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January 28, 2012

Potter Has Her Way Inside, Lutes Whip Bearcats

PARKLAND - Samantha Potter scored a game-high 23 points, most of those near the basket, to lead Pacific Lutheran to a 71-52 Northwest Conference women's basketball win over the Willamette Bearcats on Saturday night in Olson Auditorium.

With the victory, PLU improves to 6-13 overall and to 3-7 in the conference. Willamette remains winless in 10 conference games and is 1-18 overall this year.

Potter shot 10-for-15 from the field with many of those baskets came on excellent feeds from her teammates. The Lutes finished the game with 21 assists - reserves Austin Schorno and Andi Adams leading the way with four each - on their 28 baskets.

Porter was the only Pacific Lutheran player to finish in double-figure scoring, but 10 of the 11 players on the roster scored at least two points in the contest, including nine apiece for Katelyn Smith and Shelly Kilcup. Schorno led the Lutes with a career-high nine rebounds.

Maya McFaddin led the Bearcats with 10 points, and Kaileigh Westermann had a strong game with nine points and a game-high 16 rebounds. Westermann split her rebounds evenly on the offensive and defensive ends of the floor.

Willamette scored the game's first four points on a jumper by Breanna Faehnrich and a layup by Westermann, but the Lutes scored 10 in a row, four by Potter, to take control for the remainder of the game.

The Lutes led by 16 points, 27-11, with 5 minutes left in the opening half, but Willamette refused to give up without a fight. Sophie Wilson hit a three-point shot to kick start an 11-0 Bearcats run that made the score 27-22 with 51 seconds left in the half. PLU ended up taking a 31-22 advantage into the break.

Willamette got as close as six points on a Westermann three-point play one minute into the half, but the Lutes rebuilt a double-digit lead about six minutes into the half and kept it that way for the rest of the contest.

PLU shot 44 percent from the field (28-for-63) compared to 27 percent (18-for-66) for the Bearcats. Willamette also hurt its own cause with 20 turnovers.

The Lutes return to conference action next weekend with road games against Whitman on Friday and against Whitworth on Saturday.

- PLU -