Whitman Controls the Glass as 20th-Ranked Blues Down Willamette, 71-51

Kylie Towry (Jr./So., G, Medford, OR/South Medford HS)
Kylie Towry (Jr./So., G, Medford, OR/South Medford HS)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Whitman College, ranked #20 in the D3hoops.com Top 25, gained a 53-27 rebounding margin, including 24 offensive boards, as the Blues downed Willamette University, 71-51, in a Northwest Conference women's basketball game on Saturday, Jan. 28 at the Sherwood Center. Whitman advanced its record to 17-2 on the season, 8-2 in the NWC. Willamette fell to 10-9 overall, 3-7 in the NWC.

The Blues outscored Willamette 14-6 in the first quarter and held a 31-17 lead at halftime. Whitman added three points to the lead in the third quarter and another three points in the fourth quarter.

Makana Stone topped Whitman with 14 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Maegen Martin supplied an additional 12 points and was 8 for 8 at the free throw line. Stone and Martin each grabbed a game-high nine rebounds. Casey Poe scored 11 points for the Blues. Emily Rommel hauled down eight rebounds. 

Willamette's top scorer was Madi Andresen (Jr., P, Forest Grove, OR/Forest Grove HS/Clackamas CC) with 13 points. She was 5 for 6 at the free throw line. Sarah Heinly (Fr., G, Bend, OR/Summit HS) chipped in 11 points for the Bearcats and sank 7 of 8 free throws. Kylie Towry (Sr./Jr., G, Medford, OR/South Medford HS) provided eight points.

Andresen and Alex Wert (Sr., F, Spokane, WA/St. George's HS) each contributed five rebounds. Wert and Celine Gregoire (Jr./So., P, Woodburn, OR/ Woodburn Academy) recorded two steals apiece.

The Bearcats led 6-4 following a 3-pointer by Marisa Hamilton (Sr./Jr., F, Beaverton, OR/Southridge HS) with 6:15 remaining in the first quarter. Whitman scored the final 10 points of the period -- on two points from five different Blues players -- to surge out to an eight-point lead.

Whitman extended its margin to 19-6 by earning the first five points of the second quarter, as Poe scored on a layup and a 3-pointer. The Bearcats cut the lead to 19-11 after Drew Farmer (Fr., PG, Brookings, OR/Brookings-Harbor HS) completed a three-point play and Heinly hit two free throws.

The Blues outscored Willamette 12-6 over the final 5:52 of the half. Six Whitman players scored at least one point during the run. Poe led all players with seven points at the break.

Willamette put in eight of the first 10 points in the third quarter, which reduced Whitman's advantage to 33-25 with 8:15 on the clock. The run began with a layup by Andresen and a pair of free throws by Towry. After Stone scored for Whitman, Andresen tacked on a free throw and Wert sank a 3-pointer.

A 16-6 run by the Blues allowed Whitman to increase its lead to 49-31 at the 3:33 mark. The run featured one 3-pointer each by Chelsi Brewer and Alysse Ketner. Whitman held a 55-38 lead after three quarters.

The Bearcats reduced the deficit to 13 points at 58-45 after Towry hit a 3-pointer with 7:55 left and Andresen scored on a layup with 7:06 to go. Willamette was unable to get closer.

Whitman shot 40.0% from the field (26 of 65) during the game. The Blues made 16 of 21 free throws (76.2%). Willamette connected on 32.6% of its shots (15 of 46) and converted 18 of 27 free throws (66.7%). Each team sank three 3-point shots.

Willamette will return home to take on Pacific Lutheran University on Friday, Feb. 3. Game time at Cone Field House is set for 6 p.m. (PST).