PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers hosted the No. 2 Whitman Blues on Friday at Pamplin Sports Center and were within four points in the late third quarter before losing 75-54. The win is the 19th-straight for Whitman, while the Pioneers drop to 5-7 in Northwest Conference play.
Miyah Leith had 17 points to lead the Pioneers. Her 3-pointer with 5:18 remaining in the second quarter brought Lewis & Clark back within one, 27-26, before Whitman brought the lead back to eight by halftime. With 3:16 left in the third quarter, the Pioneers closed to within 50-46 before Whitman used a 14-2 run to end the quarter and lead by 66-48 heading into the fourth.
Whitman started the game by making all three of their first 3-point attempts despite shooting 2 of 9 elsewhere. Meanwhile, Lewis & Clark started the game 4 of 13 from the floor.
Lewis & Clark is tied with Puget Sound for fourth place in the NWC standings. The top four teams make the NWC postseason tournament. The Pios were the fourth seed last year.
Janessa Willie had 11 points and four assists and Lauren Wood added 10 with a team-high seven rebounds as Lewis & Clark had three in double figures. Rachel Cox scored five and six rebounds off the bench.
The Pioneers, who shot under 20 percent in the opening half of their 77-65 loss at Whitman last month, were 32 percent on Friday. The Blues, however, made 49 percent of their shots, their best shooting percentage in the last month. Casey Poe, the conference's leading scorer, had 16 points to lead three in double figures.
The Pioneers host Whitworth on Saturday, their first all-home Northwest Conference weekend of the season. Lewis & Clark beat the Pirates in early January, 74-71, and leads Whitworth by one game in the NWC standings. The game is scheduled to start at 4 p.m.