SEASON REVIEW: The Pacific Lutheran University women's basketball team wrapped up the 2011-12 season last weekend with two home games at Olson Auditorium. The Lutes finished the season with a 7-18 record and with a 4-12 mark in Northwest Conference action, Pacific Lutheran finished in a seventh-place tie with Linfield College. In the annual pre-season coaches poll, coaches from around the conference picked the Lutes to finish in seventh-place. With a 16-0 record in NWC play, the George Fox University Bruins won the regular season title and continued a six-year streak atop the NWC standings. PLU will only be graduating one player from its roster this season, guard Sara Backstrom. Although the Lutes will miss the leadership and playing ability of Backstrom, the Lutes have gained valuable experience this season and may be poised to make a run for the NWC playoffs in 2012-13.
DOUBLE-DOUBLE MACHINE: In her freshman season, Samantha Potter burst onto the scene for the Lutes and performed admirably earning NWC honorable mention recognition. In 2011-12, her second season on campus, Potter established herself as one of the best players in the conference. Starting all 25 games for the Lutes, the sophomore averaged 16.8 points per game which ranked third in the NWC. Along with scoring the basketball, Potter averaged 10.9 rebounds per contest which ranked 1st among all NWC foes. Potter ended the season with a remarkable 14 doubles-double's in 25 games. With 421 total points on the season, Potter finished the year with the fourth-best scoring season in PLU history. In the 1997-89 season, Kim Corbray scored 492 points which is best all-time. Also, with 180 field goals made on the year, Samantha holds the second spot for field goals made in program history for a single season. In addition, Potter's 272 rebounds rank her fourth in rebounds for a single season in PLU history.
BACKSTROM AMONG THE GREATS: Senior Sara Backstrom, who finished her four-year career with the Lutes this past weekend, established herself as one of the best passers to put on a PLU uniform. Playing over 2,500 minutes in 93 career games, Backstrom recorded 292 career assists, ranking her fifth all-time in program history.
LOOKING TO 2012-13: A brief look at the 2012-13 roster shows a squad returning that has the potential to climb the standings and make a run at the NWC postseason. Building around Samantha Potter, who could be the favorite for the NWC Player of the Year award, the Lutes have the pieces to contend next season. Mackenzie Bieker and Shelly Kilcup, who both started all 25 games this season, return for the Lutes. Sophomore post Katelyn Smith, who started 24 games in 2011-12 will also be back for another season. With four starters and a handful of key reserves from this season returning, the Lutes have to potential to make the NWC playoffs and compete for an NWC title.