GEORGE FOX 68, PUGET SOUND 55: Gordon Sets Points Record as Bruins Top Loggers
NEWBERG, Ore. – Keisha Gordon became the all-time George Fox University leader in points scored with 1,643 as the third-ranked Bruins eliminated the University of Puget Sound Loggers 68-55 in a Northwest Conference Women's Basketball Tournament semi-final game Thursday night here at the Wheeler Sports Center's Miller Gym.
George Fox remained unbeaten with a 26-0 record and advanced to the tournament title game Saturday at 7:00 p.m., which the Bruins will host against Lewis & Clark College (24-2), a 69-64 winner over Whitman College in the other semi-final. The NWC Tournament winner earns the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III National Tournament. Puget Sound saw its season come to an end with a 13-13 record.
The Bruins built an early 5-2 lead on a basket by Gordon and a free throw and layup by Hannah Munger, but the Loggers responded with an 8-0 run with goals by Jocelyn Riordan, Amanda Forshay, Lindsay Layland and Sarah Stewart to take a 10-5 lead four minutes in. A jumper by Ashley Agcaioili gave UPS its largest lead of 16-9 with 12:48 left in the half.
Gordon hit a three-point basket and a conventional three-point play around a drive by Megan Arnoldy as the Bruins rallied for a 17-16 lead with 9:16 remaining. The go-ahead free throw gave Gordon her 1,630th point, breaking the mark of 1,629 set by Melody Groeneveld-McMaster (1981-85), who was among the estimated crowd of 1,185 to see her record broken.
The game stayed tight over the next seven minutes, with two ties and four lead changes. A three by Kelsey McKinnis pulled the Loggers within a point at 30-29 with 2:11 to go, but the Bruins went on an 8-1 spurt to close the period and take a 38-30 halftime lead. Gordon hit two layups, giving her 15 points in the half, and Hayley Cusick drained four free throws for the Bruins' closing eight. McKinnis had 10 in the first half to lead the Loggers.
Cusick scored on a drive to open the second half, giving the Bruins the first double-digit lead of the game at 40-30. Gordon added two free throws, Munger a putback, and Cusick a layup off an inbounds play and the defense held the Loggers scoreless for almost four minutes as the home team's lead increased to 46-30.
Erin Stumbaugh's two free throws at 16:08 finally got UPS on the board in the period, but the Bruins added a free throw and layup by Munger and a layup by Arnoldy for a 51-32 lead before the Loggers finally got their first field goal of the half, a jumper by Katie Ainslie with 11:53 to play.
Forshay added two free throws and McKinnis a layup and two free throws as the Loggers fought back within 11 at 51-40 with 8:51 to go. Arnoldy stopped the run with a pair of free throws, but Stumbaugh's three-point play and two free throws by Layland cut the Bruin lead to single digits at 53-45 with 6:32 left. Gordon, recently named the NWC Player of the Year, showed why as she once again came to the Bruins' rescue, hitting two layups and two free throws over the next three minutes to keep the Loggers at bay. Munger added two free tosses and a layup as the Bruins re-established a comfortable 64-50 lead with 2:44 left and went on win.
Gordon and Arnoldy each posted double-doubles in points and rebounds, Gordon with game highs of 23 and 12 and Arnoldy with 10 and 10, and each had three assists. Munger scored 15 points and Cusick added 10. Munger also had five blocked shots, extending her Bruin career record to 297 and moving her into 24th place on the D-III career list for blocks. Gordon and Cusick made three steals apiece. The Bruins held a decided edge in rebounds, 45-36, and in blocked shots, 9-1.
McKinnis was the only Logger in double figures with 18 points, while Forshay and Agcaioili had eight each. Stewart had a team-high six rebounds, Riordan and Layland had two assists apiece, and Forshay made two steals. UPS struggled to a .200 shooting percentage (5-25) in the second half and finished at .288 (15-52) for the game.