Pioneers open Classic in Vegas with win

Pioneers open Classic in Vegas with win

LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers held the Simpson Storm to 18 points combined in the first and fourth quarters to win 60-54 in the opening game of the Classic at South Point Arena on Wednesday morning.

Ayisat Afolabi and Lauren Wood combined for 22 points as the Pioneers held their seventh opponent under 60 points this season and improved to 8-2.

Led by 18 points in the game from Noreen Morrow, Simpson outscored Lewis & Clark in the middle quarters, cutting its deficit to 47-46 entering the fourth quarter.

"They did a great job of making adjustments," said Lewis & Clark head coach Pamela Findlay when asked about Simpson on the Classic video stream.

"We are a pretty fast team and we haven't had a lot of practices, so we were a little out of shape. Our post players did a good job battling their posts."

The Pios held Simpson to its worst shooting percentage of the season, 30 percent, and kept the Storm nearly 12 points under their season scoring average of 65.8. Morrow, Simpson's leading scorer, was limited to her third-lowest shooting percentage of the year. The junior, who is averaging 54 percent from the field this season, made 45 percent of her shots on 5 of 11 shooting.

Lewis & Clark forced 25 Simpson turnovers to outscore the Storm, 19-10, in points off turnovers. Afolabi, who earlier this week was named Northwest Conference Student-Athlete of the Week, had four takeaways to go with her fifth double-double of the season with 12 points and 12 rebounds.

"We have some great athletes. They're able to defend and push the ball in transition," said Findlay.

Rachel Cox added three steals to go with four points and three rebounds off the bench. The Pios outscored Simpson, 10-0, in fastbreak points.

Lewis & Clark's final game of the tournament is on Thursday at 2 p.m. against Stevens.