McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Megan Arnoldy led all scorers with 16 points and the visiting George Fox Bruins overcame an early deficit to hand Linfield a tough 55-35 Northwest Conference defeat Friday evening at Ted Wilson Gymnasium.
Hannah Munger scored 12 points on 6-of-12 shooting, and also added a game-high 11 rebounds to complete a double-double. The 6-5 senior who was a second team all-American in 2011-12, is averaging 14.1 points per game this season, and has helped filled the void left by the departure of first team all-American Keisha Gordon, who graduated last spring.
Katelyn Henson paced Linfield with 11 points and grabbed five of the Wildcats’ 16 rebounds.
Linfield (1-7, 0-2 NWC) took an early 6-2 lead after Henson knocked down a shot off the glass and followed it up with a pair of free throws. A 3-pointer from Taylor Solomon put Linfield ahead 11-6 midway through the first.
George Fox (9-3, 2-1 NWC), last season’s NWC champion and NCAA Division III runner-up, fought its way back into the game as a jumper from the top of the key by Arnoldy cut the spread to 11-9. A quick catch-and-release pass from Munger to Arnoldy led to a layup that knotted the score at 13 apiece with under nine minutes to play in the first.
The ‘Cats got stuck in a rut, as the Bruins took advantage of a five-minute dry spell to take a 16-13 lead, their largest of the game so far.
George Fox extended its advantage to 23-15 with under three minutes remaining in the half after Jami Roos knocked down a shot from downtown. A bucket from Henson with two minutes remaining was Linfield’s last of the half, and George Fox took a 25-17 cushion into the break.
Henson led all scorers with 10 points in the opening period on 4-of-11 shooting from the floor. Collectively, the ‘Cats shot just 7-of-28 from inside the arc, and were outrebounded by the Bruins, 25-18.
Both teams’ season leading scorers were kept quiet over the first 20 minutes of play, as Munger was limited to four points and four rebounds for the Bruins and Maltman was held scoreless.
The Bruins amassed a double-digit lead just a minute into the second half and never looked back. Munger dominated underneath the basket and scored four straight to push the spread to 36-19 with a dozen minutes left to play.
Linfield failed to cut into the Bruins’ 20-point lead down the stretch, as George Fox controlled the flow throughout the closing minutes.
‘CAT SCRATCH: George Fox has gone undefeated against Linfield since the 2006-07 season, a year in which the ‘Cats won both contests over the Bruins…Henson currently ranks third in the NWC with 8.2 rebounds per game and 10th in scoring at 10.8 points per contest…Maltman is 11th in the NWC in scoring, averaging 10.4 per night…Henson scored in double digits for the fourth consecutive game.
NEXT UP: Linfield hosts NWC foe Pacific Lutheran Saturday evening at 6 p.m. in Ted Wilson Gymnasium. The matchup against the Lutes is sandwiched between tonight’s game against the Bruins and a third consecutive NWC home contest Jan. 11 against Puget Sound.