The No. 17 Whitworth women’s basketball team had one of those nights when the easy shots wouldn’t fall. But its defense carried the Pirates Friday night in a 56-46 win over Lewis & Clark at Whitworth Fieldhouse.
The Pioneers (6-12, 3-6 Northwest Conference) kept finding ways to come back and had sliced Whitworth’s 16-point lead to only seven points with under two minutes to play. But junior guard Lexie Zappone completed a three-point play to end the threat.
“Every time they made a run, (Zappone) stepped up,” Whitworth coach Helen Higgs said. “And she did a good job of hitting open shots early.”
Zappone (Lakeside HS) hit her first three 3-point attempts and led all scorers with 19 points and four steals. Katara Belton-Sharp (Ferris) scored 12 and KC McConnell had nine points along with six rebounds.
The Pioneers actually shot better than Whitworth (47.2 to 38.5 percent), but the Pirates’ defense limited their looks.
“We always tell the team that,” Higgs said. “When the ball just doesn’t go in for whatever reason, you’ve got to get stops.”
Whitworth (17-1, 8-1) scored 22 points off of turnovers and had 12 second-half points compared to only four for the Pioneers.
The Pirates play at 4 p.m. today against Willamette at the fieldhouse.
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