Rally back from 13 down ends short in NWC road opener

Rally back from 13 down ends short in NWC road opener

TACOMA, Wash. -- After trailing by as many as 13 in the second half, the Lewis & Clark Pioneers took a one-point lead with 4:43 remaining against the Pacific Lutheran Lutes on Friday night. The Lutes answered with an 8-0 run and the Pios lost 85-79 at Names Family Court.

Trailing 57-44 with 14 minutes left, the Pioneers outscored PLU, 20-11, over a stretch of 5:45 fueled by nine points from Andrew Panicacci. The junior matched his career high with 11 points in a career-most 26 minutes. He was one of four in double figures for the Pios.

Both teams shot better than 50 percent from the floor. The game had eight lead changes. Lewis & Clark benefited from its second-fewest turnovers (12) this season.

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Key Moments

Panicacci nearly bookended a five-minute stretch with 3-point field goals that brought the Pioneers to within 63-61 with 9:14 to play. He made a 3-pointer on the first Pios possession after the Lutes claimed a 13-point lead. Zeke Crawford, who ended the game with 15 points and 10 rebounds, scored a pair of free throws and a jumper before Jalen Lowery hit a three of his own to spark a 10-2 run by the Pioneers. Kody Kennedy followed Panicacci's next 3-pointer with another, three of Kennedy's 12 points on 5 of 7 shooting, and Lewis & Clark narrowed the gap to 63-61.

After a three from PLU's Conor Geiger, Panaccaci tried to match and was fouled. He made all three free throws - the Pioneers shot 10 of 14 from the line - and the Pioneers stayed within two.

A pair of layups by Crawford gave the Pios a 73-72 lead with 4:43 remaining. Naseen Guiterrez-Orozco answered back for a Pacific Lutheran three, and the Lutes made their free throws (21 of 28) down the stretch to seal the win.

Deeper Look

  • After winning four of six, the Pioneers' have lost three straight, their second longest of the season since starting the year 0-5
  • The Pioneers won both games last season against the Lutes and had won four of the last six entering Friday
  • Mak Hutson finished with 13 points on his second-best shooting performance of the year (6 of 10)
  • Toward the end of the first half, Hutson had a stretch of seven points including a layup that gave the Pios a 36-35 lead with 24 seconds left
  • Geiger scored before the end of the half to get PLU the halftime lead, an advantage the Lutes kept until Lewis & Clark went up again, 73-72
  • Pacific Lutheran had five double-digit scorers led by 19 each from Leighton Kingma, Kelton Williams and Jordan Thomas; Geiger had 13
  • Kennedy was in the double figures for the first time since scoring 13 at Caltech on Dec. 21; he had been limited to a combined two points in his last three games
  • Hutson was also in double figures for the first time in three games
  • Kennedy also grabbed a career-high six rebounds
  • Crawford picked up his third double-double in his last five games
  • Entering the game second in the Northwest Conference for blocks per game, Crawford added three more, his most in the last three games
  • Friday was Lewis & Clark's second game in the last three shooting over 50 percent from the field
  • The Pios' seven 3-pointers are their most since scoring eight at Caltech on Dec. 21

Looking Ahead

Lewis & Clark will try to snap its three-game losing skid on Saturday at Puget Sound. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.