TACOMA, Wash. - The #10 Lewis & Clark women's basketball team clinched its first ever outright Northwest Conference Regular Season Championship on Saturday night with a 79-53 win over Pacific Lutheran.
The Pioneers, who split the championship during the 2010-2011 season, pick up the teams first ever solo championship since joining the NCAA. The win also guarantees the Pioneers the No. 1 seed heading into the NWC Tournament.
Lewis & Clark ends the regular season 23-2 overall and 14-2 in the NWC. Pacific Lutheran ends the season 6-17 overall and 3-13 in conference.
Four Pioneers finished in double-digits in scoring, with senior Kristina Williams leading the way with a game-high 18 points. Sophomore Casey Zinn knocked down 13 points in the win, while collecting a team-high eight rebounds. Sara Villanueva ended the evening with 12 points for the Pios, while Katie Anderson knocked down 11 points.
Sarah Barnes led the Lutes with 15 points, while Samantha Potter scored 10 and pulled down a game-high nine boards.
Pacific Lutheran captured the early lead and kept things close through the opening nine minutes of action. Despite the Lutes remaining close, back-to-back Williams layups with five minutes gone earned the Pioneers the lead for good.
The Pioneers built a 31-12 advantage after a 13-1 run with a little over a minute remaining, putting the game out of reach for PLU. Lewis & Clark headed into the half with a 41-20 advantage.
The team continued to build its lead throughout the second half, leading by as much as 34 points.
The Pioneers now gear up for their fourth consecutive NWC Tournament, where they will host the George Fox Bruins. The Pios and Bruins will face off in the Pamplin Sports Center on Thursday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m.