Jan 12, 2013

GEORGE FOX 50, WHITMAN 38: Bruins Top Missionaries to Snap 3-Way Tie Atop NWC

A Winning Tradition

  • NCAA D-III National Champions (2009)
  • Three NCAA "Final Four" appearances (2009, 2012, 2015)
  • Six NCAA "Elite 8" appearances (2005, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015)
  • Nine NCAA "Sweet 16" appearances (2000, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016)
  • 14 NCAA National Tournament appearances in 18 years (2000, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
  • 12 Northwest Conference Championships (2000, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2018)
  • 25 straight winning seasons (1994-2018)
  • 14 Top 25 national rankings (2000, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
  • Three NCAA Division III National Coaches of the Year
  • Six NCAA Division III Region Coaches of the Year
  • 11 Conference Coaches of the Year
  • 20 All-Americans
  • One Academic All-American
  • Three Ad Rutschman Small College Athlete of the Year Finalists (Justine Benner - 2015, Keisha Gordon - 2012, Katy Campbell - 2008)
  • One Ad Rutschman Small College Athlete of the Year Winner (Kristen Shielee - 2009)
  • One George Fox Pasero Team of the Year (2009)
  • One Slats Gill Sportsperson of the Year Award (Scott Rueck - 2009 finalist)

NEWBERG, Ore. – Holding Whitman College to an overall .216 shooting percentage and only 14 points in the second half, the George Fox University Bruins rallied from an early nine-point deficit to defeat the Missionaries 50-38 in a meeting of nationally-ranked Northwest Conference women’s basketball teams Saturday afternoon here at the Wheeler Sports Center’s Miller Gym.

George Fox, ranked 25th in the latest WBCA and D3hoops national polls, improved to 12-3 overall and 5-1 in the conference with its fourth straight victory.  The Bruins maintained at least a share of first place in the NWC with Lewis & Clark College, which played Linfield College later in the evening.  Whitman, which is ranked 19th in by D3hoops and 24th by the WBCA, slipped to 11-3 overall and 4-2 in the league, dropping out of what had been a three-way tie for first entering the day.

Whitman opened the game with a jumper by Meghan White, a layup by Heather Johns, and a free throw, steal and score by Sarah Anderegg for a 7-0 lead four minutes in.  Jami Roos got the Bruins on the board with a three-pointer at the 15-minute mark, but it was the Bruins’ only make in their first nine shots.  A three by Johns and a jumper by Heather Lovelace extended the Whitman lead to 12-3 with 11:48 to go.

Megan Arnoldy picked up the Bruins’ second basket with 11:27 to go, and the Bruins pulled within two points on another trey by Roos to make 14-12 with 6:04 left.  The Bruins got within a pair twice more, the last at 20-18 on a jumper by Arnoldy with 2:02 to go, but close-in baskets by Lovelace and Hailey Ann Maeda gave the Missionaries a 24-18 advantage at the break.

Both teams struggled offensively in the first half, Whitman shooting only .286 (10-35) from the field and George Fox only .280 (7-25).  The Missionaries committed eight turnovers, the Bruins 14.

Hayley Cusick nailed a three to open the second half for the Bruins and Arnoldy hit a spinning layin to bring the Bruins within one at 24-23 with 18:15 to go in the game.  An Anderegg jumper and White free throw boosted the Missionaries back to a 27-23 led with 16:31 to play, but the Bruins responded with a 13-0 run to take the lead for good.  Cusick tied it with a jumper in the lane at 14:05, and Nicole Blizzard’s fast-break layup a minute later gave them their first lead of 29-27.  Baskets by Arnoldy and Blizzard and a three by Roos gave George Fox a 36-27 advantage with 10:27 left.

A short jumper by Johns with 10 minutes left ended a Whitman scoring drought of six-and-a-half minutes, but a free throw and layup by Cusick gave George Fox a 10-point margin of 39-29 with 8:55 to go.  Justine Benner’s layup made it a 14-point game of 45-31 with 4:56 left, and the Missionaries got no closer than nine the rest of the way.

The Bruins limited the Missionaries to a .154 percentage (6-39) in the second half while raising their own mark to .440 (11-25).  George Fox also significantly reduced their turnovers, coughing the ball up only four times in the second half while forcing nine Whitman miscues.

Arnoldy led all scorers with 12 points, the only player in double digits, though Roos, Cusick, and Benner scored nine apiece.  Cusick also had team highs of seven rebounds and four steals, while Hannah Munger had four assists and a pair of blocked shots, giving her 356 blocks for her career and moving her up one spot to 12th on the all-time NCAA Division III list.

Anderegg  topped the Missionaries with nine points and Lovelace had eight.  Johns grabbed a game-high nine rebounds, leading Whitman to a 52-42 edge on the boards. 

NEXT: George Fox continues a five-game home stand with the University of Puget Sound while Whitman hosts Linfield Friday, both tipping off at 6:00 p.m.  They will be followed by men’s games at 8:00 p.m.