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Transylvania takes down Lutes 63-52 to open Scottsdale Shootaround

Katelyn Smith / Photo by Jesse Major
Katelyn Smith / Photo by Jesse Major

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Pacific Lutheran made more baskets in the game, but tournament host Transylvania finished with 16 more made free throws to knock off the Lutes 63-52 Sunday evening at the Scottsdale Shootout women's basketball tournament.

The loss drops PLU's record to 3-5, while Transylvania improves to 8-1 this season. The Lutes will look to bounce back Monday at 6 p.m. (MST) against Concordia Chicago.

Each team struggled to make shots in one of the two halves of play, as Transylvania shot 22.6 percent (7-of-31) in the first half and PLU shot 26.5 percent (9-of-34) in the second. The Lutes' second-half shooting woes helped the Pioneers outscore PLU 36-22 and earn a double-digit victory after trailing by as many as 12 points in the opening period.

Shelly Kilcup led PLU with 14 points, while Sarah Barnes added 11. The Lutes' Katelyn Smith (each team had a player with the name) grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds to go with six points, and Samantha Potter finished with 10 rebounds and five points.

Nicole Coffman and Jordin Fender each scored 18 for Transylvania. Smith scored 12 and grabbed a team-high six rebounds, and Hanna Neeley scored 10 points.

Pacific Lutheran out-rebounded Transylvania by 19 (57-to-38) and made more two-point baskets (21-to-19) and three-pointers (4-to-3), but the Pioneers held significant advantages in free throws (making 22-of-30 to the Lutes' 6-of-8) and turnovers (18 for the Pioneers and 29 for PLU). The Lutes finished with almost twice as many fouls as the Pioneers (23-to-12), accounting for the discrepancy in free throws.

Kilcup opened the scoring for the Lutes with a layup in the opening seconds as PLU jumped out to a 13-2 lead less than five minutes into the game. PLU's largest lead of the contest came about seven minutes later in the first half, when a jumper by Smith made it 20-8 before a layup by Fender sparked a 12-point Transylvania streak that tied the game at 20-apiece.

Sarah Barnes ended the run and put PLU back up by two with a jumper, and a few minutes back-to-back threes by Megan Abdo and Kilcup gave the Lutes a six-point advantage, but the Pioneers narrowed the game to 30-27 going into the halftime break.

Coffman tied it up with the first basket of the second half, dropping a three-pointer to set the stage for seven consecutive TC points. That put the Pioneers on top for the first time in the game, and they held the lead the rest of the way. The game remained close until the final six minutes, when Transylvania stretched its lead to double-figures and never allowed the Lutes to pull closer than six.