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February 6, 2012

Second Go-Round as Lutes Travel to Face Loggers

TUESDAY TUSSLE: Pacific Lutheran will travel across Tacoma for a Northwest Conference women's basketball contest against the Puget Sound Loggers. Tipoff in the UPS Memorial Fieldhouse is 6 p.m.

LATER THIS WEEK: PLU plays the last of four straight on the road at 6 p.m. Saturday when it faces the nationally ranked Lewis & Clark Pioneers in Portland, Ore.

LISTEN LIVE: Hall of Fame broadcaster Bob Robertson will be courtside to call the remainder of the PLU home and road basketball games. Those games can be heard in the Tacoma area on KLAY 1180 AM, as well as online at www.golutes.com. Click on the Listen Live on the right side of the page and then on the appropriate link.

ON THE TUBE: Tuesday's game between the Lutes and Loggers will be broadcast eleven times on tape delay on TV Tacoma, which is available in Tacoma and Pierce County. TV Tacoma is carried on both the Click! and Comcast Cable systems.  On Click! TV Tacoma can be seen on Channel 12 in the Tacoma City limits and in Pierce County, with the exception of University Place, where it can be found on Channel 21.  On Comcast, TV Tacoma can be seen on Channel 12 in the Tacoma City limits and on Channel 21 in Pierce County. Jeff Lueders will provide the play-by-play for both games.

THE FIRST TIME: The first meeting between the two Tacoma area rivals back on Jan. 10 went to overtime before it was decided in Puget Sound's favor. Pacific Lutheran rallied from a nine-point halftime deficit only to drop a 65-58 overtime decision in Olson Auditorium. The Lutes put together a furious second half rally after a first-half stretch that saw them go without a point for 10 minutes and 15 seconds. Puget Sound took a 16-point lead at 39-23 on a three-point bucket by Kelsey McKinnis with 14:33 remaining in the game, but the Lutes whittled away at their deficit, getting to within a point at 45-44 on Potter's three-point play with just under five minutes left. The Loggers kept the lead until the closing minute when Katelyn Smith knocked down a free throw to tie it at 54-54 with 56 seconds on the clock. Neither team scored in the closing seconds with Puget Sound missing on one opportunity and the Lutes coming up empty on a pair of three-point attempts. In the overtime, UPS nailed five of its last six free throws to wrap up the victory, its sixth in a row against PLU. Samantha Potter had a huge game for the Lutes with 29 points and 18 rebounds. She shot 12-for-19 from the floor and hit all five of her free throws. Smith added 14 points for the Lutes. PLU did a good job of sharing the ball, compiling 18 assists on their 21 field goals.

THE SERIES: Puget Sound leads the all-time series, 42-24, and has won six straight games. PLU last won, 69-36, during the 2008-09 season. PLU has won as many as 11 games in a row against the Loggers, while UPS has an eight-game winning streak as its longest in the series.

McKINNIS LEADS LOGGERS: Junior team captain Kelsey McKinnis leads the Puget Sound Loggers with an average of 14.2 points per game, followed by Jocelyn Riordan at 10.2 points per contest. Lindsey Layland paces UPS with an average of 6.3 rebounds.

STILL THINKING PINK: Pacific Lutheran has already hosted Think Pink Breast Cancer Awareness and Coaches Vs. Cancer events at home games this year, but the PLU women's and men's players, coaches and fans will continue their fight against cancer when PLU plays at the University of Puget Sound on Tuesday, Feb. 7. The PLU coaches have agreed to have their players wear their pink gear to show support for the mother of PLU women's player Shelly Kilcup, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2011. Additionally, the Pacific Lutheran players will show their support for Stana Landon, a Puget Sound assistant athletic trainer, who is fighting her second battle against breast cancer. Stana is the best friend of PLU assistant athletic trainer Gen Ludwig. So PLU fans, if you plan to attend either or both Feb. 7 games, make sure to wear your pink to show your support of Mrs. Kilcup and Stana Landon. As a side note, pink ribbons will be sold at the game for $1 each in order to help with Stana's medical bills.

