Schultz's 23 Points Can't Hold Off Linfield Rally

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McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Erica Schultz (Jr., Medford, Ore.) put together a 23-point scoring performance and Pacific posted it's best three-point shooting night of the season, but it was not enough to counter a 50 percent night from the field for Linfield as the Wildcats cruised to a 65-57 victory in Northwest Conference women's basketball action at Ted Wilson Gymnasium.

Schultz led the Boxers (6-17, 2-12 NWC) by going 9 of 18 from the field and a perfect 3 for 3 from three-point range.  She paced a night where Pacific connected on 44.4 percent from long range, going 8 for 18.  Kandice McArthur (Jr., Post Falls, Idaho) also hit three treys en-route to 14 points.  Ashley Jacobs (So., Waimanalo, Hawaii) had the Boxers other two threes.

Linfield (12-10, 7-7 NWC) posted a big first half, shooting 64 percent from the frame, and then outscored Pacific 16-2 in the final four minutes to win it. Linfield shot 50 percent (26-52) for the contest.  Gretchen Owens led Linfield with 24 points while Kaely Maltman added 14 points.

The Wildcats never trailed in the first half, vaulting out to a seven-point lead on a Stephanie Fennimore three-point play four minutes into the first half.  Linfield led by eight with 12 minutes left when the Boxers closed to within three on a three-pointer by Schultz and a short jumper by Paige Jensen (So., Bemidji, Minn.) with 8:32 left in the stanza. 

Linfield responded by outscoring the Boxers 12-3 over the next four minutes, going ahead 30-18 on two Maltman free throws with 5:26 to go.  Pacific cut the lead back down to seven on Jacobs' trey at the 4:29 mark before Maltman sparked a 6-2 run to end the half as the Wildcats took their largest lead of the game, 38-25, into the halftime locker room.

Pacific opened the second half by scoring the first nine points of the period.  McArthur accounted for six of the points, while Schultz brought the Boxers within four with her jumper at the 14:22 mark.  Chandler Jones ended Linfield's drought with her bucket with 13:55 left, but the Boxers went right back to work, tying the contest at 42-42 on McArthur's third trey of the game with 10:58 remaining.

Linfield went back ahead by five before the Boxers tied the game two more times.  The Boxers took their first lead of the game on a pair of Schultz free throws with 6:03 to go and eventually went up 57-53 on a Schultz three-pointer with 4:32 to go.  The Wildcats, though, found their shooting touch again at just the right time, going on a 16-2 run to close the game.  Owens gave Linfield the lead for good on back-to-back threes with 3:39 left.

Jensen led Pacific with nine rebounds.  Maltman pulled down eight boards for Linfield, who out-rebounded Pacific 32-27.

Pacific plays its final two games of the season at home.  The Boxers host Whitman on Friday and Whitworth on Saturday.  Tip-off both nights is 6 p.m.