Written by Student Assistant Jake Bilyeu
TACOMA, Wash. – The Pacific Lutheran University women's basketball team finished up the 2016-17 season on the wrong end of a 79-57 decision against Linfield College on Friday night inside Olson Gymnasium. The Lutes traded buckets with the Wildcats in the second half, but their slow start in the first quarter became too much to overcome.
The Lutes (1-24, 0-16 NWC) saw their seniors all deliver strong performances in their final game. Samantha Kelleigh led the Lutes with 15 points, shooting four-of-10 from downtown. Lacey Nicholson added 13 points, getting to the line eight times and sinking seven free throws. Kaelyn Voss finished with eight points, while also contributing three steals and three assists.
Despite the slow start, the Lutes turned in 20 prolific minutes on the offensive end in the second half. The Lutes scored 38 points in the second half, but the Wildcats (10-14, 4-11 NWC) matched their pace while holding onto their lead. The Lutes cut their lead to 13 on multiple occasions, but failed to get any closer as the visitors used strong inside shooting to collect the win.
"We dug ourselves a hole coming out, our emotions were running deep, and it was tough to focus," said Head Coach Jennifer Childress. "We played some decent quarters, but it was tough to battle back."
While the Lutes' season didn't yield many wins, the coach and players experienced tremendous growth as a family and as individuals over the last few months.
"You can learn lessons from winning, but you learn a lot more in your losses," Childress said. "We grew in our game and in our character, and we never quit on the court."
The Lutes now look toward the offseason, and they hope to come back this fall with a stronger and healthier team.