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January 14, 2011

Pioneers Play in the Paint, Overpower Lutes

PARKLAND - The Lewis & Clark Pioneers were too much to handle in the paint for the Pacific Lutheran Lutes and the Pioneers downed PLU, 65-50, in a Northwest Conference women's basketball matchup Friday in Olson Auditorium. The Lutes were outrebounded 46-27.

The loss drops PLU to 4-10 overall (2-4 NWC) and was the second loss for the team this week after it fell Tuesday to rival Puget Sound, 66-41.

The Pioneers darted into a steady double-digit lead in the first half against the Lutes. But PLU gained momentum with five minutes left in the half after Shelly Kilcup nailed two three-pointers to bring the Lutes within six points of the Pioneers.

Lewis & Clark maintained its lead and went into the half with a 36-23 lead over the Lutes after shooting 40 percent from the field.

The Lutes rallied early in the second half to cut the Pioneers' lead to 40-35. Sara Backstrom struck first for PLU with a layup after a Lewis & Clark turnover. Samantha Potter followed by scoring in the paint and finishing a fast break layup on the next possession.

Kilcup knocked down two consecutive free throws after a Pioneer bucket and then came back down the court for another quick two points after a rebound and outlet from Backstrom, bringing PLU within five of Lewis & Clark.

Within the next six minutes, Lewis & Clark pushed its lead to 54-41 on a scoring run led by Christina Herring and Neva Hauser. From there, the Pioneers took off, leading by as much as 18 points with less than five minutes remaining.

Kilcup finished with a  game-high 15 points, followed by Potter who tallied 12 points and five rebounds. Jordan Westering led PLU with six rebounds.

Hauser topped the Pioneers with 14 points while shooting 6-for-10, and she led all players with 10 rebounds. Christina Herring shot 6-for-10 and had 11 points, and Kristina Williams 10 points and eight rebounds.

The Pioneers shot nearly 45 percent from the field compared to 36 percent for the Lutes.

PLU will travel to Oregon for NWC competition at Linfield on Jan. 21 and Willamette on Jan. 22. Both games start at 6 p.m.

- PLU -

By Brendan Abshier, student assistant