Written by Student Assistant Jake Bilyeu
TACOMA, Wash. – The Pacific Lutheran University women's basketball team gave its home crowd plenty to celebrate in the home opener, defeating Northwest Indian College 94-32 on Tuesday evening in a non-conference game inside Olson Gymnasium. 12 Lutes ended up scoring on the night as PLU established a school record for largest margin of victory in the 62-point blowout win.
The game's start time was delayed by half-an-hour, but that didn't stop the Lutes (1-2) from getting going early. Hailey Marsh provided the spark that the Lutes needed, sinking four of five three-point shots in the first quarter. Anna Hurd ensured that her presence was felt as well, securing eight rebounds in the half. She finished the contest with a double-double, scoring 10 points and hauling in 11 rebounds.
After the Lutes starters established a lead in the first half, the bench helped in keeping up the pressure in the second. Madison Green-Hayward and Kylie Rademacher led the Lutes in the final 20 minutes, with Green-Hayward scoring 10 points and Rademacher following up with nine. The two combined to shoot eight-for-11 from the field in the half.
The Lutes did not lose sight of their camaraderie throughout their scoring. Of their 37 made field goals, 26 of them were assisted. Anna Hurd and Madison Salisbury led the team in assists with four apiece.
"We just played very unselfishly, and we were able to make the extra pass all night which was great," Kylie Rademacher said. "It was just fun to play good team basketball."
The Lutes commitment to sharing the ball paid off on the whole, as they shot just over 50 percent from the floor en route to victory, going 37-for-73 (50.7 percent) from the floor. PLU dominated the glass, owning a 62-15 rebounding edge on the Eagles (1-5), including a 26-2 advantage on offensive boards.
"It was very fun to see the energy that the bench brought," head coach Jennifer Childress said. "You can tell that this team has a lot of great chemistry, and they were feeding off of that."
The Lutes now hope to carry their momentum through this short week, as their quick turnaround pits them against eighth-ranked Whitman College in their Northwest Conference opener this Friday at 6 p.m.
"This weekend will be a huge test for us, and we always prepare very hard for Whitman," Childress said. "Hopefully some of the freshman gained some confidence tonight. They need to know that the rim will be the same size on Friday as it was tonight, and so I'm hoping to see us hit our shots when we get open looks."