The No. 19 Whitworth women basketball team took No. 3 George Fox to overtime but the Pirates had a shot blocked in the final seconds as the Bruins held on to win 53-52 Friday night at Whitworth Fieldhouse.
Down a point, the Pirates got the ball back with 21 seconds left in overtime and coach Helen Higgs called a timeout. The Pirates’ Katara Belton-Sharp drove the baseline but George Fox’s Lauren Codling blocked the shot as time expired.
“We did everything right,” a clearly dejected Higgs said after the game. “We got the shots we wanted. We made a hustle play to get the ball back.”
The same two teams played on January 17 and George Fox crushed Whitworth 70-39. But they traded blows throughout like a pair of prize fighters and exchanged the lead nine times. Whitworth held the Bruins to about nine points below their shooting average and hustled to every ball.
George Fox took a 51-48 lead with 42 seconds left in regulation when Nicole Blizzard nailed a 3-pointer for the Bruins.
But Belton-Sharp hit a 3-pointer of her own with 22 seconds left. The Bruins’ Justine Benner then missed a jumper with 1 second left to send the game to an extra period.
“We are disappointed. But at least the players know they can play and beat them,” Higgs said. “You’ve got to build off that.”
Belton-Sharp, a product of Ferris High, led the Pirates with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Forward Jessica Kramer scored 11 and KC McConnell had 10 for Whitworth (19-3, 10-3 Northwest Conference).
Jami Morris scored 16 points for George Fox, which also got 14 points and nine rebounds from Benner to remain undefeated at 22-0 and 13-0 in conference.
The Pirates, who have already secured a spot in the four-team conference tournament, shot 31.6 percent from the field and forced 19 George Fox turnovers that led to 20 points. However, the Pirates gave up 20 turnovers that translated into 17 points for the Bruins.
The Bruins outscored Whitworth 30-20 in the paint but the Pirates outscored George Fox 14-10 in points off the bench.
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