McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Balanced scoring from the trio of Olivia Roberts, Kelsey McInnis and Amanda Forshay carried the Puget Sound Loggers past the Linfield Wildcats in the Northwest Conference regular-season finale Saturday night inside Ted Wilson Gymnasium.
The Loggers (13-12, 9-7 NWC) earned the No. 4 berth in next week’s NWC playoff tournament. Puget Sound will travel to Newberg to face unbeaten and fourth-ranked George Fox on Thursday night.
Linfield (10-15, 4-12 NWC) will share seventh place in the final standings with Pacific Lutheran. The Wildcats celebrated Senior Night with tributes to their two departing veterans, Gretchen Owens and Brynna Fuller.
Owens was 9-of-10 from the free throw line and scored 22 points to lead all scorers in her collegiate sendoff. She added seven rebounds, two assists and one steal for the ‘Cats. Fuller hit all six of her free throw attempts to finish with 11 points, four rebounds and two assists. Kaely Maltman (Jr., Sandy, Ore.) had 12 points, three rebounds and a pair of assists while Katelyn Henson (Soph., Camas, Wash.) totaled a dozen points to go with six rebounds and two steals. Henson went 4-of-4 at the line, and combined the Wildcats were an efficient 23-of-27 at the line.
The lead volleyed back and forth 10 times in the first half, including seven in first seven minutes. Neither team was able to build more than a five-point edge until Roberts’ 3-pointer with 1:11 to play put UPS in front 37-31. The Loggers led by four at intermission, 37-33, getting balanced scoring across the lineup.
The game remained nip and tuck to start the second half. Missed layups by Owens and Fuller opened the door for the Loggers’ largest lead of the game. When Forshay converted a 3-point play at the 15:03 mark, the Loggers led comfortably at 49-40.
Back-to-back buckets by the Wildcats pulled them to within four, 49-45, but with each Linfield surge, UPS responded by pushing its lead back to comfortable margins. Sarah Stewart’s basket with 5:54 on the clock stretched the Loggers’ cushion to 14 points, 68-54.
McKinnis, who surpassed 1,000 career points on Saturday, topped the UPS scoring column with 19 on 5-of-11 shooting. Forshay had 18 points and seven rebounds, and Roberts totaled 11 points and eight rebounds.
SO LONG SENIORS: The night marked the final games in the career of Owens and Fuller, Linfield’s two graduating seniors. Owens finishes as Linfield's No. 2 career scorer with 1,404 points. She averaged 19.0 points in 74 career games while setting a club record as the most accurate free throw shooter in program history at 84.7 percent. Fuller, who didn't become a starter until her senior season, appeared in 96 career games, tied for 10th-most in program history.
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