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Posts Tagged ‘Linfield’

CHS grad Makana Stone became the #2 rebounder in Whitman College women’s basketball history Friday night. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It’s as close to a sure thing as possible.

Put Whitman College and Linfield College on the floor for a women’s basketball game, and the squad from Walla Walla is going to triumph.

Friday night was more of a great thing for the Blues, as Whitman got 18 points from Coupeville’s Makana Stone and hit its free throws down the stretch to capture a 74-65 win in its regular-season finale.

The former Wolf also hit a major milestone, moving into 2nd place on her school’s career rebounding chart.

The road victory, coming in front of a raucous crowd in McMinnville, Oregon, marked the 26th consecutive time Whitman has beaten its Northwest Conference foe.

The last time Linfield toppled Whitman came way back in 2007.

While keeping their domination of the Wildcats chugging along, the Blues capped a 15-1 tear through the NWC this season, and head into the playoffs at 23-2 overall, with an active 11-game win streak.

Whitman opens the four-team league postseason tourney next Thursday, February 27, when it hosts the #4 school in a loser-out game.

Several teams are still battling for that slot, though Linfield was eliminated from contention with Friday’s loss.

Win in the tourney semifinals, and the Blues host the NWC championship game Feb. 29 against either George Fox or Pacific, with an automatic bid to the NCAA D-III tourney up for grabs.

Wrapping the regular season, Whitman wasn’t flawless, but it was very good when it mattered most.

Stone dropped in eight of her 18 points in the fourth quarter, as the Blues surged to a 12-point lead, before giving a chunk of it back.

Desperate to keep its playoff hopes alive, Linfield carved the lead all the way back to 66-62 with a minute to play, but Whitman never blinked.

Instead, the Blues made the nets jump while all the players were standing still, hitting 8 of 10 free throws across the game’s final 58 seconds to ice the win.

Taylor Chambers (5), Mady Burdett (3), and Kaylie McCracken (2) all converted charity shots to shush the enthusiastic pro-Linfield crowd, capping a fourth quarter in which Whitman hit 14-16 from the line.

The game was close for much of the night, with Whitman clinging to a 17-15 lead after one quarter of play.

With Stone heating up in the second frame, slapping home her team’s first eight points, the Blues stretched the advantage out to 38-29 at the half, before carrying a 52-44 lead into the fourth quarter.

Even saddled with foul trouble, Coupeville’s ace came up big in crunch time, as Stone capped her scoring effort with a dagger of a pull-up jumper.

On the night, the CHS grad finished with 18 points, six rebounds, two assists, and two blocked shots, tying Burdett for team-high scoring honors.

Lily Gustafson chipped in with 11 points, while McCracken banked home 10 as Whitman put four players into double-digits scoring.

As she heads into her final collegiate playoff run, Stone sits with 398 points, 216 rebounds, 36 assists, 25 steals, and 25 blocks on the season.

She’s shooting 163-304 (53.6%) from the floor and 69-87 (79.3%) from the free throw line.

Already the #5 scorer in Whitman women’s basketball history with 1,325 career points (she’s 18 away from moving into 4th place), Stone is now the #2 rebounder for the program.

She passed Katie Rubenser (824) Friday, and, with 828 rebounds to her credit, trails just Jennifer McClure (902) on the all-time list.

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Coupeville grad Makana Stone rattled the rims for a game-high 22 points Saturday as Whitman pounded Linfield. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Hello first-place, my old friend.

Riding high after a big win Saturday night, the Whitman College women’s basketball team is back on top of the Northwest Conference standings.

The Blues did their part, bashing visiting Linfield College 82-63 in Walla Walla behind a game-high 22 points from Coupeville grad Makana Stone.

But they also got a little help, as Pacific Lutheran University shocked Pacific University 61-58 in Tacoma, handing the Boxers their first league loss.

Now, Whitman, 7-1 in conference action, 15-2 overall, moves back into a tie with Pacific (7-1, 13-4) atop the nine-team league, two games up on George Fox (5-3, 13-4) with eight to play.

The Blues, whose only league loss was a one-point thriller against Pacific, gets their rematch with the Boxers February 15 in Walla Walla.

Until then, Whitman will hit the road, playing its next four games away from the Sherwood Athletic Center.

Next weekend, the Blues travel to Tacoma to play PLU and the University of Puget Sound.

Saturday, Whitman led from start to finish, busting out to an 8-0 lead and never looking back.

A 25-20 advantage after one quarter stretched out to a 42-31 lead at the half, then a 61-44 bulge headed into the final frame.

Stone paced the Blues, dropping in 14 of her 22 in the first half, while three of her teammates also finished with double-digits scoring.

Kaylie McCracken pumped in 16, Mady Burdett banked home 14, and Shaira Young tickled the twines for 11.

Along with her point explosion, Stone added eight rebounds, three assists, a steal, and a blocked shot in 30 minutes of floor time.

On the season, the former Wolf star has 264 points, 130 rebounds, 25 assists, 20 steals, and 16 blocks, while shooting 109-202 (53.9%) from the floor and 43-55 (78.1%) from the free throw line.

Saturday’s game was the 100th of Stone’s collegiate career.

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Coupeville grad Makana Stone and Whitman College have won nine of their last 10 games. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It could have been a trap game, but they dodged any pitfalls.

Paced by a double-double from Coupeville grad Makana Stone, the Whitman College women’s basketball squad torched host Linfield 73-50 Friday to remain undefeated in league play and set up a battle royal a day from now.

