Written by Student Assistant Jake Bilyeu
TACOMA, Wash. – Samantha Kelleigh scored a career-high 26 points but it was not enough as the Pacific Lutheran University women's basketball team wrapped up the Doug McArthur Classic with a 68-61 setback to Nebraska Wesleyan University on Saturday inside Memorial Gymnasium.
The Lutes finished the classic 0-2, but they showed promise, hinting that greater things are still to come.
PLU got off to a much better start than their previous outing with Kelleigh leading the way with eight points in the opening quarter, making two three-pointers, as the Lutes kept within reach of the Prairie Wolves (1-1), 15-12.
The Lutes then fell behind in the opening moments of the second quarter, but Marleisha Cox kept the offense going in their scoring drought, and Kelleigh added two more three-pointers, as the Lutes closed the earlier gap to enter the half trailing 35-25.
Defense became the key in the third quarter, as the Lutes held their foes to just 11 points in the quarter. However, the Prairie Wolves defense stepped up as well, holding the Lutes to 12 points to keep their lead intact, 46-37.
Both offenses roared back into control in the second half, and the Lutes managed to pull within four on a Kristin Sturdivan three with 6:06 remaining. However, the Prairie Wolves made just enough of their free throws, and the Lutes ran out of time, falling 68-61.
Kelleigh led the Lutes with 26 points, shooting eight-for-14 from beyond the arc. Sturdivan followed with 12 points, going three-for-eight from downtown. Kaelyn Voss added seven assists and five steals, while Marleisha Cox and Kylie Rademacher grabbed six rebounds apiece.
The Lutes return to the court on Wednesday traveling to Olympia, Washington to face Evergreen State College at 4 p.m.