LET'S GET STARTED: Western Oregon, a NCAA Division school located in Monmouth, Ore., is Pacific Lutheran's first opponent to start the 2012-13 women's basketball season. The non-conference game is scheduled for a 2 p.m. tipoff. The game is the season opener for the Lutes, while Western Oregon is 1-2 this season.
SERIES HISTORY: Pacific Lutheran has played Western Oregon six times in women's basketball and has lost all six times. It's been awhile since the programs met, however, as the teams last faced each other in the 1996-97 season.
ABOUT THE WOLVES: All of Western Oregon's three previous counting games came on its home floor. Mariah Durian is the team's leading scorer with 13.7 points per game, followed by Dana Goularte and Lorrie Clifford with 12.7 apiece. Goularte leads the team in rebounding with 8.7 per contest.
ABOUT THE LUTES: With junior post players Samantha Potter and Katelyn Smith leading the way, the Pacific Lutheran women's basketball team enters the 2012-13 season looking to get the program consistently back into the win column. "Our juniors have developed into very nice leaders for our team and it makes all the difference," sixth-year PLU head coach Kelly Robinson said. "We are blessed to have leaders who take ownership in our team and the results of each practice and game. They have a great understanding for our conference and are willing to do whatever is necessary to pursue excellence." Potter, a second team all-conference pick in 2011-12, is the leader of that group after putting up 14 double-doubles, which ranked 15th in the nation. She averaged 16.8 points per game, ranking her third in the NWC, and with 10.9 rebounds per contest she was tops among all NWC players. Smith averaged 9.1 points and 5.0 rebounds per game before suffering a knee injury at the end of the season, but she is healthy and practicing this year. Other top returnees from the 2011-12 season are sophomore point guard Andi Adams, junior guard Austin Schorno, and junior forward Chrissy Swope, all of whom played at least 24 of the team's 25 games last season. Robinson is excited about the potential impact of her freshman class. That group includes guards Megan Abdo, Sarah Barnes, Hannah Munson and Samantha Schubach, and post players Michaela Edgers and Amber Stokes. "The freshmen have stepped in nicely and adjusted quicker than usual to the demands and pace of the college game," Robinson said. "I expect several of them to contribute significantly this season."
HOME OPENER: Following the Western Oregon contest the Lutes will have 10 days away from competition before they open their home slate at 6 p.m. Nov. 27 against Warner Pacific, a member of the NAIA and the Cascade Collegiate Conference.
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