Puget Sound Women Turn Big First Half into 73-47 Win over Bearcats

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

TACOMA, WASH. -- The University of Puget Sound built a 45-16 halftime lead on its way to a 73-47 win over visiting Willamette University on Saturday, Feb. 23 at Memorial Fieldhouse. UPS, ranked #21 nationally, improved to 21-4 overall. The Loggers finished the regular season tied for first place with George Fox University in the Northwest Conference at 14-2. Willamette concluded the season at 5-20 overall, 3-13 in the NWC.

Willamette outscored the Loggers, 31-28, in the second half, but couldn't overcome the huge halftime deficit. Laura Payne (Sr., G, Sammamish, WA/Skyline HS) scored 12 points in the second half and finished with 15 points to lead the Bearcats. Tracie Nygaard (Sr., F, Knappa, OR/Knappa HS) provided 14 points for the Bearcats, while Alex Zennan (Fr., G, Sammamish, WA/Eastlake HS) tallied 10 points.

Payne concluded her four-year Willamette career with 1,027 points. She started all 99 games during her career and achieve a career scoring average of 10.4 points per game. She scored 326 points this season for a career-high average of 13.0 points per contest.

Marissa Cain topped the Loggers with 16 points. She also grabbed six rebounds. Laura Hirsch contributed 15 points and eight boards. Morgan Harter scored 15 points, supplied four assists and earned three steals.

The Loggers surged out to a 20-2 advantage in the opening 6:37 of the game. UPS extended the lead to 29 points at halftime, after shooting 54.8% from the field (17 of 31) in the first 20 minutes, while limiting WU to 23.1% shooting (6 of 26).

Willamette improved to 46.7% on field goals in the second half (14 of 30). Even so, the Bearcats were never able to reduce the Loggers' lead to fewer than 23 points.

UPS cooled off to 25% shooting (7 of 28) over the final 20 minutes, but connected on 12 of 14 free throws to finish the game 20 of 22 (90.9%) at the line. Willamette ended the night 4 for 8 at the charity stripe.

Each team achieved 37 rebounds. Nicki Clowdsley (Fr., C, Sammamish, WA/Skyline HS) led the 'Cats with eight boards, while Molly Fillion (Jr., G, Silverton, OR/Silverton HS/Linn-Benton CC) grabbed seven rebounds. Hirsch led the way for UPS with eight caroms. Natasha Ludwig hauled down seven boards for the Loggers.

BOX SCORE
University of Puget Sound 73, Willamette University 47
Laura Payne scored 15 points against UPS to finish her career with 1,027 points. She started all 99 games and averaged 10.4 points the past four years.

Laura Payne scored 15 points against UPS to finish her career with 1,027 points. She started all 99 games and averaged 10.4 points the past four years.