Bearcats Women Beat Lewis and Clark on Payne's Late Free Throws

SALEM — Laura Payne hit two free throws with 17 seconds remaining as the Willamette University women’s basketball team beat Lewis and Clark 57-55 in a Northwest Conference game Tuesday night.

The Bearcats, 5-7 overall and 2-1 in the NWC, came back from a 13-point halftime deficit. Freshman wing Julia Short scored a game-high 14 points, seven of them in the opening minutes of the second half. Lewis and Clark fall to 4-7 overall, 0-2 NWC.

The Bearcats finally tied the game at 51-51 with 5:27 to play when Roni Schneider stole the ball and fed Short for a lay-up. After Carrie Centlivre gave the Pioneers the lead on a driving lay-up, Laura Payne tied the game at 53-53 on an assist from Short.

Jennifer Bell hit one of two free throws at the 1:57 mark to give Willamette its first lead of the game. But Kayla Kennedy scored on a driving lay-up to put Lewis&Clark up at the 1:17 mark.

Bell hit one of two free throws with 20 seconds to play to tie the game. Vanessa Wyffels (two points, 13 rebounds), grabbed the offensive board, setting the stage for Payne’s winning free throws two seconds later.

Payne had 12 points and four assists for the Bearcats. Bell added nine points and Kari Woody had eight, all in the first half.

For Lewis and Clark, Allison Farr led the team with 14 points. Sarah Moon added 11 points and five assists and seven rebounds.

The Bearcats shot 38% for the game to 42% for the Pioneers. The Pioneers out-rebounded the Bearcats 35-32.