by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
PORTLAND, Ore. – Five Pirates scored in double figures and Whitworth remained undefeated in Northwest Conference play with a 78-69 victory over the Lewis & Clark Pioneers.
Delsie Johnson scored a team-high 19 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for the Pios (2-10, 1-2 NWC). Sara Hogman joined Johnson in double figures with 12 points
"The game was a grind," Whitworth head coach Joial Griffith said. "We locked in defensively down the stretch and needed important baskets from multiple people."
The Pirates found success early in the game by getting the ball inside. Five Bucs scored inside the paint in the first quarter, starting with a backdoor layup from Sydney Abbott and closing with a fast break basket from Madison Moffat.
"We told the team that we needed to get the ball into the paint," Griffith said. "It provided scoring for us and opened the offense up for our guards."
Whitworth also dominated the offensive boards, pulling down nine offensive rebounds in the first half. Abbott, Megan Dorney, and Alli Kieckbusch each grabbed two offensive rebounds in the half, and the Pirates took a 13-shot advantage at the break
Despite their success in the paint on the offensive end of the floor, the Pirates trailed 40-37 at halftime. Lewis & Clark shot 58% overall in the first half, giving the Pios the lead despite taking fewer shots. Johnson scored 13 points to lead Lewis & Clark in the half
After dropping the deficit to just one point in the third quarter, the Bucs took the lead in the fourth. Down 61-58, Madison Abbott scored four straight points to give Whitworth its first lead since 8:02 were left in the first quarter.
Lewis & Clark took the lead back with a layup followed by a jumper, but the Pirates responded with a 6-0 run. Dorney dropped in two jumpers around a layup from Moffat, giving the Bucs a lead they wouldn't relinquish. Aguinaldo put the game away with a personal 6-0 run over the final 1:14.
The Pirates shot 45.6% (31-68) from the floor and 12.5% (2-16) from three. The Pioneers made 53.1% (26-49) of their shots from the field and 28.6% (4-14) of their three-pointers.
Whitworth forced 28 Lewis & Clark turnovers, 16 of which came in the second half, and finished with 16 steals. Though she didn't score, Jordan Smith made an impact on the game with four steals.
In addition to Aguinaldo and Madison Abbott, Dorney (11 pts), Sydney Abbott (11 pts), and Moffat (10 pts) all scored in double figures for Whitworth. The Bucs scored 52 of their 78 points in the paint.
The Pirates return to action on Tuesday, January 8 when they host Whitman at 6:00 p.m.