PORTLAND, Ore. – Lewis & Clark used a balanced scoring effort and strong defense to defeat Linfield in a tight contest, 58-53, at Pamplin Sports Complex Tuesday night.
The Pioneers (8-4, 2-1 NWC) held the Wildcats (6-5, 1-2 NWC) scoreless over the last 4:13 to seal the victory.
Lewis & Clark controlled most of the first half, extending its lead to as many as nine points. But the Wildcats refused to back down, slowly chipping away at the margin before taking the lead just before halftime on a layup by Kaely Maltman.
After the break, things remained tight. Linfield relied on hot 3-point shooting (4-of-9) in the second half to stay in the game, but shot just .296 from the field. On the other side of the floor, Lewis & Clark hit 13-of-29 shots (.448).
The ‘Cats led 53-51 after a made free throw by Maltman with 4:13 on the clock. But that would prove to be the last point Linfield put on the board.
A pair of free throws and two clutch jumpers sealed the deal for the Pioneers. The Wildcats had multiple opportunities to score in the last few minutes, but failed to connect.
Neva Hauser had 13 points to lead the Pioneers, who have won four straight games. Teammate Kristina Williams also reached double figures with 12 points, and Megan Spence posted a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Gretchen Owens paced the Wildcats with 14 points and six rebounds. Micha Pringle came off the bench to score 13, and Maltman tallied 11 points and three rebounds before fouling out with 3:31 remaining in the game.
Lewis & Clark dominated the glass, outrebounding Linfield 48-30, including 18 offensive boards.
The Pioneers also had the advantage at the free throw line, getting twice as many tries as the Wildcats. Lewis & Clark shot 11-of-16 (.688) from the stripe to Linfield’s was 7-of-8 (.875) effort, all of which came in the second half.
UP NEXT: The ‘Cats hit the floor next Saturday night at Willamette. Game time is set for 6 p.m.