On February 1, Bellevue College women’s basketball fell short of first place in the Northwest Division after a tough loss to Whatcom. Despite a late comeback in the second half, Whatcom’s early leads proved troublesome for the Bulldogs. The ‘dogs league record is now 5-2 and 12-5 overall.
In the first quarter, Whatcom came out the locker rooms hot with an early seven-point lead. Answering back, Bellevue College small forward Amanda Luckett put the Bulldogs on the board with two free throws. At 3:14, the ‘dogs faced a 12-point lead from Whatcom. Despite the defensive pressure, Bulldogs guard Kate Rutledge got Bellevue going with a jump shot late in the quarter. After back to back scoring drives, Bellevue guard Rokki Brown and Luckett cut the lead to eight by the end of the quarter. As a result of early turnovers and foul trouble from the ‘dogs, the score was 16-8 Whatcom to end the quarter.
In the second quarter, the ‘dogs continued to fight an uphill battle. Although Bellevue’s defense held Whatcom from scoring within the first three minutes, the ‘dogs shortly after gave up points with several turnovers alongside fouls. Due to the Bulldogs mishaps on defense, Whatcom led by ten points at 6:29. Both teams scored points, however, Whatcom was able to sustain the lead throughout the quarter. On every other offensive possession, Whatcom came up big and limited the ‘dogs to score a total of seven points to end the quarter. The score going into the second half was 35-19 Whatcom.
At the beginning of the third quarter, Whatcom guards Makenna Holz and Madison Chismanadded four quick points to give the team an early 20-point lead. Bellevue forward-guard Makenna Faulkner went on a scoring streak of five-points to keep the ‘dogs in the game. Due to offensive and defensive rebounds from Luckett, Bellevue was able to cut the lead to 12-points after five minutes of play. Fueling a comeback, Luckett, Bungay, and Faulkner sank jump shots and drew fouls, shortening the lead to 56-46 by the end of the quarter.
In the final quarter, after three points scored by Bulldog guard-forward Natalie Amos, Bungay swished a three to bring the ‘dogs closer to Whatcom’s lead. Refusing to let up, Bungay and Faulkner hit back-to-back jump shots on every other offensive possession. After a three from Bellevue guard Dakota Laut, the ‘dogs were trailing 62-59 halfway into the quarter. Leading the charge, Luckett capitalized on both ends of the floor with clutch rebounds and jump shots. At 1:15, Bungay gave the Bulldogs their first lead of the game with a crucial jump shot, making the score 71-70. Whatcom answered right back with five points in 30 seconds, leaving Bellevue to play the catch-up game again. Even though the ‘dogs got to the free-throw line for three points, it was too little too late: the final score was 76-73 Whatcom.
The 54-point second half was a total contrast to the 19 in the first as Amanda Luckett pulled down a game-high 25 rebounds and tossed in 20 points to lead the charge. Bellevue, now 5-2 in the northwestern league (12-5 overall), will travel to Whatcom again on Feb. 12.