Second half gets away from Pios in road defeat

Second half gets away from Pios in road defeat

SALEM, Ore. -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers lost their grasp on a 13-point, second-quarter lead to lose 65-56 against the Willamette Bearcats on Friday night at Cone Field House.

Behind 6 of 12 shooting from 3-point range, Willamette (12-10; 5-8 NWC) was able to crawl back from a 26-13 deficit in the late first half, taking its first lead of the game with 15 seconds left in the third quarter.

The Pioneers shot 5 of 16 in the fourth quarter after starting the game 7 of 14 in the first. Meanwhile, Willamette finished 52 percent from the floor overall.

Last month, Lewis & Clark had its worst shooting night of the season in a 53-45 home loss to Willamette. That game ended up being the Pios' only loss over a six-game stretch.

Ayisat Afolabi finished with her 14th double-double, leading Lewis & Clark with 25 points and 14 rebounds. Miyah Leith added eight points and Janessa Willie had six points.

Deja Nicholas and Lauren Wood combined with Afolabi and Willie to put the Pios up by 10 points in the game's first eight minutes, and Lewis & Clark led 16-11 at the end of the first quarter. Afolabi had 14 of her 25 points in the first half.

The Pioneers outscored Willamette, 10-2, to start the second quarter, building the game's largest lead, 16 points, with 4:40 remaining in the first half. Marisa Hamilton and Sarah Heinly led the Bearcats comeback, combining for nine points immediately after Lewis & Clark's biggest lead. The pair went on to combine for 37 points off the bench.

Lewis & Clark (14-8; 7-6 NWC) has three games left and leads Whitworth by one game in the Northwest Conference standings for fourth place. The top four teams make the NWC postseason tournament. The Pios host Pacific at 4 p.m. on Saturday at Pamplin Sports Center and will celebrate Senior Night.

Other Northwest Conference Scores - Friday

Puget Sound 89, Whitman 82 (OT)
George Fox 76, Linfield 56
Whitworth 72, Pacific Lutheran 60