Linfield women's basketball tops Lewis & Clark

Courtesy of Linfield sports information

PORTLAND – Defensively limiting the Lewis & Clark Pioneers to just 27 second-half points while converting an impressive 63 percent of its field goal attempts over the final 20 minutes, Linfield stormed back from 17 points down to secure an 82-71 Northwest Conference victory over Lewis & Clark Tuesday evening inside the Pamplin Sports Center.

The Wildcats (7-13, 3-8 NWC) bested the Pioneers (10-10, 5-6 NWC) for the first time in nine tries, including a heartbreaking one-point defeat back in January, and also halted a four-game losing streak.

Taylor Solomon sank five 3-pointers as part of a 21-point performance that led a quartet of double-digit scorers on the visitors’ side. Kaely Maltman recorded her seventh double-double of the year with 17 points and 13 rebounds, leading all players in the latter category.

Jessica McMillan matched a career-high with 11 points while Riley Graham pumped in 10 more off the bench.

Tayler Wang scored 20 points on 7-for-17 shooting from the field, and Sarah Anderson contributed 13 points, including four 3-pointers.

Lewis & Clark looked to have the game in hand after making good on eight 3-pointers in the first half, including four straight as part of a 12-2 run that turned a 11-10 Wildcat lead into a 22-13 advantage with 11:24 to play in the opening period. Linfield shot the ball well – 43.5 percent – but did not get nearly the shot opportunities as the Pioneers enjoyed (35-23) due in part to nine first-half turnovers.

By intermission, Lewis & Clark held a 44-27 lead, punctuated by Wang's buzzer-beating layup.

The final 20 minutes, however, belonged to the Wildcats.

Katelyn Henson scored just 11 seconds after the second-half whistle, sparking a 5-0 run that pulled Linfield to within 10 points. The ‘Cats whittled the deficit down to single digits on a 3-pointer from Solomon with 14:41 to play, and kept it within reach for good after Graham's trey at the 12:36 mark of the half.

A free throw from Dani Krier with 4:36 on the clock knotted the score for just the third time all game, 67-67, and McMillan's make from downtown a little more than a minute later gave Linfield its first lead since the 13:53 mark of the first half.

The Pioneers got as close as four points, 73-69 on Ayisat Afolabi's jumper, as the clock wound down, but Maltman knocked down 4-of-6 free throw attempts with less than 20 seconds remaining to prevent a late collapse.

On the night, the ‘Cats experienced one of their better shooting nights from the charity stripe, capitalizing on 17 of 30 opportunities. Lewis & Clark hit just eight field goals in the second half, scoring exactly a third of its 27 points from the free throw line.

Linfield takes on Whitworth in Spokane tonight night at 6 p.m. before trekking to Walla Walla for a 4 p.m. Saturday matchup against Whitman.


Men’s basketball

Lewis & Clark 79, Linfield 70

PORTLAND – Randall Jackson came off the bench for a game-high 20 points, one of three Lewis & Clark Pioneers to reach double figures in scoring during a 79-70 Northwest Conference triumph over the Linfield Wildcats Tuesday night at Pamplin Sports Center.

Tanner Brill, Adam Myren and Ryan Potter all tallied 15 points for Linfield. Chris Dirks added 12 points and nine rebounds off the bench for the Wildcats (3-17, 1-10 NWC).

The final statistics were fairly even, with L&C shooting 46.2 percent to Linfield's 43.1. The ‘Cats forced 11 turnovers while giving up the ball just eight times. The greatest disparity came on the backboards, where the Pioneers outrebounded the Wildcats by a 39-27 spread, and from the charity stripe, where L&C enjoyed 30 more free throw opportunities, making 25. By comparison, Linfield attempted 17 free throws, converting 13.

The shuffling of the basketball schedule has put Linfield in position of playing four games in the span of eight days, three of them on the road. The Wildcats head to Washington state on the draining eastern swing where they'll face defending NWC champion Whitworth Friday night followed by a Saturday encounter with Whitman. Friday's game tips off at 8 o'clock while Saturday's begins at 6 p.m.

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