Lutes Take To The Road This Week As NWC Play Continues
This Week: After a tough weekend home at Olson Gym, the Pacific Lutheran women's basketball team hits the road for two Northwest Conference matchups this weekend against the Linfield Wildcats and the Willamette University Bearcats. Friday night the Lutes will travel to McMinnville, Ore. to face the fourth-place Wildcats. Coming off a 69-62 loss at home to Puget Sound, Linfield posts a 8-6 record on the season with a 3-3 mark in conference. The Wildcats are led by Northwest Conference leading scorer Gretchen Owens. The junior is averaging 19.4 points and nearly seven rebounds per contest. Averaging a conference best 69.4 points per game as a team, Linfield's potent offense will be a major test for the Lutes on the defensive end. Saturday, the Lutes face Willamette University in Salem, Ore. The Bearcats who have not won in their last 9 games, posting a record of 1-12 on the year with a 0-6 record in the conference- good for last place in the NWC. Posting their only win on the season at home, against the Academy of Art, the Bearcats have struggled to find a winning form in the 2010-2011 season. Although the Lutes have lost the last three matchups between the two teams, PLU holds an overall record of 35-27 over WU. Both games tip off at 6 p.m.
Beating the Wildcats: PLU and Linfield have met 62 times in the series' history leading back to the 1980-81 season. After the first 32 matchups, the series stood at 16-16. Since then, the Lutes have not lost. PLU has rattled off 30 straight wins since the '95-'96 season and the Lutes will look to continue their dominance over the Wildcats on Friday night.
Shooting For The Record Books: Redshirt freshman Shelly Kilcup is shooting an outstanding 49% (24-49) from behind the arc this season. If she can continue her hot shooting from outside for the remainder of the year, Kilcup could find herself posting one of the best long range shooting seasons of all time at PLU. In the 2002-2003 season, Kelly Turner shot at a 47.7% rate from three-point range, good for best all time for any woman at PLU.
Lewis & Clark 66, PLU 50: The Lewis & Clark Pioneers were too much to handle in the paint for the Pacific Lutheran Lutes and the Pioneers downed PLU, 65-50, in a Northwest Conference women's basketball matchup Friday in Olson Auditorium. The Lutes were outrebounded 46-27. The loss drops PLU to 4-10 overall (2-4 NWC) and was the second loss for the team this week after it fell Tuesday to rival Puget Sound, 66-41. The Pioneers darted into a steady double-digit lead in the first half against the Lutes. But PLU gained momentum with five minutes left in the half after Shelly Kilcup nailed two three-pointers to bring the Lutes within six points of the Pioneers. Lewis & Clark maintained its lead and went into the half with a 36-23 lead over the Lutes after shooting 40 percent from the field. The Lutes rallied early in the second half to cut the Pioneers' lead to 40-35. Sara Backstrom struck first for PLU with a layup after a Lewis & Clark turnover. Samantha Potter followed by scoring in the paint and finishing a fast break layup on the next possession. Kilcup knocked down two consecutive free throws after a Pioneer bucket and then came back down the court for another quick two points after a rebound and outlet from Backstrom, bringing PLU within five of Lewis & Clark. Within the next six minutes, Lewis & Clark pushed its lead to 54-41 on a scoring run led by Christina Herring and Neva Hauser. From there, the Pioneers took off, leading by as much as 18 points with less than five minutes remaining. Kilcup finished with a game-high 15 points, followed by Potter who tallied 12 points and five rebounds. Jordan Westering led PLU with six rebounds. Hauser topped the Pioneers with 14 points while shooting 6-for-10, and she led all players with 10 rebounds. Christina Herring shot 6-for-10 and had 11 points, and Kristina Williams 10 points and eight rebounds. The Pioneers shot nearly 45 percent from the field compared to 36 percent for the Lutes.
Puget Sound 66, PLU 41: Puget Sound rode the momentum of a 16-2 scoring spurt during a five-minute period in the middle of the game to a 66-41 Northwest Conference women's basketball win over the Pacific Lutheran Lutes in Olson Auditorium. With the victory, the Loggers (11-3 overall) moved into first place in the conference standing with a 4-1 record, one win ahead of George Fox and Lewis & Clark. Pacific Lutheran dropped to 2-3 in the conference and 4-9 overall. Ayla Mull hit a pair of jump shots to spur the Lutes, who rallied from an early eight-point deficit to pull within one point, 22-21, with 2:26 remaining in the opening half. Puget Sound closed out the half with an 8-2 run, including back-to-back three-point baskets by Val Middleton and Jocelyn Riordan in the final 30 seconds, to make it 30-23 at the half. The Loggers opened the second half by scoring eight unanswered points, capped by Sarah Stewart's three-point bomb, to take a 38-23 lead. UPS never led by less than 11 points after that, and its largest lead came at the end of the game. Riordan hit 3-for-4 from three-point range to lead the Loggers with 15 points, while Lindsay Layland had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Kelsey McKinnis added 10 points for the winners, who got scoring from 11 different players. PLU, which shot just 32 percent from the field while also committing 22 turnovers, was led by Shelly Kilcup with seven points and six rebounds. Puget Sound, which also shot 32 percent for the game, had a whopping 53-35 advantage in rebounds.