McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Katy Ainslie scored 14 points and Puget Sound secured a solid 71-58 Northwest Conference victory over host Linfield Friday evening at Ted Wilson Gymnasium.
Linfield’s fourth consecutive defeat dropped its season record to 1-9, and the Wildcats are now 0-4 in NWC play. The Loggers improved to 10-4 with the victory and pushed their NWC record over .500 (3-2).
Katelyn Henson and Kaely Maltman led all scorers with 16 each, and Taylor Solomon recorded a career-high 12 for the Wildcats. Henson also grabbed 16 rebounds, good for her fourth double-double of the season.
Sarah Stewart joined Ainslie in the double-digit scoring department with 11, and the Wildcats were able to keep Logger star Kelsey McKinnis relatively quiet with just six points.
McKinnis, a second team all-NWC selection in 2011-12, is currently second in the conference in scoring (16.8) and in three-point field goal percentage (47.3).
After the teams traded buckets to open the game, UPS began to pull away with a 10-2 lead just three minutes into the game. The Loggers dominated the boards offensively, which led to several second-chance points.
Fresh legs provided newfound energy for the ‘Cats, as a steal from Alex Christensen helped Linfield to a 4-0 run to get back into the game.
UPS pulled ahead through the middle part of the half, and a three from McKinnis put the Loggers up 20-10. A 3-pointer and a pair of free throws from Solomon came in the midst of a 7-0 ‘Cats run that put the score at 28-23 with six minutes to play in the first.
Puget Sound put together another run, however, reestablishing a 10-point advantage with less than three minutes to play. A three from Henson helped cut into the deficit, and the ‘Cats headed into the locker room down just seven, 41-34.
Henson and Maltman each had 11 points in the first for the ‘Cats, and Stewart recorded 11 points for UPS. The Loggers outshot the Wildcats in the first 47 percent to 41 percent.
Despite scoring within the first minute of the second half, Linfield struggled to keep pace with UPS as the game wore on. The Loggers pushed their lead back to 10 points, and kept control of the pace moving through the middle part of the second.
A three from Olivia Roberts with 12:42 to play pushed the score to 53-42 in favor of the Loggers, and forced Linfield to burn a timeout.
Both teams were stagnant for a stretch in the middle of the half, but a 3-point bucket from the Loggers’ Taylor Jones put UPS back up by 10 with 6:32 to play. The Loggers never looked back from that point, and continued to stretch out their double-digit lead into the closing minutes.
UPS outrebounded Linfield 49-43 on the game, and the Loggers shot slightly better from the field at 37.1 percent compared with the Wildcats’ 32.1 percent. Turnovers proved to be costly for Linfield, as the ‘Cats gave the ball up 14 times while creating only nine Logger mishaps.
‘CAT SCRATCH: Puget Sound has dominated the series over the past decade, winning 15 of 17 contests…Tegan Grunwald is just the second player in Wildcats history to see action in eight or more soccer and basketball games in the same year…the other is Ashley Covey, who started 12 soccer matches and 22 basketball games in the 2005-06 season.
NEXT UP: Linfield starts off a seven game road stretch Saturday when it travels to Forest Grove to take on Pacific University. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. at the Stoller Center.