Lewis & Clark's Defense Sends Pioneers to 60-48 Northwest Conference Win over Willamette

SALEM, ORE. -- The Lewis & Clark College women’s basketball team played outstanding defense against Willamette University on Saturday, Jan. 6, as the Pioneers limited the Bearcats to 27.3% shooting and forced WU into 24 turnovers, sending L&C to a 60-48 Northwest Conference victory at Cone Field House. Lewis & Clark recorded 16 steals, while improving to 8-5 overall, 1-3 in the conference. Willamette made just 15 of 55 field goals, while dropping to 3-10 overall, 1-3 in the NWC. The Bearcats, who edged Pacific University, 71-66 in overtime, on Friday, had won three of their last four games before taking on the Pioneers.

Keilyn Fujioka (Fr., F, Kailua, HI/Iolani HS) of Willamette was the game’s top scorer with 18 points on 6 of 9 field goals and 6 for 6 at the line. Fujioka was the Bearcats’ leading rebounder during the game, as she hauled down seven boards.

Willamette held a 5-2 lead with 19:00 left in the first half, but L&C scored 12 of the next 13 points to take a 14-6 lead. The Pioneers forced four turnovers during the run. The Bearcats trailed 34-25 at halftime, but Fujioka led all players with 12 first-half points.

Lewis & Clark opened the second period with an 8-0 run to take a 42-25 advantage with 16:00 remaining. The Pioneers, who caused 15 turnovers by WU in the final 20 minutes, led 54-29 with 7:51 left. Willamette outscored L&C 19-6 the rest of the way.

Allison Farr and Shawna Castle each scored 12 points for Lewis & Clark. Crystal Castle added eight points and a team-high six rebounds for the Pioneers. Sarah Moon registered four steals, while Carrie Centlivre, Samantha Jonasson and Shawna Castle each earned three steals.

In addition to leading the Bearcats in scoring and rebounding, Fujioka provided WU with two assists and two blocked shots. Her 18 points gave her double digit scoring for the fifth time in the last six games. She committed just one turnover in 29 minutes against Lewis & Clark, before fouling out with 5:49 left.

Sara Brooks (Sr., G, Rainier, OR/Rainier HS) scored eight points for Willamette, to go with three assists and three rebounds. Kari Woody (Sr., F, Boise, ID/Timberline HS) contributed six rebounds, while Rebekah Wells (Jr., G, Lynnwood, WA/Edmonds-Woodway HS) supplied a team-high four rebounds.

Although Willamette struggled from the floor, the Bearcats were solid at the foul line, where they converted 14 of 16 shots. Lewis & Clark shot 41.9% on field goals (18 of 43) and hit 76.7% at the line (23 of 30). The Pioneers made 12 of 13 free throws in the first half. Lewis & Clark ended the game with a slim 34-33 rebounding edge.

The Bearcats will play two Northwest Conference games next weekend. On Friday, Jan. 12, the ‘Cats will play at George Fox University in Newberg, Ore., at 6 p.m. (PST). On Saturday, Jan. 13, WU will return to Cone Field House to host Linfield College, starting at 6 p.m. (PST). The Linfield contest will begin a five-game homestand for the Bearcats.