PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers sent their six seniors off the Pamplin Sports Center floor with a win, and more importantly, a berth in the Northwest Conference postseason after a 69-50 defeat of the Puget Sound Loggers.
The win gave the Pioneers a one-game finish ahead of Puget Sound in the final NWC standings. It is the second-straight year Lewis & Clark qualifies for the postseason under second-year head coach Pamela Findlay.
Miyah Leith finished with 25 points in her final game on Palatine Hill, but an assist on Alyx Crager's 3-pointer for the Pios' first points of the second half helped spark the Pioneers after a lackluster scoring half for both teams in the first. Crager went on to finish with 13 points on 3 of 5 shooting. Her score started a 7-0 run that moved the Pioneers up by nine, their largest lead to that point. Eventually the Pioneers grew the lead to 23 after outshooting the Loggers, 38 percent to 26 percent.
In the first meeting between the teams, Puget Sound hit over 50 percent from the floor. The victory gave the Loggers the opportunity to lock-in the head-to-head tiebreaker had they won on Saturday.
Instead, the Pioneers claimed the No. 4 seed and will meet regular-season champion George Fox on the road on Thursday. Last season, Lewis & Clark lost 61-58 to Puget Sound in the NWC semifinals after the Loggers had claimed the top seed.
Leith moved to 1,174 points for her career after scoring 20 or more points for the third-straight Saturday, and in doing so, moved passed former teammate Ayisat Afolabi for sixth all-time in career scoring at Lewis & Clark.
Lauren Wood finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds for her seventh double-double of the season.
The teams combined for 16 first-quarter points after Puget Sound started the game 1 of 9 from the floor and the Pioneers followed a quick 7-4 lead midway through the opening quarter with a scoreless drought of over four minutes. Lewis & Clark led 22-20 at halftime and was on pace for its lowest offensive output of the season before scoring 47 points in the second half. The Pioneers kept Jamie Lange, who was third in the NWC in scoring coming into the game, to a 1 of 6 start from the floor. She finished with 12 points, her lowest since Dec. 20 against Trinity in any game in which she played 10 minutes or more.
Elizabeth Prewitt led the Loggers with 13 points on 4 of 10 shooting.
After earning the biggest win-total turnaround in the nation in 2016-17, going from three wins the year before to 16, Lewis & Clark finishes the regular season with a 14-11 overall mark and 9-7 in the NWC. The Pios will try to win their first postseason game since 2012-13 when now assistant coach Kristina Williams helped them beat George Fox in the NWC semifinals.