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December 17, 2011

PLU Pushes Past Evergreen State in Second Half

OLYMPIA - Samantha Potter scored 21 points and Shelly Kilcup added 19 as Pacific Lutheran rallied from a halftime deficit to beat Evergreen State, 65-58, in a non-conference women's basketball game played Saturday night in CRC Gymnasium.

With the win, the Lutes improved their season record to 4-4 and at the same time dropped Evergreen State to 2-8 overall.

Holding a precarious 56-54 lead with 4:18 left to play, the Lutes scored seven unanswered points over the next two minutes to assume a 63-54 advantage. Kilcup, who to that point had missed on all nine of her three-point attempts, drilled a trey with 3:03 on the clock to highlight the game-deciding run.

PLU trailed 30-29 at the half but out-scored the hosts, 36-28, in the second half. Both Potter and Kilcup scored 11 points and Chrissy Swope tallied seven of her eight points during the period. In fact, Kilcup ended up scoring seven of PLU's final 10 points.

Pacific Lutheran led by as many as seven points in the opening half, taking a 16-9 lead on Sara Backstrom's free throw with 13:16 on the clock. Evergreen responded with a 19-2 run over the next eight minutes to go on top 28-18, which was the largest lead for either team in the contest. Kilcup's jumper with three seconds in the half sent the teams into their respective locker rooms with the Geoducks clinging to their one-point lead.

Kilcup hit a layup to put the Lutes on top 33-32 about two minutes into the final half, and the visitors held the lead until Mele Rich nailed a jumper to give Evergreen State a 51-50 advantage with 8:05 to play.

Katelyn Smith, PLU's 6-foot sophomore post, attempted and made her first three-point shot of the season to put the Lutes on top to stay, 53-51, with 6:25 left.

The Lutes shot 37 percent (24-for-64) from the field but only 12 percent (3-for-16) from long range. In addition to her 21 points, Potter led the Lutes with 12 rebounds. Mackenzie Bieker had five assists and Backstrom added four more. Kilcup's line included two blocks and four steals.

For the Geoducks, Danielle Swain scored 14 of her game-high 22 points in the second half, while Jessica Edge contributed 19 points and 10 rebounds, including eight on the offensive end. The team shot 39 percent (22-for-57) overall but made just one of its 11 three-point shots.

Both teams ended up with 41 rebounds, the Lutes getting 22 offensive and 19 defense, while Evergren had 19 offensive and 22 defensive.

PLU returns to action at 7 p.m. Monday when it travels to Seattle to meet NCAA Division II Seattle Pacific.

- PLU -