McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Kaely Maltman shot 50 percent from the field en route to her sixth double-double of the season, but Linfield lacked another strong offensive performance against Puget Sound, which claimed a 71-54 Northwest Conference victory Friday evening inside Ted Wilson Gymnasium.
Maltman scored a team-high 19 points and brought down 11 rebounds, the latter earning her game high honors and bringing her career total to an even 600 boards.
With 5:49 to play in the second half and a feisty Wildcat squad only down by eight, Puget Sound's Katy Ainslie drove to the basket and drew a controversial fifth foul on Maltman, who was sent to the bench for the rest of the night. The Loggers took advantage of Maltman's absence and ended the game on a 12-3 run for a comfortable win.
Emily Sheldon scored a game-high 20 points, including 12 in the first half, for the Loggers. Puget Sound enjoyed two additional double-digit scorers – Ainslie (12) and Allie Wyszynski (15) – and Alexis Noren brought down 10 rebounds.
Linfield started off slow from the field, hitting only one field goal on its first seven shots of the game. The Loggers jumped out to an early 10-2 lead, punctuated by Sheldon's 3-pointer that forced Linfield to call a timeout at the 16:08 mark of the half.
The Wildcats clawed back, however, and came within four points after a Kaleigh Phillips layup cut the deficit to 22-18.
Both teams traded buckets throughout the half, but the ‘Cats were never able to pull ahead. The Loggers took a nine-point lead after Noren knocked down a free throw with 2:39 remaining. Quincey Gibson (Sr., Issaquah, Wash.) scored the final points of the opening period with a strong drive to the rim, sinking the layup while also drawing the foul. She made the free throw, which cut Puget Sound's lead to 36-30.
Phillips provided a spark as a low-post threat off the bench, totaling six points, all in the paint. Sheldon led all scorers with 12 points by the break and was the only player to drain 3-pointers, making two.
The Loggers entered the bonus early in the game had triple the number of free throw attempts the hometown Wildcats received, earning 16 chances and knocking down 10. Linfield, meanwhile, shot just 2-for-5 from the charity stripe.
The Loggers stormed out of the gates in the second half, putting together 10-4 run up to the 14:57 mark of the period. The run was highlighted by back-to-back 3-pointers from Taylor Jones and Amanda Forshay.
Each team kept on its scoring pace, with Puget Sound opening up a 59-41 lead with 5:50 remaining.
Grace McMillan had five points off the bench for the Wildcats, scoring on a pair of nice drives and layups. Katelyn Henson added eight points in 25 minutes of action.
On the game, Puget Sound made only one more field goal than Linfield, but knocked down five 3-pointers compared to Linfield's none.
With the loss, the Wildcats dropped to 6-13 on the season and 2-8 in conference play. Puget Sound maintained its share of fourth place in the NWC standings at 5-4 against league opponents, 12-6 overall.
‘CAT SCRATCH: Maltman became just the fifth player in Wildcat history to total 600 or more career rebounds…the senior recorded the 12th double-double of her career and has scored in double figures in all but one game this season…nine of 11 Wildcats scored against the Loggers…Puget Sound extended its win streak over Linfield to six straight contests.
AHEAD: The Wildcats travel to Portland to take on the Lewis & Clark Pioneers Friday, Feb. 7. Tipoff inside the Pamplin Sports Center is set for 6 p.m.