Posts Tagged ‘Pacific University’

Coupeville grad Makana Stone tossed in 13 points Saturday as Whitman College used a second-half surge to win in Oregon and stay in first-place in the Northwest Conference. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Always be closing, with a vengeance.

A slow start against a low-level team threatened to ruin Saturday for the Whitman College women’s basketball team, but, eventually, sanity prevailed.

Busting loose from a 30-30 tie at the half with host Pacific University, the Blues ruled the second half, eventually escaping with a 69-55 win.

The victory, coming against a team which was just 1-8 in league play, lifts Whitman to 9-1 in the Northwest Conference, 15-4 overall.

The Blues maintain a tie for first place with George Fox (9-1, 16-3), with both teams two games up on Puget Sound (7-3, 14-4) with six regular season games to play.

Whitman currently owns the tiebreaker, having beaten George Fox, the defending league champs, 73-54 back on Jan. 12.

After sweeping two games in two days this weekend in Oregon, the Blues now return to Walla Walla for a four-game home-stand.

Things kick off Tuesday, Jan. 29 against Whitworth, with George Fox coming to town Feb. 8 for a rematch.

Saturday, Whitman jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the game’s first 48 seconds, riding a three-ball from Taylor Chambers and a jumper from Coupeville’s Makana Stone, and things seemed perfectly normal.

Then they got weird for awhile, as Pacific, playing way above its pay grade, snatched the lead and dictated play through much of the first half.

Stone slipped a free throw through the net for the final point of the second quarter, knotting things at 30-30, but few in attendance expected arguably the league’s best and worst teams to be tied after 20 minutes.

But there they were, and then Whitman was back down 32-30 after Pacific slapped in a layup on the first play of the third quarter.

At which point the universe righted itself, with the Blues going on an 11-3 surge, capped by a Stone jumper, that pushed the lead back in favor of the visitors.

From there, the quicker, stronger, better-shooting team began to steadily pull away, forcing the lead out to as much as 21 points in the fourth quarter before Whitman pulled its starters.

Stone finished the night with 13 points, four rebounds, three assists, and a steal, while Mady Burdett paced the Blues with a game-high 20 points.

On the season, Coupeville’s former ace sits with 293 points, 169 rebounds, 37 assists, 23 steals, and 17 blocks.

Stone is shooting 123-240 (51.2%) from the field and 46-59 (77.9%) at the free-throw line.

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Eileen (left) and Makana Stone celebrate after a win last season. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

One game closer to a league title.

Coupeville grad Makana Stone and the Whitman College women’s basketball team kicked off their league schedule Friday with a fairly one-sided win.

Playing on their home court in Walla Walla, the Blues led from start to finish against visiting Pacific University, finishing on the happy side of an 84-69 score.

The victory, its fourth in its last five games, lifts Whitman to 1-0 in Northwest Conference play, 4-2 overall.

The Blues return to the court Saturday, when Willamette arrives in town for another league clash.

Stone, who entered play Friday as Whitman’s #1 scorer and rebounder, got off to a quick start, picking up an assist on the very first bucket of the night.

She dished the ball to teammate Maegen Martin, who knocked down a layup (and an ensuing free throw) and the Blues had a lead they would never relinquish.

Whitman finished the first quarter up by 10, let Pacific creep back into the game, then slammed the door shut.

The lead slipped all the way down to 47-45 midway through the third, before the Blues finished the quarter on a game-busting 17-4 run.

Whitman got big games from Kaylie McCracken, who singed the nets for 24 points, and Mady Burdett, who popped for 20.

That helped make up for the loss in offense when Stone and three-point bomber Kaelan Shamseldin found themselves locked to the bench for extended periods of time in the second half while battling foul trouble.

Stone’s 18 minutes of floor time were her fewest of the season, but she used her time well, netting eight points, snaring six rebounds, making off with two steals and dishing an assist.

For the season, she sits with 97 points, 48 rebounds, eight assists, 10 steals and eight blocks, while shooting 41-76 from the floor and 15-20 at the free-throw line.

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Makana Stone (John Fisken photo)

   Who’s got two thumbs and is undefeated as a college basketball starter? Makana Stone, that’s who. (John Fisken photo)

The key has got to be Makana Stone.

After hitting its only rough patch of the season with a two-game losing streak, the Whitman College women’s basketball squad inserted the freshman into the starting lineup and presto, back to a winning formula.

Tossing in four points and snaring five boards Friday night while being limited a bit by foul trouble, the former Wolf helped spark her new team to a 76-63 win at Forest Grove, Oregon against Pacific University.

The win lifts Whitman to 18-2 overall, 9-2 in Northwest Conference play, with five regular season games left.

The Blues are a crisp 4-0 with Stone taking the floor as a starter.

Friday night she opened the second quarter by drilling a jumper that gave Whitman a 14-13 lead it would never relinquish.

Stone brought the full highlight package to the floor in the third, when she snared a board, led the break and dished it to teammate Chelsi Brewer for a layup.

The Blues remain in Oregon for the night, traveling to McMinnville for an afternoon game Saturday against Linfield College.

Through her first 20 college games, Stone has dropped 113 points (5.7 a night) and snared 112 rebounds (5.6).

She’s #2 on the team in rebounds and her field goal percentage of 48.5% (49 of 101) is #3 among Blues players who’ve taken at least 10 shots this season.

Stone has also compiled 20 assists, 12 steals and seven blocks.

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