COLLEGE BASKETBALL — McCracken gets set for NCAA tourney; Murphy closes out strong

Whitman College Athletics – Kaylie McCracken and the Blues celebrate their tournament championship over the weekend.

One former H-DNL basketball standout is getting ready to help her team in the NCAA Division-III playoffs this week, while another saw her team fall just short in their bid for a postseason berth.

Former Arcata Tiger Kaylie McCracken and the Whitman College Blues will open tournament play against Whittier on Friday night as they look to carry on what has been an impressive season.

The Blues improved to 26-1 with a pair of victories last weekend on the way to clinching the Northwest Conference tournament championship.

And McCracken was instrumental in both wins, finishing with a combined 44 points and 20 rebounds in victories over George Fox (64-50) and Pacific (76-57).

The Blues are ranked sixth in the nation and were unbeaten in conference play this season (16-0), claiming a conference and tournament double for just the second time in program history. 

Former Eureka Logger Kaylee Murphy, meanwhile, saw her season with UC Santa Cruz end this past week after the Banana Slugs fell in the championship game at the Coast to Coast Tournament, losing 71-64 to Christopher Nerwport, the No. 1 team in the nation.

Murphy, a junior who set a career rebounds record for the Slugs earlier this season, finished with a double-double, scoring 22 points and grabbing 17 rebounds in the loss.

The Santa Cruz women, who handed Whitman its only loss of the season, close out 16-4.

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