Posts Tagged ‘George Fox University’

   Makana Stone scored 16 points Saturday, but Whitman’s 21-game winning streak was snapped by George Fox. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It was nice while it lasted.

Despite a 16-point, seven-rebound performance Saturday from Coupeville grad Makana Stone, the Whitman College women’s basketball squad lost for the first time in nearly three months.

Unable to recover from a late-game run by host George Fox University, the Blues fell 80-68, snapping their 21-game winning streak.

Whitman, now 13-1 in Northwest Conference play, 21-2 overall, hadn’t lost since its season opener way back on Nov. 15.

With the win, George Fox (13-1, 20-3) earned a season split with the Blues, garnered revenge for a loss in mid-Jan. and moved into a first-place tie.

Both teams have two regular-season games remaining next weekend.

Whitman hosts Willamette University (10-4) Friday and Linfield College (5-9) Saturday while George Fox hosts Lewis & Clark College (8-6) and Pacific University (3-11).

While they’re still fighting for the league title, Whitman and George Fox have clinched the top two slots and will host the league’s postseason tourney semifinal games Feb. 22.

Saturday’s battle royal came down to free throws (George Fox made 29 to Whitman’s 14), foul trouble for the Blues and one decisive fourth-quarter surge by the host squad.

After battling back from eight points down at the first break, Whitman regained the lead in the third quarter behind Stone.

The former Wolf had been locked to the bench for much of the first half after picking up two fouls, but the sophomore sensation came flying out of the halftime locker room to throw down eight points in the third quarter.

The game was still up for grabs with George Fox clinging to a 61-60 lead with seven minutes to play, but then every Whitman player not wearing #23 (Stone’s number) went ice-cold from the field.

The Bruins, taking full advantage of numerous trips to the free throw line, went on a 19-6 surge, with Stone the only Blue able to score.

With her 16-point performance, Stone passed two milestones — 300 points on the season and 500 for her career.

She sits with 306 and 514 respectively, with a first-quarter put-back off of an offensive rebound the bucket which gave her the second mark.

On the season, she’s Whitman’s second-leading scorer and top rebounder (160), while also having compiled 43 assists, four blocks and 16 steals.

Stone is shooting 55% from the floor (130 of 236) and 78% from the line (46-59).

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   Wolf grad Makana Stone tossed in 20 points and hauled down 10 boards Friday in a crucial win for Whitman. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

If the season comes down to one rebound, start writing thank you notes to Makana Stone.

The Coupeville grad pulled in her tenth and final board Friday with just 15 seconds to play, sealing a nail-biter win for Whitman College in a game with sole possession of first-place in the Northwest Conference on the line.

Stone’s rebound came with the Blues clinging to a two-point lead, and four free throws from Casey Poe later, Whitman had bounced visiting George Fox 77-71.

With their 14th straight win in hand, the Blues rise to 6-0 in league play, 14-1 overall, while George Fox slips to 4-1, 11-3.

Whitman took the battle for league supremacy in large part because it had the two most dangerous players on the court in Poe and Stone.

The All-American senior netted a game-high 29, including two free throws with 10 seconds to play, and then two more freebies with a single tick on the clock.

Poe added five assists, five steals and four blocks as she controlled every aspect of the floor.

Right on her tail came the sophomore sensation from Cow Town, as Stone rattled the rim for 20 points to go with her 10 rebounds. She also made off with a pair of steals.

Whitman, ranked #4 in D-III basketball, led from start to finish, but couldn’t quite pull away from the #25 Bruins.

With Poe (11) and Stone (6) combining for 17 first-quarter points, the Blues stormed out to a 21-12 lead at the first break, only to see George Fox trim it back to five at the half.

The lead hovered in the 7-9 point range through much of the second half, until a late fourth-quarter comeback roused the visitor’s hopes.

Kaitlin Jamieson slashed to the hoop for a layup with 2:33 to play, cutting Whitman’s lead to 72-71, and the home fans went pale in the face.

But never fear, as the Blues defense proved to be the real MVP, holding the Bruins scoreless the rest of the way.

Helping matters was four consecutive missed free throws by George Fox, a surprise since the visitors were a fairly-hot 24-31 at the charity stripe up to that point.

Whitman was on point at the line, hitting 28-34. Poe (13-14) and Stone (6-7) led the way there, as well.

Clinging to the one-point lead, the Blues got a big rebound from Stone, then a solitary free throw from Emily Rommel to push the margin to 73-71.

That set up the pressure-packed final 20 seconds.

The Blues went for the dagger, but sharp-shooting frosh Kaelan Shamseldin clanked a three-ball.

At which point Stone out-jumped the world for the rebound, then promptly fed Poe, who held on to the ball, absorbed the abuse of the quickly-arriving foul and did what she does best — ice games.

Whitman is now off for six days, returning to action next weekend when it travels to Oregon to play at Linfield Friday and Willamette Saturday.

After a strong freshman season in which she quickly became a starter for a team which went all the way to the Elite Eight, Stone has taken her game to another level as a sophomore.

She has 207 points, 98 rebounds, 31 assists and 11 steals, and is shooting 58% from the field (89-153) and 76% from the line (29-38).

Stone tops the team in rebounding and field goal percentage, while trailing Poe by just eight points in the team scoring race.

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Makana Stone (Eileen Stone photo)

Makana Stone, hoops sensation. (Eileen Stone photo)

One step closer to a national title.