Now 5-0 in the Northwest Conference, 11-3 overall, the Blues head from McMinnville, OR to Newberg to face defending league champ George Fox (5-0, 12-2) Saturday afternoon.

The winner of that rumble will own sole possession of first-place with 10 games to play, a game up on the losers.

Both Whitman and George Fox currently sit two games ahead of anyone else, with Puget Sound, Pacific Lutheran and Whitworth in a tie at 3-2.

The Blues, who have won nine of their last 10 games, roared out to a quick 19-9 lead after one quarter of play at Linfield.

Keying things was Stone, who rampaged from one end of the floor to another, scoring six and grabbing six boards before taking a seat after playing the game’s first seven minutes.

Linfield cut the deficit back to eight at the half, but a 24-9 run in the third sealed the deal for Whitman.

The only thing stopping Stone from going on a truly epic tear was foul trouble, as she was limited to just 17 minutes on the night.

Still, she took advantage of what floor time she was allotted, finishing with 12 points and a team-high 10 rebounds.

Kaylie McCracken dropped in 18 points to lead the Blues, while Mady Burdett matched Stone with 12 of her own.

On the season, Stone, who is in the top two in almost every one of the 22 stat categories Whitman keeps, sits with 228 points, 126 rebounds, 22 assists, 19 steals and 17 blocks.

She’s shooting 97-185 from the field and 34-46 at the charity stripe.

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   Sophomore Makana Stone went for nine points and nine rebounds Saturday as Whitman won on Senior Night. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They found their way back.

Rescuing what could have been a lost weekend, the Whitman College women’s basketball team exploded in the second-half Saturday to bury visiting Linfield.

Rallying from a five-point halftime deficit, while All-American Casey Poe suffered through a 2-11 shooting night, the Blues poured in 54 points after the break, nabbing an 82-71 win.

The victory, coming in the regular-season finale, snaps a two-game skid and lifts Whitman to 14-2 in Northwest Conference play, 22-3 overall.

The Blues, busy with their own game, didn’t know about it at the time, but they also came within a play of earning a share of the league title.

That slipped away however, when George Fox gunner Haylee Hutzler sank two free throws with five seconds to go in Newberg, OR, helping the Bruins nip Pacific 60-59.

Avoiding what would have been a monumental upset, George Fox (15-1, 22-3) enters the four-team NWC tourney seeded #1 and will host #4 Lewis & Clark (9-7, 14-11) Feb. 22.

#2 Whitman hosts #3 Willamette (12-4, 16-9) the same night, with the winners playing for the title Feb. 24 on the home court of the highest-surviving seed.

Back-to-back losses to George Fox and Willamette, the latter coming less than 24 hours ago, derailed what had been a 21-game winning streak for the Blues.

Cold shooting was a huge liability Friday, and things didn’t look much better as the early moments of Saturday’s match-up played out.

Poe opened 0-3 from the floor, picked up two quick fouls and spent almost the entire first half on the bench.

While Coupeville grad Makana Stone was a beast on the boards, hauling down five caroms in the opening minutes, her team could not get a shot to drop.

Still, despite shooting just 3-14 in the first 10 minutes, Whitman only trailed 13-12 at the first break.

Playing without Poe, the Blues hung tough in the second quarter, but a three-ball with five seconds to play from Paige Graham staked Linfield to a 33-28 bulge at the half.

Whatever was said in the locker room quickly bore fruit, however, as Whitman more than doubled its point total with a 31-19 surge in the third.

From there the Blues ruthlessly pushed the lead out to as many as 16, before coasting in for the win.

While it was Senior Night, with Whitman honoring Poe, Emily Rommel and Sierra McGarity, the star of the game was freshman Taylor Chambers, who poured in 16 of her game-high 24 in the second half.

Rommel added 15, while Stone racked up nine points, nine boards, four assists, two steals and a block before blind refs fouled her out in the game’s final 90 seconds.

For the season, she has 317 points (#2 on the team), 177 rebounds (#1), 48 assists, five blocks and 18 steals.

Stone is shooting 53% from the floor (135-254) and 77% from the free-throw line (47-61).

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   Makana Stone went off for a team-high 18 points Friday, leading Whitman to its 15th straight win. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

She used every second they gave her.

Limited to just 17 minutes by foul trouble Friday, Coupeville grad Makana Stone still threw down a team-high 18 points, spurring Whitman College to its 15th straight win.

With Stone and All-American Casey Poe combining for 35 points, the Blues held off pesky Linfield 69-62 on the road, lifting their record to 7-0 in Northwest Conference play, 15-1 overall.

Whitman wraps up a two-game trip to Oregon Saturday with a big-time showdown at Willamette University, where the Bearcats will enter boasting a 6-1, 10-6 record and their own six-game winning streak.

Friday night Stone picked up four fouls (probably due to blind refs), but exploded in the second half.

The third quarter belonged to the sophomore sensation, as she went for nine points, draining jumper after jumper.

With the game close down the stretch, Whitman turned to its big two, and the duo answered the call.

Stone hit a shot to lift the Blues to a late four-point lead, then she and Poe combined to make seven free throws down the stretch to ice the win.

Through 16 games, Stone has scored 225 points (passing the 208 she scored as a freshman) while piling up 104 rebounds, 31 assists and 13 steals.

She’s shooting 58% from the field (97-166) and 76% from the line (31-41).

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