Pacific Lutheran Wins Defensive Battle with Bearcats, 60-54

Lamson Scores 12 Points, Earns Four Steals for Willamette

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Pacific Lutheran University built a double-digit lead in the second half and held off Willamette University for a 60-54 victory over the Bearcats on Friday, Dec. 2 at Cone Field House. The game was the Northwest Conference opener for both teams.

PLU upped its record to 3-1 on the season, 1-0 in the NWC. Willamette fell to 0-5 overall, 0-1 in the NWC.

The first half included four ties and five lead changes, with the Lutes tallying the final five points of the period to take a 37-33 lead at the break. Shelly Kilcup of PLU and Sophie Wilson (Jr., G, Port Townsend, WA/Port Townsend HS) were tied for scoring honors at halftime with nine points apiece.

Pacific Lutheran opened the second half with an 8-3 run for a 45-36 advantage. After Kaileigh Westermann (Sr., F, Belfair, WA/South Kitsap HS) cut the margin to seven points with a layup at the 16:58 mark, the Lutes responded with a 7-0 run to claim a 52-38 lead.

Willamette pull back within eight points, 52-44, at the 12:49 mark, as MacKenzie Lamson (So., Wing, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) scored on a jumper, hit two free throws and added a layup for a 6-0 run.

Katelyn Smith of PLU sank a layup with 11:35 remaining to stop Lamson's personal scoring streak. The Lutes added two free throws by Sara Backstrom for a 56-44 lead with 9:47 on the clock and led by double digits for until less than two minutes remaining.

A jumper by Alexa Beeson (So., Wing, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) brought WU within 60-51 at the 1:29 mark. Beeson tacked on two free throws for the Bearcats with 49 seconds to go and Wilson provided a layup with 11 seconds left.

Smith topped all players with 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Lutes. Samantha Potter added 12 points, nine rebounds and three assists before fouling out for PLU with 3:17  still to be played in the second half. Kilcup supplied the Lutes with 11 points and led PLU with three 3-point baskets.

For the Bearcats, Lamson scored 12 points and Wilson finished with 10. Lamson also earned four steals, while Wilson connected on a team-high three 3-pointers. Maya McFaddin (Sr., Wing, McMinnville, OR/McMinnville HS) earned nine points and Westermann hauled down six rebounds. Jojo DeLong (Fr., PG, Santa Clarita, CA/Canyon HS) registered four assists.

Willamette shot just 26.9% on field goals in the second half (7 of 26) to finish the game at 33.3% (19 of 57). PLU shot 37.0% (10 of 27) over the final 20 minutes and completed the game at 41.9% from the field (26 of 62). The Lutes achieved a 41-35 rebounding margin, but committed 24 turnovers, while WU lost the ball 21 times.

The Bearcats will remain at home to host the University of Puget Sound in NWC action on Saturday, Dec. 3. Game time at Cone Field House is set for 6 p.m. (PST).

BOX SCORE

Pacific Lutheran University 60
Willamette University 54

Maya McFaddin scored nine points for Willamette.

Maya McFaddin scored nine points for Willamette.