WALLA WALLA, Wash. - The #6 Lewis & Clark women's basketball team wrapped up its road trip with a 61-52 win over the Whitman Missionaries.
The Pioneers improve to 19-2 on the season and 10-2 in Northwest Conference action. Whitman falls to 16-4 overall and 9-3 in the NWC. The win keeps the Pioneers in first place with George Fox, while the Missionaries now sit in a two-way tie for third place with Whitworth.
Senior Sara Villanueva led the Pioneers with a game-high 17 points, hitting 9-of-10 from the free-throw line. Kristina Williams finished the game wtih 16 points, while Tayler Wang ended the night with 10 points.
Heather Johns and Tiffani Traver each ended the game with 14 points for the Missionaries.
The game did not begin the way the Pioneers would have liked with the Missionaries running out to an early lead. Wang tied the game with 9:02 remaining in the half after hitting a three-pointer assisted by Villanueva.
A steal by Wang moments later set Villanueva up for a three of her own, earning the Pios their first lead of the game. Williams increased L&C's lead to five points with 4:46 on the clock after a made layup. Traver cut the Pioneer lead to three with a little over two minutes remaining until halftime. Neither team would be able to sink another basket heading into halftime.
Kathlene Howe scored the first points of the second half and the first points since the final two minutes of the first half, laying one in with 18:30 remaining in the game. Lewis & Clark held the lead the entire second half, taking its largest lead with 9:57 to go with a Reese DeHart layup.
Whitman managed to pull back within a point with 3:57 remaining after Meghan White hit a jumper. Villanueva increased the Pios advantage back to 10 points with 30 seconds to go. The senior guard hit two more free-throws to close out the game in L&C's favor.
Lewis & Clark returns to action on Friday, Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. at Puget Sound.