EUGENE, Ore. - A hot-shooting first half propelled the Linfield Wildcats to a 73-51 nonconference win over the Northwest Christian Beacons in the Morse Events Center on Saturday night.
The Wildcats were on mark from the start. Capitalizing on four points from both Riley Graham (Fr., Scio, Ore.) and Kaely Maltman (Sr., Sandy, Ore.) in the opening four minutes, Linfield jumped to an early 8-2 lead. The Beacons kept pace with until the 8:31 mark of the half. With the score at 16-12 in Linfield's favor, the 'Cats scored 29 of the next 40 points to take a commanding 45-23 lead at the intermission. The Wildcats shot 56.3 percent from the field for the half while holding NCU to 28.6 percent. Eugene native and Marist High School graduate Dani Krier (Fr., Eugene, Ore.) led the way for the Wildcats from behind the three-point line, converting 2 of 3 long shots and scoring eight of her 13 points in the half.
With the game essentially out of reach, the teams played a more evenly matched second half. Both squads scored an additional 28 points to make the final score 73-51.
Maltman led all scorers with 16 points for the Wildcats. Katelyn Henson (Jr., Camas, Wash.) led Linfield on the backboards with 11 and added nine points as well. Both Maltman and Henson had three blocks and Jessica McMillan (So., McMinnville, Ore.) added two more to bring the Linfield total to eight. Krier finished with a career-high of 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting, including 3-of-5 from three-point range. Both Linfield point guards, Quincey Gibson (Fr., Issaquah, Wash.) and Taylor Solomon (Jr., Kirkland, Wash.), added three assists.
Northwest Christian forward Tami Brown led all players with 13 rebounds and added 15 points for the Beacons as well. The loss brings the Beacons' record to 3-6, while the Wildcats now stand at 3-5.
‘CAT SCRATCH: Eleven Wildcats played over 10 minutes, with all 12 seeing some action . . .10 Wildcats scored in the game, with six scoring over seven points…73 points marked a season-high for the Wildcats, while the Beacons' 51 points was the fewest posted by any Wildcat opponent. . . including Krier's 13, Linfield's bench totaled 38 points.
COMING UP: The Wildcats host Concordia-Portland on Tuesday at 7 p.m. before heading home for winter break. Linfield's next contest is December 29 against Blackburn College in Ted Wilson Gymnasium starting at 4 p.m.