Pioneers Hold Off Pirate Women

Photo courtesy Ryan Goff, L&C Athletics
Photo courtesy Ryan Goff, L&C Athletics

PORTLAND, Ore. – Lewis & Clark used a 22-0 run that spanned the end of the first half and the beginning of the third quarter to hold off visiting Whitworth 72-61 in a Northwest Conference women's basketball game on Friday night at the Pamplin Center.

The Pirates, still looking for their first NWC road victory of the season, fell to 7-9 overall and 3-4 in the NWC.  The Pioneers improved to 11-5, 4-3.

The first half included three significant runs, two of which went in L&C's favor.  After Madison Moffat's three-point play gave Whitworth an early 5-4 lead, the Pioneers held the Pirates to only two points over the final eight minutes of the period and went on a 14-2 run to take an 18-7 lead after one period.

But Whitworth responded with its own 11-0 run over the first six minutes of the second quarter.  The Pirate defense forced the Pioneers to miss their first seven shots of the period, while Moffat converted another three-point play and Jessica Thoens made the Bucs' first three-point shot of the game.  Chloe Quinnett tied the game one final time when her basket made the score 20-20 with 3:20 to go in the half.  L&C then regrouped and closed the half on an 11-0 run, led by six points from Ayisat Afolabi. 

The Pioneers continued their run during the opening five minutes of the third quarter, scoring 11 straight points to extend their run to 22-0.  By the time Afolabi scored inside to close that long streak, L&C had taken a 42-20 lead.  The Pioneers took their largest lead at 49-25 on a Janessa Willie three-pointer with 1:30 to go in the third.

However, the Pirates continued to fight back.  Chipping away a few points at a time, Whitworth pulled within 49-33 on a Grace Douglas three-pointer just before the end of the third quarter.  A Callie Harwood three-pointer got the Bucs to within 55-44 halfway through the fourth.  And when Erika Kuehn hit a 15-foot jumper with 3:51 to go, Whitworth had pulled within 57-50.  L&C then retook control with a 9-2 run to put the game away down the stretch.

Moffat led Whitworth with her third double-double of the season, totaling 22 points and 12 rebounds.  Harwood added 16 points, while Quinnett joined Moffat with a dozen rebounds.  The Pirates struggled to find an offensive groove all night, finishing 21-60 (35%) from the field and 4-16 (25%) from beyond the arc.  Whitworth did finish with a 42-36 advantage in rebounds.

Afolabi posted her own double-double for L&C with 19 points and 12 rebounds.  Miyah Leith added 14 points and four assists.  The Pioneers made 27-60 (45%) from the field.

Whitworth will close the road trip with a game at 21st-ranked George Fox on Saturday at 4:00 pm.