GEORGE FOX 77, PUGET SOUND 56: Balanced Bruins Drop Loggers to Close in on Crown
TACOMA, Wash. – Arianna Mohsenian scored 14 points to lead a balanced George Fox University attack that saw five players score in double figures as the Bruins downed the University of Puget Sound Loggers 77-56 and moved within one game of another Northwest Conference women's basketball title Friday evening here at Memorial Fieldhouse.
With the victory, the Bruins, who are ranked No. 3 in both NCAA Division III national polls, improved to 22-0 overall and 13-0 in the conference. George Fox, which has won or shared each of the last five regular-season conference championships, leads second-place Lewis & Clark College by two games with three to play. Puget Sound dropped to 12-11 overall and 8-6 in the league, good enough for fourth place in the standings as the Loggers aim for a possible berth in the four-team NWC Tournament.
Hannah Munger scored the first two baskets of the game as the Bruins jumped out to a 4-0 lead, but the Loggers used three-pointers by their big guns, Jocelyn Riordan and Kelsey McKinnis, to spark a comeback that knotted the game 10-10 with 14:34 left in the half. The Bruins' Jami Roos and McKinnis swapped threes before a Megan Arnoldy layup made it 15-13 Bruins, but Olivia Roberts' three gave UPS its only lead of the game at 16-15 with 12:13 to go.
Roos put the Bruins back in front with another trey, but Erin Stumbaugh sank two free throws to tie it one more time at 18-18. Mohsenian broke the tie with a three and Munger hit another short-range jumper to make it 23-18 Bruins with 8:38 left, and the visitors never trailed again. Three times the Bruins built 11-point leads before settling for a 38-28 advantage at the half.
Roos had 10 points, Hayley Cusick nine, and Munger eight as the Bruins shot .542 (13-24) in the half, including 5-9 on threes. Puget Sound hit only .333 (10-30) from the floor in the period and was led by Amanda Forshay with eight points.
Mohsenian hit a three and Munger a layup and a free throw to open the second half, extending the George Fox lead to 44-28 with 18:29 left in the game, and the Loggers got no closer than 13 points thereafter. A steal and layup by Mohsenian gave the Bruins their first 20-point lead of 60-40 with 11 minuts to play, and their largest lead was 23 at 77-54 with 1:54 remaining on a Keisha Gordon layup.
Mohsenian hit 5-9 from the field, including 4-7 from three-point range, for her 14 points. Joining her in the scoring column for the Bruins were Roos with 13, Gordon with 12 (all in the second half), and Munger and Cusick with 11 apiece. The Bruins finished with an even .500 shooting percentage (26-52) and hit .571 (8-14) from long distance. Gordon had eight rebound and Mohsenian seven as the Bruins won the battle of the boards 39-33. Gordon and Arnoldy had three assists each, Mohsenian and Dacia Heckendorf made three steals apiece, and Munger blocked six shots, giving her 283 in her career and drawing her within four of Tammy Lewis's school-record 287.
Riordan topped the Loggers with 12 points while Forshay and McKinnis had 10 each. Puget Sound wound up with a .370 shooting mark (20-54), and only .286 (6-21) from behind the arc. Forshay just missed a double-double with a game-high nine rebounds, McKinnis had three assists, and Riordan made two steals.
NEXT: George Fox visits Willamette University Saturday for a 6:00 p.m. game ... Puget Sound is off until next Friday, when the Loggers go to Lewis & Clark for a 6:00 p.m. tip ... Both games are a part of NWC doubleheaders, with men's games following at 8:00 p.m.