their last lead of the game when Madison Moffat’s free throw made it 64-63. L&C got consecutive baskets by Miyah Leith and Lauren Wood and never trailed again. The Pioneers stretched the lead to 73-68 with just over a minute to play. Whitworth was able to get within 73-71 before Janessa Willie hit one of two free throws with five seconds left. After a timeout, the Pirates got a good look at a tying three-pointer, but Erika Kuehn’s attempt was off the back iron.
“We got a look at a wide-open three, it just didn’t work out,” Higgs said. “We had five three-point shooters on the floor.”
Allie Kieckbusch led Whitworth with 18 points, while Moffat posted a double-double of 16 points and 13 rebounds. Camy Aguinaldo scored 12 points and dished seven assists, while Douglas totaled 11 points. Whitworth shot 36.6% from the field and 24.0% from three-point range after a 3-6 start from beyond the arc.
Wood posted 14 points and 16 rebounds for Lewis & Clark, leading the Pioneers to a 50-40 edge in rebounding. Willie finished with a game-high 23 points and was a big reason L&C bounced back from a 1-16 shooting start to shoot 40.3% from the floor.
Whitworth will look to break a three-game losing streak when the Pirates host Pacific University on Saturday night at 4:00 pm.