by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
SPOKANE, Wash. – Whitworth's new run-and-gun offense is off to a successful start. The Pirates eclipsed last year's best offensive output in their season opener en route to an 87-59 victory over the Whittier Poets.
The Pirates start the 2017-18 campaign 1-0, while the Poets fell to 0-1.
Grace Douglas led Whitworth with 21 points and 5 assists. Eighteen of Douglas' points came in the first half, as she helped the Pirates break out a 48-26 halftime lead. Camy Aguinaldo made an impact all over the court with 8 points, 6 assists and 8 rebounds.
Whitworth led for the entirety of the contest. Aquinaldo assisted on three Whitwoeth baskets during a game-opening run in which four Pirates scored on the way to a 15-5 advantage.
The Bucs finished the first quarter with a 23-15 lead and put the game away in its second period. After slowly building a 34-23 lead, Whitworth closed the half on a 14-3 run over the last 5:17. Douglas scored eight points during the run, and Erika Kuehn added four more.
With a commanding 48-26 halftime lead, Helen Higgs deployed the top half of the Pirate bench for the majority of the second half. Freshmen Alyse Jackson and Madison Abbott combined for eight second half points while Lexi Tinney reached double figures with 11. Kuehn, Whitworth's do-it-all wing, scored 16 points with 3 rebounds and 3 assists.
As a team, the Pirates shot 50% (17-34) from three against the Poets and knocked down 47% (27-58) of their shots from the field. Whitworth outrebounded Whittier 46-34.
Next up, the Pirates take on La Verne in both teams' second game in the Ramanda Inn at the Spokane Airport Whit Classic. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m. in the Whitworth Fieldhouse.
Game 1: Whitman 93 - La Verne 75
In the first game of the Ramanda Inn at the Spokane Airport Whit Classic, Whitman defeated La Verne in a sloppy, foul-filled contest.
The two teams combined for 52 turnovers and 56 fouls as the contest alternated between a fast-paced matchup and a free throw contest. The Blues shot 76% from the free throw line while the Leopards struggled from the stripe, making just 12 of their 39 attempts.
Emily Rommel and Makana Stone led the Blues with 22 and 20 points respectively. Rommel also snagged 16 rebounds to earn a double-double.
Clarissa Perez scored 29 points to lead La Verne, and 19 Leopards saw the floor during the matchup.
The Blues take on Whittier tomorrow at 2 p.m. in the Whitworth Fieldhouse. The Leopards square off with Whitworth at 4 p.m to close out the Ramanda Inn at the Spokane Airport Whit Classic.