Pioneers close out regular season with win at Whitworth

Pioneers close out regular season with win at Whitworth

SPOKANE, Wash. -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers nearly hit on 50 percent of their shots in an 83-64 win over the Whitworth Pirates on Saturday evening at the Whitworth Fieldhouse.

Having already clinched a Northwest Conference postseason tournament bid after Whitworth lost to George Fox on Friday night, Lewis & Clark (16-9; 9-7 NWC) used most of its players, with 11 playing more than 10 minutes.

Ayisat Afolabi scored 16 points and had 11 rebounds, her 16th double-double of the year. The senior entered the weekend ranked 19th in the nation in double-doubles. Sarah Anderson added 15 points on 5 of 8 shooting from 3-point range, Deja Nicholas had 12 and Lauren Wood scored 11 points.

Anderson's performance from 3-point range was indicative of how Lewis & Clark shot from deep all night. The Pios made 7 of 16 3-point tries, or 44 percent, their highest since making 62 percent on Jan. 13 at Pacific. Lewis & Clark also scored more than 80 points for the first time since they had 93 on Dec. 2 against Pacific Lutheran. In that same game, the Pioneers had 25 assists, which was the last time they put up 20-plus assists prior to Saturday. They had 22 against Whitworth.

Cianna Ochoco played a season-high 12 minutes and had three assists to go with a 3-pointer she made on her only shot attempt of the night. Last season, Ochoco played over 36 minutes per game, which led the NWC. Friday was her first game since Jan. 31 against George Fox. Anderson and Leith also had three assists each.

Janessa Willie added eight in 14 minutes off the bench. Natalie Kelly hit a three, while Rachel Cox, Alyx Crager, Jackie Lizarraga and Kelley Koeppen also hit a field goal.

Madison Moffat had a game-high 18 points to lead Whitworth (10-15; 6-10 NWC).

Lewis & Clark will travel to NWC regular season champion Puget Sound on Thursday in the tournament semifinals. If the Pioneers win, they'll travel to either George Fox or Whitman in Saturday's championship game. The winner of the NWC postseason tournament earns the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III National Championship tournament.

During the regular season, Puget Sound won both meetings between the two teams, including a 74-57 win in the most-recent match-up on Jan. 7 at Lewis & Clark.

Other Northwest Conference Scores - Saturday

Linfield 65, Willamette 57
George Fox 65, Whitman 62
Puget Sound 76, Pacific 67