Feb 23, 2019

Bruins Claim NWC Tournament Championship

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)
 

By: Jake Bienvenue

NEWBERG --- The No. 1-seed and No. 11 ranked George Fox women's basketball team hosted the No. 2-seed Whitman Blues in the Northwest Conference Tournament finals on Saturday, winning a well-executed game, 66-52.

Recap:

It was a slow start for both sides, but the Bruins held a 13-8 lead with just over two minutes left in the first quarter. Emily Holder and Emily Spencer did most of the damage for the home team, as Holder scored four and Spencer chipped in five.

With only thirty seconds left in the opening frame, Haley Strowbridge picked the pocket of a Whitman player and scored in the open court, helping to power the team to a 16-10 lead heading into the second.

The Bruins came out swinging in the second period, as the trio of Haylee Hutzler, Tavin Headings, and Emily Dufour combined for seven unanswered points. They led by double-digits with 7:37 left in the half, 23-10.

Whitman started to hit some shots around the midpoint of the second, but a three by Strowbridge sparked the home team to an 8-0 run, setting the score at 33-15 with 2:28 left in the half.

Spencer found the bottom of the net from deep for her second three of the game, helping the Bruins to a commanding 17-point lead at the half, 38-21.

Both teams came out of the break swinging. The Blues opened up the second half with six quick points to the Bruins' four.

The sides continued to trade buckets through the second, but the Bruins remained firmly in the lead.

Holder continued her hot play, scoring a pair of buckets in the paint to keep the home team in control with just over three minutes left in the third.

The Blues rattled off nine straight to end the third quarter, cutting the lead to 11 heading into the final frame, 51-40.

Madison Hull came up big in the first half of the fourth quarter, scoring five points on a layup and a deep ball to protect the lead. The score was 58-44 with just over five minutes left in the game.

The Blues hit a pair of buckets to cut the lead to 10 with just under four minutes left, but Headings hit a crucial three in response to give the Bruins a 68-41 lead with 2:57 left.

George Fox executed down the stretch, playing good defense and putting the ball in the bucket when they needed to. Hull was pivotal in the final frame, torching the Blues for 10 points in the fourth alone.

The Bruins put in a team effort and took home a clinical home win as well as the Northwest Conference title, 66-52.

Top Performers:

Holder led the Bruins in scoring with 13, but Hull was close behind with 12. Spencer was big for the home team as well, scoring 11 points to go along with three assists and three steals.

What It Means:

The Bruins win the Northwest Conference Tournament, going 2-0 with two double-digit victories. They improve to 24-3 on the season and claim their 13th Northwest Conference Championship.

What Comes Next:

With the win, the Bruins have secured the automatic qualifier into the NCAA Tournament. The Bruins will find out what pod they in for the NCAA Tournament on Monday, Feb. 25, at 11:30 am.