Pacific Lutheran Defeats Willamette, 57-30

TACOMA, WASH. -- Pacific Lutheran University held Willamette University to 22.7% shooting in the second half (5 of 22) and outrebounded WU 40-27 during the game, as the Lutes defeated the Bearcats, 57-30, in a Northwest Conference women’s basketball game on Saturday, Dec. 2. PLU moved to 4-2 overall and to 2-0 in the NWC. Willamette dropped to 0-7 on the season, 0-2 in the NWC.

The Lutes placed just one player in double figures, Nikki Johnson, who recorded 12 points. PLU also committed 24 turnovers, missed all five of its three-point attempts and shot only 39.1% in the second half (9 of 23). The Bearcats couldn’t take advantage of PLU’s miscues and difficulties because the Lutes played so well defensively.

Willamette trailed by 30-16 at halftime, after hitting just 7 of 21 shots from the field and sinking only 1 of 3 free throws. The Bearcats finished the game 12 of 43 (27.9%) from the field and 5 of 10 at the line. WU made just 1 of 12 three-point attempts.

The top scorers for Willamette were freshman Keilyn Fujioka (F, Kailua, HI/Iolani HS) and sophomore Maggie Wilkens (G, Seattle, WA/Lakeside HS), each with six points. Kari Woody (Sr., F, Boise, ID/Timberline HS) led the Bearcats with eight rebounds. Fujioka, Sara Brooks (Sr., G, Rainier, OR/Rainier HS) and Laura Payne (Jr., G, Sammamish, WA/Skyline HS) supplied two assists apiece.

Johnson of Pacific Lutheran ended the contest as the only player in double figures. She was followed on the PLU roster by Danika Lawson, with eight points and by Abby McHugh, also with eight points. Melissa Richardson was PLU’s leader on the glass, as she hauled down six rebounds. PLU was credited with earning 11 steals, while forcing 29 turnovers.

For the game, Pacific Lutheran was 20 of 46 on field goals (43.5%) and 17 of 28 at the line (60.7%). The Lutes opened the second half with a eight consecutive points to start a 14-4 run, as PLU extended its lead to 44-20 with 13:37 remaining in the game.

The Bearcats, who have played their first seven games on the road, will finally play at Cone Field House on the Willamette University campus on Tuesday, Dec. 5, when they host cross-town rival Corban College. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m. (PST). Corban defeated Willamette, 71-62, on Nov. 21, but the Bearcats played well against the Warriors and will be looking to even the season series during Tuesday’s rematch.