OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Whitworth Pirates led from the very beginning but the Evergreen Geoducks didn’t make it easy for their guests to earn the victory as Whitworth held on for a 72-67 win in a non-conference women’s basketball game on Tuesday afternoon at CRC Gymnasium in Olympia, Wash.
The Pirates (1-3) took the lead just 18 seconds in as junior guard Laura Picha hit a three-pointer for the Bucs. It looked like Whitworth might run away with the game early as they built a double-digit lead on the Geoducks (1-3) with 12:11 still to play in the opening period.
Evergreen dug deep and battled back, pulling within one with eight minutes to play as the two teams realized they would be in for a fight. With Whitworth ahead by double-digits again with two minutes left to go, the Geoducks scored the final five points of the half to cut the gap to 37-32 heading into the break.
In the second half, Whitworth continued to lead but Evergreen kept it close, keeping the difference in single digits for nearly the entire period. The Geoducks managed to pull back within one on a few occasions but never could quite get over the hump, as a missed three-pointer with 32 second left to play forced Evergreen to foul. The Pirates hit four of six free throws in the final 25 seconds to ice the 72-67 win and pick up their first win of the year.
Evergreen was led by 27 points from sophomore Danielle Swain (Rainier, Wash./Black Hills HS), who also added seven rebounds and five blocks in 36 minutes played. Sami Clark (Monroe, Wash./Edmonds CC) put up 12 points, to go with four steals while Jessica Edge (Lake Stevens, Wash./Skagit Valley CC) chalked up 11 points before fouling out midway through the second half. As a team, the Geoducks forced 27 Whitworth turnovers, putting up 26 points following Pirate miscues.
Whitworth was led by 27 points from Picha, who shot 10 of 14 from the field. Kayla Johnson added 11 points while Emily Guthrie just missed out on double-digit rebounds, finishing with nine on the afternoon. The Pirates held a 50 to 28 advantage on the glass, including 20 offensive rebounds that netted the Bucs 19 second-chance points.
The Geoducks will hit the hardwood again on Saturday evening when they travel to Forest Grove, Ore. to take on Pacific. Tip-off with the Boxers is set for 5:00 pm.