PORTLAND, Ore. - The #8 Lewis & Clark women's basketball rolled to a 75-59 win over the George Fox Bruins on Thursday night in the Northwest Conference Tournament Semi-Final. The Pioneers will now host the Whitworth Pirates on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. in the Pamplin Sports Center for the NWC Tournament Championship.
The Pioneers improve to 24-2 on the season, while the Bruins end the year 19-7 overall.
Junior Katie Anderson led all players with 20 points, finishing 7-of-14 from the floor. Northwest Confernece Player of the Year, Kristina Williams, finished the night with 14 points, hitting all six of her free-throw chances. Sara Villanueva, who was just named to the NWC First-Team, ended the night with 12 points for Lewis & Clark. Junior Kathlene Howe also ended the evening with 12 points while collecting a team-high seven rebounds.
Jami Roos and Megan Arnoldy each finished the game with 10 points for the Bruins, with Arnoldy pulling down a game-high 11 boards.
The first half did not begin in the Pioneers favor with the Bruins running out to a 9-0 advantage over the opening three minutes. Williams put the Pioneers on the board with a jumper at the 16:38 mark.
After falling behind 11-2, the Pios rattled off 18 unanswered points over a six minute span to take their first lead of the contest with 9:06 remaining. Arnoldy broke the Bruins scoreless drought with a put back to make it a 20-13 contest.
The Bruins pulled back within five points on another Arnoldy basket with a little over five minutes remaining until halftime. Lewis & Clark responded with an 11-2 run to close the half, taking a 37-23 advantage into the locker room.
Lewis & Clark maintained the momentum they had at the end of the first half, starting out the second period on a 15-0 run. Trailing 45-23, the Bruins managed to respond with a 12-0 run of their own to pull within 10 points with 11:18 to go in the game.
Anderson hit a three pointer wtih 10:52 on the clock to end the Bruins run and begin yet another Pioneer run. George Fox would pull within 19 points with 7:40 remaining, but the Pioneers would go onto draining 14-of-18 free-throws in the final seven minutes to retain a comfortable advantage.
A jumper and free-throw by Ally McConnell in final 30 seconds of the game cut the Bruin deficit to 16. McConnell missed her second free-throw which was rebounded by Cassie Beucherie who let the clock expire for the Pioneer victory.
The Pioneers look to earn their first ever Northwest Conference Tournament Championship on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. against Whitworth.