Knocking off Northwest Conference foe George Fox University for a third time this season, Coupeville grad Makana Stone and the Whitman College women’s basketball squad rolled into the second round of the NCAA D-III tourney.

Playing in Tacoma Friday night, the Blues upended the Bruins 76-72.

They’ll play either Puget Sound or UC Santa Cruz 7 PM Saturday night on the same court at Memorial Fieldhouse, with the winner advancing to the Sweet 16 the next weekend.

Friday night Whitman (24-4) blew out to a 26-10 lead midway through the second quarter, hit a rough spot and gave much of the lead back, but never completely faltered.

George Fox knotted things up at 71-71 with just 47 seconds on the clock, but the Blues were ruthless in closing out the tourney win.

Chelsi Brewer capped a 20-point night by swishing a three-ball to put Whitman back on top, before Casey Poe slid a pair of free throws through the twines with nine seconds to play to ice the victory.

Stone, making her 11th start as a college player, was a big factor, throwing down 14 points and snatching a game-high 10 rebounds.

She was especially effective in the third quarter, when she converted three straight layups to spark a Whitman run which stretched a one-point lead back out to seven.

Stone also picked up a pair of assists in the second quarter, setting up buckets by Emily Rommel and Lily Gustafson.

Through 27 games (she missed one while in a concussion protocol), the former Wolf has collected 189 points (7.0 a night) and 169 rebounds (6.3).

She also has 29 assists, 13 steals and 11 blocks.

Her stats put Stone #2 on the team in rebounding and field goal percentage (49.7% on 83 of 167).

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Makana Stone (John Fisken photo)

   Makana Stone and Whitman are cruising into the NCAA D-III national tourney. (John Fisken photo)

The road to a national title will start with a familiar foe.

Whitman College, having received an automatic bid to the NCAA D-III Women’s Basketball National Tournament, will open play in Tacoma Friday against Northwest Conference rival George Fox.

The Blues (23-4) and Bruins (21-5) will be facing off for the fourth time this season, and third in the last two weeks.

Whitman, sparked by Coupeville grad Makana Stone, won two of three against George Fox, most recently knocking them out of the league tourney.

The other two teams playing in Tacoma Friday are site host Puget Sound (25-2), which won the NWC regular season title but was upended in the postseason tourney by Whitman, and the University of California-Santa Cruz (13-10).

Friday’s winners meet Saturday at the same regional, with the victor advancing to the Sweet Sixteen.

There are four 27-0 teams in the 64-team tourney, with Amherst ranked #1 overall. Ohio Northern, Thomas More and St. Thomas (MN) are the other three unbeatens.

If Whitman gets on a roll, the earliest it could face an undefeated squad would be an Elite Eight match-up with St. Thomas.

The other three schools with perfect records sit on the opposite side of the bracket.

Stone made the jump from two-time Olympic League MVP in high school to college sensation with relative ease.

She’s played in 26 of 27 games (sitting out once for a concussion protocol), starting the last 10.

Stone has gone for 175 points (6.7 a night), 159 rebounds (6.1), 27 assists, 13 steals and 11 blocks. She’s #2 on the Blues in rebounding and field goal percentage (49% on 76 of 154 from the field).

To see the bracket, pop over to:


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Makana Stone

   CHS grad Makana Stone (left) is joined by fellow fab frosh Mady Burdett (middle) and Annissia Hughes.

Sweet redemption.

Just five days after it lost its regular season finale, the Whitman College women’s basketball squad rebounded Thursday to knock that same foe out of the playoffs.

The Blues, playing on the road in Newberg, OR, beat George Fox University 78-71 in the semifinals of the Northwest Conference Women’s Tournament.

Whitman (22-4) advances to play Puget Sound (25-1) in Tacoma 7 PM Saturday.

The Loggers almost didn’t make it to the championship game, which would have been a huge shock.

They were forced to rally from 10 points down with four minutes to play against Lewis & Clark, escaping with a 61-58 win.

The winning points came on a three-point play the hard way (bucket and free throw) from Jamie Lange, the league’s Freshman of the Year, with just 10 seconds to play.

Over in Oregon, the other semifinal matched teams with identical records that had split games during the regular season.

Whitman won 82-74 in Oregon Jan. 22, before George Fox upended the Blues 65-62 Feb. 18 in Walla Walla.

Thursday’s game started in favor of the Bruins, who built a 37-33 lead at the half, before Whitman stormed back in the second half.

A 23-15 third quarter gave the Blues the lead and they never relinquished it after that.

Coupeville High School grad Makana Stone, making the ninth start of her freshman season, dropped in 10 points and snatched seven boards in 31 minutes of action.

It was the second time the former Wolf has broken the 30-minute barrier this season (she played 35 minutes against Louisiana College in Dec.) and she used her time well.

Stone scored in every quarter, tickling the twines with three silky jumpers and two layups.

She was one of four Blues to hit double digits in scoring, with Chelsi Brewer (20), Casey Poe (15) and Emily Rommel (15) also wielding a hot shooting touch.

On the season, Stone has seen action in 25 of 26 games (missing one because of concussion protocol) and has racked up 165 points and 148 rebounds.

She’s #2 on the squad in rebounding and field goal percentage and has 25 assists, 11 blocks and 13 steals on her stat sheet.

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