Pioneers erase 10-point deficit in second half to win

Pioneers erase 10-point deficit in second half to win

TACOMA, Wash. -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers erased a 10-point deficit in the second half to defeat the Pacific Lutheran Lutes, 60-51, at Names Family Court on Saturday. The win gives the Pios their first back-to-back games since mid-November.

Trailing 34-24 in the first minute of the third quarter, Miyah Leith and Lauren Wood combined for 29 points to help the Pios rally.

"We had that a couple times when we come out at halftime kind of slow, but we have to pick each other up, which is exactly what we did," said Wood, who finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the year.

"It's senior year. Have to go all out. We're having fun. We have six seniors on our team and we all want it."

Pacific Lutheran scored first to open the second half to build a 10-point lead before Lewis & Clark kept the Lutes scoreless for over five minutes and closed the gap to 34-30. For the quarter, the Pioneers outscored the Lutes, 13-8.

Alyx Crager and Natalie Kelly had key 3-pointers in the early fourth quarter. Crager's make swung the lead back to the Pios and was the 10th lead change of the game. Kelly followed it up with her second of the game to give the Pios their largest lead at 49-46. The pair of threes ended a 1 for 10 start by the Pioneers from 3-point range.

The Lutes, which have now lost nine of their last ten, were led by 12 points from McKenzie Cooper. Pacific Lutheran (4-11, 0-6 NWC) grabbed 27 offensive rebounds in the loss.

The Pios shot 10 first-quarter free throws and finished 14 of 27 at the line. Crager was 6 of 10 from the line and finished with four assists. Willie finished with nine points, eight rebounds, six assists, four steals and three steals.

Lewis & Clark's last consecutive wins were on Nov. 19 and 21 when the Pios defeated Corban and Warner Pacific, respectively, to open the season 3-1. Since, the Pios had split their last 10 games in alternating win-loss fashion.

"It's always good to get double wins and hopefully next week we can get some key wins," said Wood.

The Pioneers (9-6, 4-2 NWC) host George Fox in a week following another trip to Tacoma to face Puget Sound on Friday. George Fox entered the weekend in second place in the Northwest Conference standings.