Written by Student Assistant Jake Bilyeu
TACOMA, Wash. – It was a tale of two halves for the Pacific Lutheran University women's basketball team on Saturday afternoon as visiting Lewis & Clark College came away with a 60-51 victory over the Lutes in a Northwest Conference game inside Olson Gymnasium. A significant free throw disparity paired with a tough second half shooting-wise ultimately prevented the Lutes from securing the win.
The visiting Pioneers (9-6, 4-2 NWC) held a slim 12-11 advantage after one quarter of play. PLU (4-11, 0-6 NWC) exploded offensively in the second quarter, outscoring Lewis & Clark by a 21-12 margin, including the final five points of the half to own a 32-34 lead at the break. PLU's lead swelled to double-digits early in the second half with Mackenzie Cooper hitting a layup just 32 seconds in but the Pioneers slowly inched back into the game, cutting the gap to just three heading into the fourth before taking the lead for good with 5:12 remaining in the game.
The Lutes saw three scorers finish in double figures on Saturday night. After recent shooting struggles, Mackenzie Cooper proved to be a reliable contributor for her squad, sinking half of her 12 shots to finish the game with 12 points. Emma Janousek finished second in scoring with 11 points on 12 shots, while also controlling the tempo on both sides of the floor, snagging five steals and three assists on the night.
Madison Salisbury was the third Lute in double figures with 10 points on five-of-11 shooting while also grabbing seven rebounds. Kristin Sturdivan and Anna Hurd led the team on the glass with eight rebounds while Sturdivan added eight points on the offensive end.
The Lutes again struggled to hit their shots late in the game. Despite grabbing 19 offensive boards in the second half while holding the Pioneers to just 22 total boards for the half, the Lutes failed to capitalize on their extra chances. They shot just 22 percent from the floor (nine-for-40) in the half, while the Pioneers turned up their offense to hit nearly half of their shots (13-for-27). Lewis & Clark enjoyed 27 trips to the free throw line, hitting 17 of its attempts while the Lutes made just 10 total appearances to the charity stripe.
The Lutes now have a quick turnaround before their next NWC game. They'll head across town to face rival University of Puget Sound in Tacoma on Tuesday, before returning home to host Pacific University in their lone game next weekend on Saturday.