Written by Student Assistant Jake Bilyeu
ELLENSBURG, Wash. – The Pacific Lutheran University women's basketball team faced off against Division II Central Washington University in an exhibition on Saturday afternoon. The Lutes were outscored in the exhibition 74-55, but they can look to build off of some strong performances from their younger players going forward.
First years Madison Salisbury and Kylee Johnson led the Lutes in scoring on Saturday, providing most of their points in the first half to jumpstart the Lute offense. Johnson came off the bench to hit two key three-point shots in the first half, and finished the game with nine points. Salisbury provided the most scoring for the team, shooting four-of-eight in the first half and going on to finish with 12 points.
"Tonight's game was very encouraging, CWU is a talented, physical, and athletic team that will fare well through their D2 schedule," head coach Jennifer Childress said. "Our young team matched their effort and intensity, but we made some youthful mistakes that they capitalized on, and the size disadvantage gave them high percentage looks as well as second chance points."
The Lutes also shot the ball better than they had in their previous outings, going five-of-13 from three-point-range, and shooting almost 42 percent on the whole. The Lute bench also came through to provide 25 points, outscoring the Wildcats bench by six. Childress was proud of the team's shooting, but still hopes they can continue to improve.
"We need to continue to identify high percentage opportunities to score and not settle for hurried shots," Childress said.
With some adjustments to their schedule, the Lutes now set their sights on their home opener against Northwest Indian College, slated for this Tuesday at 5 p.m. The Lutes hope to use this match-up as their final chance to finely tune their game prior to Northwest Conference play, which begins next weekend, when the Lutes host the Whits on Friday and Saturday.
"These early games are prepping us for conference play," Childress said. "The players are doing a great job soaking up the lessons we can only learn on the court."