by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
SPOKANE, Wash – Three Whitworth Pirates scored in double figures to give Joial Griffith her first win as a head coach in a hard-fought 74-70 victory over Texas-Tyler.
"I liked that we had a lot of different contributors tonight," Griffith said. "I can name an important contribution from every person on the roster tonight."
The Bucs and Patriots battled to a near-draw in the first quarter. Whitworth took an early lead after a three-pointer from Camy Aguinaldo and a jumper from Dorney. Texas-Tyler battled back, using a 6-0 run to take a 17-11 lead midway through the first.
Aimee Smith pulled the Pirates back even in the second quarter, dropping in a layup to knot the game at 25. The shot opened a 12-3 run that saw four Bucs score and put them up 35-28 midway through the second quarter. Jordan Smith contributed a pair of threes to the run.
"Aimee showed up today. She really rose to the occasion today and without her contribution on the boards or Jordan's offensive contributions we wouldn't have been in the position we were down the stretch," said Griffith.
Texas-Tyler battled back after the Whitworth run, using a 7-3 spurt with three points from Spiker to close the half down 38-35. The Patriots continued their comeback after the break with an 8-2 run late in the third quarter that gave Texas-Tyler a 49-47 lead. Mykaela Alfred's three gave the Patriots their first lead in 17 minutes.
The Pirates responded to the comeback with a short run of their own, using two free throws from Dorney and a jumper from Madison Moffat to take a 55-51 lead entering the fourth quarter.
Like much of the game, the fourth quarter was a back-and-forth battle. Though the Patriots crept within two points on several occasions, Whitworth was able to hold onto its lead for the duration of the period to earn the win. The Pirates shot 88 percent from the free throw line during the game and got key free throws from Dorney and Aguinaldo to seal the win.
Whitworth finished the game shooting 47 percent from the floor and 32 percent from three. The Pirates held Texas-Tyler to 38 percent shooting from the floor and 17 percent from beyond the arc. Whitworth's hot shooting and solid defense weathered a poor rebounding effort as the Patriots won the rebounding battle 46-32 with 22 offensive rebounds.
The Pirates continue non-conference play on Tuesday, Nov. 22 when they take on Walla Walla University at 7:00 p.m.
Game 3: Montana Tech 89, Whitman 87 (OT)
Mollie Peoples scored just three points against the Whitman Blues, but she made her final two count, floating in a jumper with 0.3 seconds remaining to give the Montana Tech Orediggers an 89-87 victory in the third game of the Whit Classic.
Tournament MVP Mesa Williams led the Orediggers with 30 points. She was joined in double figures by Kaylee Zard (21 pts) and Dani Urick (14 pts). Peoples led Montana Tech with three assists.
Makana Stone and Mady Burdett led a valiant comeback for Whitman, which was down 23-12 after the first quarter. Stone finished with 26 points and 8 rebounds, and Burdett poured in 27 points with 45 percent (5-11) shooting from beyond the arc.
Whit Classic All-Tournament Team
MVP: Mesa Williams – Montana Tech
Kaylee Zard – Montana Tech
Makana Stone – Whitman
Carissa Spiker – Texas-Tyler
Megan Dorney – Whitworth