Written by Student Assistant Jake Bilyeu
TACOMA, Wash. – The Pacific Lutheran University women's basketball team returns home for the second time this season to host Warner Pacific College on Thursday at 6 p.m. inside Olson Gymnasium.
One of the Lutes' leaders from the outside and the interior has been senior Lacey Nicholson, who has opened up her final season with the team by averaging 11.7 points per game and 5.0 rebounds per game. She also leads the team in steals with 12 on the year so far. This Thursday, Nicholson is hoping to get stronger inside on the boards.
"I haven't been satisfied with my rebounding in the last few games and I think now that I have recognized that I can use it to motivate me," Nicholson said. "I'm also trying to drive to the hoop more often, as our offense needs more attacking and I'm a player that can provide that."
Nicholson also hopes to lead the Lutes (0-6, 0-2 Northwest Conference) to their best performance of the year so far, and she's got some ideas on how the team can accomplish that.
"We need to focus on us," Nicholson said. "No game is going to be handed to us this year, and we need to not worry about our opponents and really focus on playing together on the court."
The Lutes have also struggled maintaining possession on offense. If the team can find a way to keep their turnovers to a minimum, they should improve their chances of getting the win on Thursday.
"We have to take care of the basketball," Nicholson said. "To do that, we just need to slow down. Coach tells us to be sectional with the ball, which means we need to catch first, square up, and make a decision from there."
While Nicholson has a lot on her mind for Thursday's game, she's also focused on her student activities elsewhere. Nicholson is currently wrapping up another term as a Communication major, all while hosting PLU Mast Radio's Three and a Half Athletes and participating in a small bible study group on campus with some other female athletes at PLU. It can be tough at times for Nicholson to balance her time at school, but she makes it work.
"While I am very busy, I use my hobbies as a time to unplug from school and basketball."
Nicholson will surely plug back in to basketball on Thursday, as the Lutes hope to continue to improve their performance and their record. Following Thursday's game, the Lutes will have finals week off before hosting Buena Vista University and Trinity University (Texas) in the Pacific Northwest Tournament which starts on Saturday, December 17.
Dec. 8: PLU vs. Warner Pacific at Olson Gymnasium (6 p.m.)
Series History: The Lutes and Knights have met eight times on the hardwood with PLU owning a 5-3 advantage in the all-time series.
The two teams last met on Nov. 27, 2012 inside Olson Gymnasium with the visiting Knights earning the 75-53 victory.
About the Knights: NAIA Warner Pacific (2-6, 0-1 Cascade Collegiate Conference) heads into tonight's clash looking to shake off a three game slide. The Knights downed Pacific Union 75-69 back on Nov. 21 but have gone cold since, falling 78-44 to Whitman, 87-52 to Vanguard (Calif.), and 84-68 to Multnomah on Tuesday evening.
Darbi Pink powers the offense, averaging 11.1 ppg while Kyeli Hendryx adds 10.9 ppg and a team-high 6.3 rpg.