by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
SPOKANE, Wash. – The Whitworth Pirates return to action this weekend at the Regals Classic where they take on William Smith and Cal Lutheran.
The Bucs open the Regals Classic, which is hosted by Cal Lutheran in Thousand Oaks, Calif., on Saturday, December 29 when they take on William Smith at 4:00 p.m. Whitworth closes its time in Southern California against Cal Lutheran on December 30 at 4:00 p.m.
Live video and statistics links are available on the Whitworth women's basketball schedule.
The Pirates: Before taking a break for Christmas, Whitworth (6-3, 2-0 NWC) took on Northwest Nazarene on December 19. The Nighthawks entered the game as the seventh-ranked team in Division II and showed why in their 103-68 win over the Pirates. Camy Aguinaldo shouldered much of the offensive load for the Bucs with 20 points, but Whitworth couldn't keep up with a potent Nighthawk attack. Northwest Nazarene led 54-30 at halftime and though the Pirates won the third quarter, they weren't able to make a comeback in the second half. Aguinaldo was the only Buc who scored in double figures and she also pulled down eight rebounds.
The Opponents: William Smith (3-3, 0-2 Liberty League) takes on the Pirates after making the trek from Geneva, New York to Thousand, Oaks, California. The Herons opened the season strong defensively, allowing opposing teams to shoot just 39 percent from the floor, but also turn the ball over 17.8 times per contest. Mia Morrison leads the Herons offensively and on the glass with 19.8 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. Juliana Gamboa (12.3 points/game) and Stavriana Dimitrakopoulou (10.7 points/game) also score in double figures.
Cal Lutheran (5-5, 3-0, SCIAC) will be looking to snap a two-game losing streak when it opens the Regals Classic. The Regals fell to Babson and Thomas More in the Miami Exclusive Invitational before heading into their holiday break. Freshman forward Cameron Mallory leads the team in scoring with 8.2 points per game, and Jessi Westerling leads the Regals on the glass with 4.5 rebounds per game. Cal Lutheran is 0-2 against Northwest Conference opponents this year, falling to George Fox (78-58) and Willamette (51-42).
How May We Assist You: The Bucs' early season success is due in part to their willingness to share the ball. Whitworth's 15.4 assists per game are third-best in the NWC.
All-Conference Camy: Sophomore point guard Camy Aguinaldo established herself as one of the best point guards in the Northwest Conference on the way to an NWC Freshman of the Year award last year. This season Aguinaldo is making an impact all over the court once again with 11.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game,
High Motor Madi: Madison Moffat has been one of the best hustle players in the Northwest Conference, and placed in the top-five of the NWC in rebounds, steals and minutes last year. Moffat is continuing to stuff the stat sheet this season with 8.4 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.7 steals per game.
On the Air Again: Whitworth's Northwest Conference games are once again carried live this season on KSBN 1230am in Spokane. The relationship between Pirate athletics and KSBN goes back to 1994, a span of 24 years. Bud Nameck is in his second season as the voice of Whitworth basketball. The co-host of 920 KXLY radio's Morning News, Nameck has more than 30 years of experience calling college basketball at Gonzaga University and Washington State.
Looking Ahead: Northwest Conference play is on-deck for the Pirates, who travel to Portland, Ore. to take on Lewis & Clark on Friday, January 4.
The Coach: Joial Griffith, a former assistant coach at Williams College (Mass.), begins her first season as the head women's basketball coach at Whitworth University in 2018-19. Prior to her year at Williams, Griffith was the assistant coach at Claremont-Scripps-Colleges in Southern California, near where she grew up. The Athenas made back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances during her two seasons, finishing 20-9 in 2017 and 23-6 in 2016.