Written by Student Assistant Jake Bilyeu
WALLA WALLA, Wash. – The Pacific Lutheran University women's basketball team opened its four-game-road-trip on Friday inside the Sherwood Center and was unable to keep pace with undefeated Whitman College, falling 88-41 to the Northwest Conference leaders.
The Lutes (1-13, 0-5 NWC) stayed competitive with 16th-ranked Whitman (14-0, 5-0 NWC) through most of the first quarter, but the hosts seized control over the next two quarters. While they frequented the free-throw line, the Lutes had an extended scoring drought from the field, allowing the Blues to pull away midway through the contest. The Lute offense kicked in at the end of the third and fourth quarters, but Whitman dealt plenty of damage on the other end of the floor, shooting 51.5 percent (34-for-66) from the field for the game.
The Lute bench delivered a resounding sound off for the team, as the second unit shot 7 of 13 from the floor, scoring 19 points in the fourth. Despite the bench production, the host Blues stood tall in the end to remain undefeated to remain atop the conference standings.
Lacey Nicholson contributed some much-needed grit for the Lutes tonight, leading the way with 10 points while grabbing six rebounds and two steals. Nicholson struggled from the floor, but got to the free-throw line 10 times to provide some extra offense. Anna Hurd also grabbed nine rebounds while scoring seven points to help the Lutes inside. Samantha Kelleigh matched Hurd with seven points while Lauren Furu tallied six points off the bench.
The Lutes continue their road trip on Saturday, facing Whitworth at 4 p.m. in Spokane, Washington.