PORTLAND, Ore. - The Lewis & Clark women's basketball celebrated its four graduating seniors prior to the start of the Pioneers Northwest Conference game against Puget Sound on Friday night. In their final regular season home game of their careers, the four seniors helped the Pioneers earn a 79-62 victory.
The Pios improve to 22-2 overall and 13-2 in the Northwest Conference with one regular season game left to play. The Loggers fall to 12-12 on the season and 8-7 in the NWC.
Junior Kristina Williams led the Pioneers with 18 points, finishing 7-of-12 from the floor. Senior Neva Hauser scored 16 points for the Pios, while Megan Spence scored 10 points and collected a game-high seven rebounds. Junior Sara Villanueva had 11 points for Lewis & Clark, while senior Margaret Dowling scored five and Jodi Snider finished with four.
Sarah Stewart led the Loggers off the bench with a team-high 10 points. Lindsay Layland and Kelsey McKinnis each scored eight points for Puget Sound.
Layland put Puget Sound ahead with a layup in the opening minute, but the lead would be short lived with Snider responding with a jumper just seconds later. Lewis & Clark surged ahead with a 13-4 run over the next six minutes led by seven points from Hauser.
The Pioneers kept the pressure on the Loggers throughout the first half, going up by 23 points with a little over three minutes left until halftime on a Kathlene Howe three pointer. The Howe three pointer was the Pioneers third consecutive basket from outside the arc with Katie Anderson and Dowling both hitting from outside as well.
Villanueva concluded the scoring in the first half with 30 seconds to go with back-to-back free throws to put Lewis & Clark ahead 47-27.
Lewis & Clark finished the first half shooting 90% from the free throw line and a strong 63% from the floor. The Loggers were not as successful, shooting 33% from the floor.
It took both sides a couple minutes to warm-up in the second half, but Puget Sound finally broke the scoring drought with an Ashley Agcaioli free throw with 18:02 on the clock.
Similarly to the first half, the Pioneers continued to press the Loggers forcing them to make plays. Villanueva earned the Pioneers a 64-42 with half of the period gone, hitting a three pointer with an assist from Hauser.
With 6:05 left to play, Hauser laid one in giving the Pioneers a 71-49 advantage. Hauser and Spence teamed up to score four of the Pioneers eight points to close the game. Stephanie O'Connor hit the final shot of the game but it was not enough to pull the Loggers within single digits, as the Pioneers picked up the 79-62 win.
Lewis & Clark concludes the regular season on Saturday, Feb. 18 at Pacific at 6 p.m.