McMINNVILLE, Ore. - The #7 Lewis & Clark women's basketball team put together a dominate second half of action to take down the Linfield Wildcats, 66-53, on Saturday night in Northwest Conference action.
With the win, the Pioneers improve to 19-2 on the season and 10-2 in NWC play. The victory keeps the Pioneers two games ahead of the Whitman Missionaries in the conference standings with four games remaining in regular season. The Wildcats slip to 10-11 overall and 4-8 in conference action.
Junior Kristina Williams finished the contest as the games leading scorer with 18 points, while pulling down seven rebounds. Neva Hauser came alive for the Pioneers in the second half scoring 13 points, taking her game total to 15 points. The senior from Palo Alto, Calif. collected a game-high nine rebounds in the win. Sophomore Katie Anderson had a strong night for the Pios off the bench, finishing 4-6 from the field, earning 11 points.
Gretchen Owens led the Wildcats with 15 points, while teammate Brynna Fuller scored 14. Katelyn Henson also scored in double figures for the Wildcats scoring 11 points.
The two sides opened the first half with neither team setting the tone. Lewis & Clark began to take control at the 13:57 mark with Hauser hitting her only basket of the half. Kathlene Howe put the Pioneers ahead by seven points, 13-6, with 11:39 on the clock with a long range three pointer.
Linfield found its rhythm moments after the Howe three pointer, picking away at the Pioneer lead until a Owens jumper at 8:17, which gave Linfield a 16-15 advantage. It would be a battle throughout the remainder of the half with each team matching each other to send the two sides into the locker room tied 22-22.
Senior Megan Spence earned the Pioneers a 24-22 lead out of the gate in the second half with back-to-back free throws. Linfield quickly countered, capturing a 36-32 lead with 15:50 remaining in the game after another Owens jumper.
A 9-0 run propelled the Pioneers to a 41-36 advantage with six of the nine points coming from consecutive three pointers by Hauser. Another Hauser three pointer with 8:35 on the clock put Lewis & Clark ahead 50-45.
Hauser continued to hit shots from distance, helping the Pioneers go on a dominate 12-2 run over a two minute span for a 62-47 lead, the teams largest of the contest.
The Pioneers would keep the Wildcats from hitting anything other than four free-throws during the final five minutes of the game, easily taking the 13 point, 66-53 victory.
The Pioneers return to action on Thursday, Feb. 9 at 6 p.m. when they take on the Willamette Bearcats.