Pios win pivotal game against Whitworth

Pios win pivotal game against Whitworth

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers used a 22-0 run over the second and third quarters to distance themselves from the Whitworth Pirates in a 72-61 win at Pamplin Sports Center on Friday night.

Entering the game, Whitworth and Lewis & Clark were tied with Willamette for fourth place in the Northwest Conference. With the victory and Willamette's loss to Linfield, the Pioneers are now alone in fourth place in the Northwest Conference.

Lewis & Clark avoided repeating last Saturday's game when the Pios hosted Willamette and lost 53-45 on a season-worst shooting night. Willamette and Lewis & Clark were tied in fourth place leading into that game, too.

"It felt really good, finally getting our lead back, especially coming off the loss to Willamette," said junior guard Miyah Leith, who finished with 14 points. "We lost that lead on the defensive end, so we need to focus down and play all four quarters."

Whitworth whittled down Lewis & Clark's 20-plus-point lead in the middle of the third quarter to bring the game to 57-50 with 3:51 left in the fourth.

Ayisat Afolabi had her ninth double-double of the season with 19 points and 12 rebounds, and Sara Hogman finished with 13 as the Pioneers rebounded from a sub-25 percent shooting performance last Saturday, finishing 45 percent from the field on Friday night.

"Ayisat stood out like always, working hard and rebounding," said Leith. "Sara really came out and played today. She had steals and great layups. She is one of our main cutters and got us going."

The Pios twice built 11-point leads in the first half, ending both the first and second quarter ahead by that margin. After being held without a basket for the first four minutes of the second period, Lewis & Clark outscored Whitworth, 11-0, in the final 3:20 of the quarter. Ayisat Afolabi had 12 points in the first half.

Lewis & Clark hosts second-place Whitman on Saturday. The visiting Blues did not play on Friday at George Fox as originally scheduled because of weather concerns on Highway 84 from Walla Walla, Wash.

"They were here tonight and were scouting us, so they should have a good game plan.  Our game plan is to come out and play our basketball," said Leith.

The tipoff between Lewis & Clark and Whitman is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Saturday. George Fox and Whitman will play on Sunday afternoon.

Other Northwest Conference Scores - Friday

Linfield 73, Willamette 55
Puget Sound 81, Pacific 62
Whitman at George Fox - ppd.