Pioneers, Ranked #9, Fend Off Pesky Bearcats to Win, 77-58

Williams Tallies 28 Points for Pioneers; Rabih Scores 14 Points for Bearcats

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- Junior guard Kristina Williams scored a game-high 28 points to help Lewis & Clark College, ranked #9 in the D3hoops.com Top 25, fend off Willamette University in a Northwest Conference women's basketball game on Thursday, Feb. 9. Lewis & Clark held just a 41-36 lead with 17:55 remaining in the game, but the Pioneers followed with a 15-5 run over the next five minutes to gain control in a 77-58 victory over the Bearcats.

The game was played at Cone Field House on the Willamette campus one day earlier than originally scheduled. The match-up was changed from Friday, Feb. 10 to avoid conflicts with the inauguration of Willamette President Stephen Thorsett.

L&C shot just 29.0% (9 of 31) in the first half, but improved to 48.1% (13 of 27) in the second half. Willamette connected on 41.9% of its shots in the first half (13 of 31) before falling to 35.7% (10 of 28) over the final 20 minutes.

The Bearcats scored 23 field goals, compared to 22 by the Pioneers, but Lewis & Clark converted 29 of 38 free throws (76.3%). Willamette took 24 fewer free throws, as the Bearcats finished 8 of 14 (57.1%)at the line.

Willamette held the lead early in the game. A layup by Kaileigh Westermann (Sr., F, Belfair, WA/South Kitsap HS) at the 17:15 mark of the first half gave the Bearcats a 6-2 edge. Katie Kalugin (Fr., Wing, Woodburn, OR/Woodburn HS) provided WU with a 10-6 edge when she put in a layup with 15:43 on the clock.

Lewis & Clark tied the scored at 10-10 on a pair of free throws by Williams with 14:49 left. Willamette tallied the next basket on a jump shot by Mackenzie Lamson (So., Wing, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) for a 12-10 advantage. The Pioneers moved into the lead, 13-12, with a basket and foul shot by Williams with 12:48 remaining, as L&C started a 6-0 run.

Although the quick offensive surge gave the Pioneers a four-point lead, L&C was unable to increase its advantage until a bit later in the half. In between, Willamette pulled within a single point four times, including 23-22 when Kalugin scored on a layup at the 6:45 mark.

Following Kalugin's basket, the Pioneers answered with another 6-0 run to take a 29-22 led with 3:19 left in the half. Jojo DeLong (Fr., PG, Santa Clarita, CA/Canyon HS) of Willamette sank a 3-point shot 15 seconds later, but L&C closed the half with a 9-3 run. The Pioneers were in front, 38-28, at the break.

Taylor Wang from Lewis & Clark nailed a 3-pointer just 17 seconds into the second half to increase the lead to 13 points. Willamette quickly moved within striking distance of the Pioneers, as the Bearcats struck for eight unanswered points. Maya McFaddin (Sr., Wing, McMinnville, OR/McMinnville HS) hit a pair of 3-pointers to start the run, while Kalugin tacked on two free throws with 17;55 to go.

The Pioneers, whose only losses this season have been to #3 ranked George Fox University, extended the lead from five points back to 13 points over the next three minutes. The 10-2 run by the Pioneers was stopped by a layup from WU's Julia Brand (Fr., Wing, Kaneohe, HI/Punahou School) with 14:49 remaining. The Pioneers then earned five of the next six points to claim a 56-41 advantage.

WU pulled within 13 points two more times, but couldn't get any closer to the Pioneers during the closing minutes.

Williams put through 9 of 14 field goals and made 9 of 13 free throws on her way to providing the Pioneers with 28 points. She also earned eight rebounds, two assists and two steals.

In addition Williams, Lewis & Clark also received double-digit scoring from Neva Hauser and Sara Villanueva. Hauser attained 16 points on 5 of 9 shooting (2 for 2 on 3-pointers), plus 4 for 5 at the free throw line. Villanueva sank 9 of 10 free throws on her way to 11 points. The Pioneers achieved a 48-36 rebounding margin, including an 18-11 advantage in offensive boards.

Rabih topped the Bearcats with 14 points, as she converted 6 of 10 field goals. She also earned five rebounds. Brand finished with 10 points for the Willamette. Kalugin achieved eight points and six boards, while Lamson contributed seven points and six rebounds.

Willamette will play its final regular season home game on Saturday, Feb. 11 against George Fox. Tip-off at Cone Field House is set for 6 p.m. (PST). The Bearcats will conclude the season with road games at Whitman College on Friday, Feb. 17 and Whitworth University on Saturday, Feb. 18.

BOX SCORE

Lewis & Clark College 77
Willamette University 58

Senior Dora Rabih supplied Willamette with 14 points and five rebounds. She was 6 of 10 on field goals.

Senior Dora Rabih supplied Willamette with 14 points and five rebounds. She was 6 of 10 on field goals.