TACOMA, Wash. – Amanda Forshay’s 21 points led a quartet of Puget Sound double-digit scorers, enabling the home-standing Loggers to send Linfield to a 79-57 defeat Saturday night inside Memorial Fieldhouse.
Linfield (2-17, 1-12 NWC) also had four players score at least 10 points. Katelyn Henson pumped in 12 points while adding seven rebounds, Catie Mets scored 11 points off the bench while Kaely Maltman and Tasha Rowland each added 10. The Wildcats, however, lost for the 12th time in 13 games.
Forshay connected on 7 of 10 shots from the field and was a perfect 5 of 5 at the line. Emily Sheldon chipped in with 15 points, Sarah Stewart had 13 and Kelsey McKinnis added 10 for Puget Sound (13-10, 6-8 NWC), which clinched a winning season with the victory.
A series of spurts by both teams highlighted the first half of action. Linfield hit 5 of 8 shots to begin the game, including a layup by Rowland underneath the basket that tied the game at 10 at the 14:19 mark. UPS scored the next seven points, part of a 9-2 run capped by by Sarah Stewart’s jumper with 7:55 to play in the half. Linfield countered with an 8-0 burst, taking a 20-19 lead on a layup by Jessica McMillan (Jr., McMinnville, Ore.). The Loggers outscored the Wildcats 7-2 over the next two minutes and led 31-24 with 25 seconds remaining. A three-pointer by Henson with eight seconds before intermission brought the ‘Cats to within four at the break.
Nicole Barton went 3-for-3 and snagged three rebounds during the game’s opening 20 minutes. Henson had seven of her points prior to halftime. Though Linfield shot better than UPS, .480 to .364, the Wildcats committed nine turnovers to the Loggers’ two, allowing the hosts to continue to hold the upper hand.
UPS game out firing in the first four minutes of the second half, expanding its lead to 44-32 following a three by Erin Stumbaugh. Three times, the Wildcats cut the margin to single digits, but each time the Loggers were able to answer.
The most dramatic play of the game came with 7½ minutes left. The Loggers’ Stewart emphatically blocked a shot by Tyra Barawis, scooped up the rebound then bolted the length of the floor for a contested layin. Adding insult to injury, Stewart drew a foul to complete a three-point play that gave UPS its largest lead of the game to that point, 62-46.
‘CAT SCRATCH: Linfield has won just once in its last 15 trips to UPS’s Memorial Fieldhouse. . . the lone exception came two years ago when the Wildcats stunned the favored Loggers 57-46. . . UPS improved to 11-0 this season when scoring at least 70 points. . . the Loggers outscored the Wildcats 48-30 in the second half. . . Linfield finished with 17 turnovers leading directly to 25 UPS points.
COMING UP: Linfield returns home for its final three games of the season. The Wildcats host Whitworth Friday night before taking on Whitman Saturday evening at Ted Wilson Gymnasium. The following Tuesday, Linfield concludes the 2012-13 season at home against Willamette, a game that was rescheduled from December.