PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers were unable to capitalize after tying the game in the fourth quarter, falling 53-45 to the Willamette Bearcats on Saturday night at Pamplin Sports Center.
The Pioneers are now 10-5 overall, and an even 3-3 in Northwest Conference play, which creates a three-way tie for fourth place between the two teams and Whitworth.
In the final 30 seconds of the first quarter, senior Sarah Anderson put up a 3-pointer to tie up the game. Afolabi grabbed the defensive rebound on the next possession, pushing the momentum in the Pioneers favor.
Deja Nicholas put Lewis & Clark ahead in the second quarter after an Anderson steal shut down the first possession for the Bearcats. Willamette responded with three points, holding the lead for the remainder of the period. Nicholas posted the only points of the quarter, as the Pioneers were unable to respond to the next 12 Bearcats points.
True to their second half energy of the season so far, the Pioneers started strong, outscoring Willamette in the third period. Leith led the scoring effort, putting up five points.
Afolabi sank a layup, pushing her career point total to over 900, and tying the game up for the Pioneers. With less than a minute left, the Bearcats held the lead by less than ten points. Multiple fouls ensued, before a steal by Nicholas helped Lewis & Clark gain possession, although they were unable to finish the opportunity. Head coach Pamela Findlay called a timeout with less than 25 seconds remaining in the game, allowing the Pioneers to recollect themselves and come out with an Afolabi layup. However, the extra points weren't enough to dissipate Willamette's lead, and Lewis & Clark dropped its 2017 home debut.
Ashley Evans led the Bearcats with 15 points, with Kylie Towry and Marisa Hamilton also scored in double digits. Willamette is now 10-5 overall and 3-3 in NWC play.
The Pioneers return to Pamplin Sports Center for two more home games next week. They take on Whitworth Friday at 6 p.m., and Whitman on Jan. 21 at 4 p.m.
Other Northwest Conference Scores - Saturday
George Fox 83, Linfield 53
Whitworth 66, Pacific Lutheran 43
Puget Sound 73, Whitman 71 (OT)