BIEKER SETS CAREER MARK: Mackenzie Bieker scored a career-high 21 points to lead Pacific Lutheran to an 87-83 overtime victory at Whitworth last Saturday. The junior wing from Clackamas, Ore., has had her shooting struggles this year, but Saturday night she was dead-on, going 8-for-11 from the field.

POTTER DOUBLES HER FUN: This past weekend, Samantha Potter had a pair of double-doubles as PLU split games at Whitman (64-42 loss) and Whitworth (87-83 win). She recorded a career-best 19 rebounds to go along with 19 points in the win at Whitworth after going for 15 points and 14 rebounds against Whitman. Potter has recorded 10 double-doubles already and is now averaging double-figures in both points (16.9) and rebounds (10.5) this season. "Samantha...has been consistently outstanding for us throughout this season," PLU head coach Kelly Robinson said.

KILCUP HAS SOLID NUMBERS: Sophomore point guard Shelly Kilcup finished among the national leaders in three-point field goal percentage a year ago, and while her long-range shooting numbers are down this year, she is finding plenty of ways to contribute for the Lutes. She ranks second on the team in both scoring (12.8 ppg) and rebounding (5.8 rpg), and is the team leader with 20 blocked shots in 21 games. In last Saturday's win at Whitworth, Kilcup hauled down a career-best 15 rebounds, including 14 on the defensive end of the floor.

PLU 87, WHITWORTH 83: Mackenzie Bieker hit a pair of free throws with eight seconds left in overtime to secure an 87-83 win for visiting Pacific Lutheran over Whitworth on Saturday evening at the Whitworth Fieldhouse. Bieker led the way with a career-high 21 points as the Lutes improved to 7-14 overall and 4-8 in the conference. The Lutes jumped out to a quick double-digit lead as the Pirates missed 10 of their first 11 shots from the field. By the time Samantha Potter scored inside just over six minutes into the game the Lutes were up 14-3. The Bucs responded and cut the deficit to 33-31 at halftime. Whitworth appeared to take over the game, outscoring PLU 14-0 to open their own 67-62 advantage, but Sara Backstrom hit a three-pointer to pull PLU within 70-69, then hit another three over tight defense to tie the game 72-72 with nine seconds left.  A PLU foul put Whitworth's Kayla Johnson at the foul line with four seconds left and she made both free throws. With the Lutes needing a basket to tie the game, Shelly Kilcup drove for the tying layin as time expired. Whitworth scored the first five points of overtime, including a three-point play by Johnson, and were still ahead 83-78 with 2:51 left following a jumper by Taylor Taylor.  PLU then made the final run of the game, outscoring the Pirates 9-0 down the stretch. Potter's basket put the Lutes ahead to stay, 84-83, with just over a minute to play.

SOMETHING ABOUT THAT WHITWORTH FIELDHOUSE: Pacific Lutheran's 87 points on Saturday were the most scored by a PLU team since early January of last season when the Lutes scored 86 in a victory against Whitworth at (of course) the Whitworth Fieldhouse. That game, however, did not go to overtime as did Saturday's contest.

WHITMAN 64, PLU 42: PLU scored just 15 points on 22 percent shooting in the first half and never recovered on Friday night, losing to Whitman, 64-42, at Sherwood Center in Walla Walla. Whitman built a 16-6 lead just 6 1/2 minutes into the game and was never headed. By that point in the game, Katelyn Smith was the only PLU player to score a point. Samantha Potter was the next Pacific Lutheran player to score, but her jumper halfway through the first half only got the Lutes to within 21-8. The Lutes trailed 34-15 at intermission and at that point only Potter and Smith had dented the scoring column, Smith with the team's first six points and Potter with the next nine. PLU shot just 6-for-27 in the opening half, including 0-for-16 combined for every player not named Potter or Smith. Potter sparked the Lutes with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Shelly Kilcup added nine points for the Lutes, while Smith chipped in eight points and five rebounds.

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