FOREST GROVE, Ore. - Pacific Lutheran shot just 31 percent from the field and lost the rebounding battle by 19 as the host Pacific Boxers rolled to a 78-57 Northwest Conference women's basketball win on Saturday night at Stoller Center.
The loss was the seventh in a row in conference action for the Lutes, dropping them to 4-14 overall and 2-8 in the NWC. Pacific, now 6-13 overall, is also 2-8 in the conference standings, tied with PLU for seventh place.
Paige Jensen put together a career night to lead Pacific. The sophomore forward finished the game with a career-high 31 points to go with a season-high 17 rebounds. Jensen connected on 11-of-14 from the field, including a rare three-pointer, and went 8-for-9 from the free throw line. Jensen finished her line with three assists and three steals.
Jensen fueled the best shooting performance of the NWC season for the Boxers, who snapped a seven-game losing streak with the victory. Pacific finished shooting 54.4 percent from the field (31-for-57) and also did the job on the boards, out-rebounding the Lutes 45-26.
Shelly Kilcup and Jordan Westering each scored 15 points to lead the Lutes, followed by Sara Backstrom with 11 points. For the game, PLU was only 19-for-61 from the field, though it's three-point shooting was outstanding. With Westering shooting 5-for-9 and Kilcup going 4-for-9, the Lutes were 11-for-24 from beyond the arc, good for 46 percent accuracy.
The Lutes started out with the hot hand as they scored 12 of their first 17 points on three-pointers and took a 17-12 lead on a trey by Backstrom six minutes into the contest. Jensen came right back with a short jumper that started a 24-8 run over the next nine minutes. Kandice McArthur capped the run with a three-pointer at the 5:22 mark that put Pacific up 36-25.
The Boxers went cold over the remaining five minutes, hitting just one shot from the field as the Lutes rallied to come within seven at halftime, 39-32. Jensen finished with 12 points and seven rebounds in the half, most of those coming in the first 10 minutes.
Jensen seemed to put it into overdrive in the second half, scoring five of the Boxers first 10 points of the stanza to extend the Pacific lead to 51-38. The Lutes came back to within eight on two occasions and were within 11 points at the 11:41 mark when an 9-0 run gave the Boxers a 63-44 advantage midway through the period.