by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
WALLA WALLA, Wash. – The Whitworth Pirates came back from an 11 point first-half deficit to defeat the Evergreen State Geoducks 66-64 on Friday evening.
The Pirates bounce back to 3-1 after a blowout loss to Lewis-Clark State on Wednesday, while the Geoducks fall to 0-1.
Camy Aguinaldo led the Bucs with 22 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists, one of two Pirates in double figures. Evergreen State was led by Cayla Jones, who scored 18 points and grabbed 5 boards.
Seven of Jones' points came in the first quarter as Evergreen State jumped out to a big advantage. The Geoducks took a 21-10 lead at the end of the period as the Pirates struggled with seven turnovers.
Whitworth made their way back into the game in the second quarter. Down 23-12, the Pirates went on an 8-0 run to pull themselves within three. Madison Moffat scored five during the run and keyed multiple fast break opportunities with her defense. The Bucs entered halftime down three after Alyse Jackson's near game-tying three-pointer met the front of the rim.
The Pirates finished the game shooting 29% from beyond the arc and 33% from the field. Aguinaldo led the team shooting 3-5 behind the three-point-line. Whitworth also made 16 of their 19 free throws.
Aguinaldo led Whitworth in the third period as the Pirates took their first lead since there were seven minutes left in the first quarter. The freshman point guard scored seven points and pulled down a pair of rebounds as the Bucs exited the quarter with a 50-44 lead. Evergreen State slowed Whitworth with a 2-3 zone in the period's final minutes, but the Pirates adjusted enough to maintain their new advantage.
In the game's back-and-forth final period, Whitworth hung on to secure the win. Chloe Quinnett, Erika Kuehn and Moffat each scored in a 7-0 run over 2:11, which extended Whitworth's lead to 9. Evergreen State stormed back with an 8-0 streak of their own, pulling within 1 with 46 seconds remaining in the game.
The score would remain at 65-64 until the final seconds, but the Pirates held on thanks to a steal from Moffat with one second left. The Geoducks fouled Aguinaldo, who made one of two free throws to seal Whitworth's third win of the year.
Next week, the Pirates travel west to open Northwest Conference play against Pacific Lutheran and Puget Sound. Whitworth takes on the Loggers on Friday, Dec. 1 and battles the Lutes on Saturday, Dec. 2.