PORTLAND, Ore. – Malori Dixon scored 12 of her game-high 22 points over the final 20 minutes of action to key a second-half rally that lifted Concordia to a 69-59 nonconference victory over Linfield Tuesday evening at Cavalier Court.
The Cavaliers, who compete in the NAIA’s Cascade Collegiate Conference, snapped a three-game losing skid to improve to 5-3 on the season. The Wildcats of the Northwest Conference, meanwhile, remain winless with an 0-5 record.
In the early going, it looked like the ‘Cats might pull out their first victory. Holding the Cavaliers to two points over a nearly nine-minute stretch, Linfield built a 35-25 halftime lead.
After going down early, 12-6, the Wildcats scored the next nine points to claim a three-point advantage at the 13:53 mark of the opening period. A Dixon jumper pulled the Cavaliers within one, but other than a Kaely Maltman layup for Linfield, the two teams combined for a 3 ½-minute stretch of little offense.
Dixon got the home team going again as the clock wound down, making good on a traditional three-point play. Caitlyn McCutcheon followed with a layup to cut Linfield’s lead – which had swelled to as many as eight points – to three, 24-21. But the Wildcats responded with an 11-4 lead to close out the half.
Concordia shot just 29 percent from the field in the first, knocking down 11 of 38 shots. Linfield, on the other hand, shot at a 46 percent clip, but missed all three of their opportunities at the line. Six different players scored for the ‘Cats, including Maltman (12 points) and Katelyn Henson, who had nine by the break.
The Cavaliers opened the second half with a 17-7 run to tie the game at 42-all with just over 12 minutes remaining. McKenna Daly had six points during that span, including a pair of free throws. Concordia reclaimed the lead – its first since the beginning part of the first half – on a Dixon layup and free throw with 9:47 to go.
Henson knotted the score once more at 47, but the Wildcats got no closer thanks to an 8-0 Concordia run that put the home team out of reach.
Dixon finished with a game-high 22 points for the Cavaliers; teammates Lexi Amundsen (13) and McCutcheon (12) also reached double figures. Concordia got to the free throw line twice as often as Linfield, knocking down 13 of 17 attempts compared to just 3-for-8 for the visitors.
Maltman paced the Wildcats with 21 points on 9-for-14 shooting. Henson added 13 points and eight rebounds while Alex Christenson contributed 10 points and eight assists.
‘CAT SCRATCH: Maltman became the first Linfield player to reach the 20-point plateau this season…Christensen’s 10 points and eight assists were both career highs…for the third time this season, Linfield held a halftime lead but could not maintain it.
COMING UP: Linfield plays its final home game of the calendar year Saturday evening against Northwest Christian. Tipoff in Ted Wilson Gymnasium is set for 6 p.m.