NEWBERG, Ore. – Shooting a near-record 61.3 percent for the game and scoring 18 straight points in a four-minute span in the first half, the nationally-ranked George Fox University Bruins raced past the Pacific Lutheran University Lutes 99-60 in Northwest Conference women's basketball Saturday night here at the Wheeler Sports Center's Miller Gym.
The Bruins shot .594 (19-32) in the first half, then made 11 of their first 12 shots in the second half before settling for a .633 mark (19-30) in the final 20 minutes. Their .613 percentage (38-62) is second in George Fox history to the record of .619 (26-42) in a 63-58 home win over Pacific Lutheran on Feb. 24, 2001, in an NWC Tournament championship game.
George Fox's starting five - Megan Arnoldy, Justine Benner, Jordyn Peacock, Hayley Cusick, and Dacia Heckendorf - combined to shoot .760 (19-25), with Arnoldy scoring 14 and Benner and Peacock 10 apiece. Jami Roos came off the bench to score a team-high 20 points, hitting 7-11 from the field with a trio of three-pointers. Kennedy Hobert's seven rebounds led the Bruins to a 41-33 margin on the glass. Peacock and Cusick blocked three shots each, Heckendorf had seven assists, and Cusick made four steals.
Katelyn Smith paced PLU with 21 points and Megan Abdo scored 17. Samantha Potter had a game-high 12 rebounds, Sarah Barnes handed out three assists, and Shelly Kilcup made three steals. The Lutes were held to a .317 shooting percentage (20-63).
With their fourth straight win and highest-scoring output of the season, the Bruins, 7th in the latest D3hoops.com poll and 10th in the WBCA poll, improved to 18-1 overall and 9-1 in the NWC, one game behind front-running Whitman College. The Lutes, coached by former George Fox player Jennifer Childress, fell to the Bruins for the 16th straight time and are now 7-12 overall and 3-7 in the league.
Pacific Lutheran hit four of its first six shots to take a quick 8-0 lead, six of the points by Abdo. Peacock finally put the Bruins on the board with a layup at 17:11, and they eventually tied it 15-15 on two Arnoldy free throws with 13:14 to go in the half. Katelyn Smith gave PLU its final lead of 17-15 with a layin, but a free throw and layup by Arnoldy gave George Fox its first lead at 11:52, and the Bruins tacked on 15 more uncontested points to go up 33-17 with 8:34 left on a basket by Justine Benner.
George Fox took a 20-point lead for the first time at 40-19 on jumper by Nicole Blizzard at the 5:54 mark, and the margin was 48-29 at the half. The Bruins pushed their lead to 30 at 65-35 on another Blizzard basket with 15:49 left in the game, and to 40 on an Arnoldy three that made it 80-39 with 10:40 left. Their largest lead was 43 following three Samantha Naluai free throws at 8:34 that made it 88-45.
NEXT: George Fox visits Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore., Friday at 6:00 p.m. … Pacific Lutheran hosts Whitman Friday, also at 6:00 p.m. … Both will be followed by NWC men's games at 8:00 p.m.