McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Nearly 24 hours after initial tipoff, Lewis & Clark scored a game-winning basket with 3.9 seconds remaining to complete a come-from-behind 63-62 victory and avoid a major upset against homestanding Linfield Sunday afternoon inside Ted Wilson Gymnasium.
Pioneers leading scorer Katie Anderson (17.9 ppg) was held scoreless for 36 minutes, but came through in the clutch, scoring Lewis & Clark's final four points, including the game-winning basket, to help the visitors snap a two-game losing streak.
The win for the Pioneers (7-6, 2-2 NWC) was a two-day affair, as the teams got through just six minutes of action Saturday evening before a power outage to the Linfield campus caused the game's postponement until Sunday.
Kaely Maltman and Katelyn Henson provided the bulk of the offense for Linfield (5-8, 1-3 NWC). Maltman totaled a game-high 17 points to go along with nine rebounds, while Henson scored 15 and hauled in six boards.
Leading 11-8, Lewis & Clark was first to find its offense stride once play resumed Sunday afternoon. With the shot clock winding down, Kathlene Howe knocked down a mid-range jumper to record the first points for either team. Taylor Solomon gave Linfield its first basket when she intercepted an inbounds pass and converted a transition layup to make it 15-10.
Solomon provided the only offense for Linfield in the early going, scoring seven points on a layup, 3-pointer and pair of free throws. The rest of the team went 0-for-9, however, allowing the Pioneers to pull away.
An old fashioned three-point play from Taylor Wang capped off a 10-0 run that pushed the Lewis & Clark advantage to 12 points with 6:37 remaining in the half. On Linfield's next possession, Maltman cashed in on a layup, giving the Wildcats their first points since the 8:44 mark of the half.
Quincey Gibson (Sr., Issaquah, Wash.) drilled home a 3-pointer, and from there the ‘Cats were rolling. Back-to-back buckets from Grace McMillan came as part of an 8-1 blitz that pulled the Wildcats to within two, 28-25, with a little more than four minutes to play. Maltman followed up with a driving layup down the left side and Henson's jumper from the free-throw line gave the 'Cats their first lead since early in the game.
Sarah Anderson and Riley Graham (Sr., Scio, Ore.) traded 3-pointers on opposite ends as the clock ticked down. Nursing a 34-31 lead, the Pioneers held for the last shot. Henson had other ideas, however, tipping away a skip pass and finishing off the play on the other end to make it a 34-33 contest at the break.
Helped by Henson's 4-for-4 start to the second half, the Wildcats continued to hang around, knotting the game and then pulling ahead, 39-37, on consecutive baskets from Henson. The lead volleyed back and forth before Lewis & Clark inched ahead by six points, 49-43, on Casey Zinn's 3-pointer.
Maltman's transition layup and a pair of free throws brought the ‘Cats to within two, and Graham snagged an offensive rebound and finished on the left block to tie the game once more, 51-51, with 9:04 to play.
The Wildcat lead swelled to seven points – the largest of the game – with 5:28 on the clock, but there was a strong sense Lewis & Clark was not about to go away quietly.
Katie Anderson scored her first point of the game on a free throw with 3:54 remaining, bringing the Pioneers to within four, 58-54. Solomon rattled in a jumper and the Linfield defense forced successive turnovers, getting a layup from Catie Mets on the first and free throw opportunities for Solomon on the second.
But missed free throws kept hope alive for the Pioneers, and Sarah Anderson cashed in with a 3-pointer to make it a one-possession game with just over two minutes remaining.
An unforced error by Lewis & Clark gave the ball back to the Wildcats with 38.7 on the clock. Having totaled just four fouls for the half, the Pioneers elected to foul, and received a gift on the ensuing inbounds play when the Wildcats were whistled for an offensive foul. The Pioneers seemingly got the shot they wanted – Sarah Anderson from the corner for three points – but her shot sailed over the basket and into the arms of Graham.
Another two fouls sent Gibson to the line, but the freshman missed the front end of the one-and-one opportunity. With Lewis & Clark trailing by three, 62-59, Kaitlin Matthewson went for the tie, but her shot sailed over the basket. Anderson was there for the putback, however, to bring the Pioneers to within one. Lewis & Clark forced a turnover out of bounds on the next play, and out of theAnderson drove the left baseline, finishing for the game-winning bucket.
Coming out of a Linfield timeout, Maltman drove up the court and handed off to Mets, but Linfield could not get off a shot before the buzzer rang.
Zinn knocked down five 3-pointers to lead the Pioneers with a game-high 19 points. Wang posted a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds to go along with six assists.
For Linfield, Solomon contributed nine points, with Graham adding seven more in a starting role.
‘CAT SCRATCH: Linfield shot just 50 percent (5-for-10) from the free throw line, while Lewis & Clark converted 12 of 14 attempts...the Pioneers outrebounded the 'Cats 44-29, including 20 on the offensive glass...the Wildcats missed the chance to claim back-to-back conference victories for the first time since the 2011-12 season…Lewis & Clark has won eight straight contests against Linfield, dating back to a 63-59 Wildcat win on Jan. 16, 2009…
UP NEXT: Linfield plays host to fourth-ranked Whitman and defending conference tournament champion Whitworth Friday and Saturday, respectively. Both games are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.