Submitted photo courtesy Nathan Herde##
Linfield junior guard Janessa Yniquez dribbles up court during Tuesday’s conference tilt against Pacific.
Submitted photo courtesy Nathan Herde## Linfield junior guard Janessa Yniquez dribbles up court during Tuesday’s conference tilt against Pacific.
By News-Register staff • 

Wildcat women still seeking 1st victory after 73-52 loss to Boxers

By MADDIE LOVERICH

Special to the News-Register

Linfield women’s basketball fell to Pacific University 73-52 Tuesday evening in the team’s first contest of 2022. With the loss, the young Wildcat squad fell to 0-11 on the season.

“I was happy with the way that our girls battled to the end; we didn't give up,” said Linfield head coach Casey Bunn-Wilson. “We've had a long pause from games and we played rusty, but Pacific is a great team. They move the ball well, they rebound like crazy and they outrebounded at us by almost 25. For a smaller team, that's just the effort.”

Pacific dominated the boards, recording 48 rebounds to Linfield’s 22.

Wildcat freshman standout Gillyan Landis led the game with 19 points, shooting an efficient 80-percent from the field. Landis, a 6’2” forward from Yakima, currently leads all Wildcat scorers with 14 points per game.

“We did a good job tonight of finding Gillyan,” Bunn-Wilson said. “Obviously she's 6’3”, she found those mismatches, and she just did a good job of using her body and getting in position.”

The Wildcats kept pace with the Boxers for a few minutes, but their opponents led the entire game. Landis scored a quick 10 points in the first quarter.

The ‘Cats trailed 40-25 at halftime.

In a late surge, Linfield outscored Pacific 16-11 in the fourth quarter, boosted by five points from freshman guard Emma Schmerbach. It wasn’t quite enough, and the Boxers prevailed 73-52 at the final buzzer.

“We’ve got to work on those little things: defensive rebounding, defense as a collective team and just having a sense of urgency all four quarters,” Bunn-Wilson said. “I think we had a sense of urgency in the fourth quarter, but not the first three for whatever reason.”

Junior guard Rilee Price led the Boxers with 18 points, including a trio of three-pointers. Fellow junior guard and last week’s Northwest Conference Basketball Player of the Week Brilie Kovaloff added 13 points and seven rebounds.

The win, the Boxers’ sixth in a row, brought the team to a perfect 4-0 in conference. Next week, they’ll face undefeated conference opponents Whitman and University of Puget Sound, which will prove to be a test for all three teams.

Tuesday’s game against Pacific was Linfield’s first since Dec. 10. Its last two matchups against Whitman College and Whitworth University were rescheduled due to COVID-19 concerns, and both take place early next week on a road trip to Eastern Washington.

The ‘Cats will face a sixth-ranked George Fox University on Saturday in Newberg.

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