Pacific Extends 6-Point Halftime Lead to Defeat Willamette, 69-39

Nordlien Scores 17 Points for Bearcats

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

FOREST GROVE, ORE. -- Pacific University shot 55.0% in the second half, making 11 of 20 field goals, to extend a six-point halftime lead into a 69-39 women's basketball victory over Willamette University in the Northwest Conference opener for both teams on Saturday, Dec. 1. Pacific improved to 4-0 on the season, 1-0 in the NWC. Willamette fell to 0-6, 0-1 in the NWC.

Katelyn Nordlien (So., F, Salem, OR/North Salem HS) led the Bearcats with 17 points. She also earned three rebounds and two assists. Katie Kalugin (So., F, Woodburn, OR/Woodburn HS) provided WU with six points, two rebounds, two steals, one assist and one blocked shot.

Paige Jensen contributed 17 points and 12 rebounds for Pacific. She was 9 for 10 at the free throw line, helping the Boxers finish 29 of 36 (80.6%) at the charity stripe. Willamette was 2 for 5 at the line.

Joining Jensen in double figures were Heather Hitch and Kelsey Misseldine. Hitch tallied 13 points and grabbed seven boards. Misseldine earned 12 points and three steals.

Pacific held a 27-21 lead at halftime. The Boxers outscored the Bearcats 42-18 in the second half.

The Boxers surged out to an 11-2 lead in the first 7:03 of the game.  Willamette battled to get within 13-9, following a 3-point basket by Sophie Wilson (Sr., Guard, Port Townsend, WA/Port Townsend HS) with 8:59 left in the half.

Kaila Johnson of Pacific answered with a 3-pointer eight seconds later and Hitch made a jump shot with 7:46 on the clock to extend the Boxers' advantage to 18-9.

WU cut the lead to four points three more times during the half, including 18-14 after Nordlien hit a jumper with 4:56 remaining. The Bearcats pulled within 23-19 on a jumper by Nordlien at the 1:35 mark, and cut the margin to 25-21 on another basket by Nordlien with 1:05 to go. Hitch scored the final points of the half for Pacific on a jump shot with 50 seconds left.

The Bearcats scored four of the first six points in the second half to reduce the Boxers' lead to 29-25 with 17:59 still to be played. Pacific replied with a 20-0 run that secured control of the game. The Boxers led 49-25 with 11:10 remaining. Seven Pacific players scored during the run.

Pacific's hot shooting in the second half offset just 25.8% accuracy (8 of 31) by the Boxers in the first half. For the game, Pacific was 19 of 51 from the field (37.3%). Willamette shot 34.0% (17 of 50), including 30.8% (8 of 26) in the second half.

The Boxers achieved a 43-27 rebounding edge and forced Willamette into 24 turnovers, while Pacific lost the ball 15 times. The teams claimed 29 steals during the contest, with the Boxers earning 18 and the Bearcats finishing with 11. Individual leaders were Jensen with five for Pacific and Daena Mau (So., G, Aiea, HI/Punahou School) with three for WU.

Willamette will host Lewis-Clark State College (Idaho) on Sunday, Dec. 2 at Cone Field House. Game time is set for 4:30 p.m. (PST).

BOX SCORE

Pacific University 69
Willamette University 39

Katie Kalugin scored six points to go with two rebounds, two steals, an assist and a blocked shot.

Katie Kalugin scored six points to go with two rebounds, two steals, an assist and a blocked shot.