GEORGE FOX 55, LINFIELD 35: Bruins Overcome Sluggish Start to Run Down Wildcats

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McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Megan Arnoldy scored a game-high 16 points and Hannah Munger had a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds as the nationally-ranked George Fox University Bruins overcame a slow start to run away from the Linfield College Wildcats 55-35 in Northwest Conference women's basketball Friday night here at Ted Wilson Gym.

With their 11th straight win over their Yamhill County rivals, the Bruins, who were ranked 24th in Tuesday's national poll, improved to 9-3 overall and 2-1 in the conference.  The Wildcats fell to 1-7 overall and 0-2 in the NWC. 

The Bruins scored first on a drive by Hayley Cusick, but the Wildcats responded with eight unanswered points to go up 8-2 with 15:20 left in the first half.  Katelyn Henson had half of Linfield's points in the run with a short jumper and two free throws.  Baskets by McKenzie Wolfe and Munger got the Bruins going again, but Taylor Solomon pushed the Linfield lead to 11-6 with 13:14 left. 

Over the next four minutes, Arnoldy hit two jumpers in the lane to spark a 7-2 Bruin run that tied the game 13-13 with nine minutes remaining, and a Megan Hays free throw at 7:10 broke the tie to give George Fox a lead it would not relinquish.  The Bruins eventually stretched their advantage to as many as eight points in the half, Jami Roos giving them a 23-15 lead with a three from the right wing at 2:28, and they took a 25-17 lead into the break.

George Fox opened the second half with a 7-0 run on a layup and three-pointer by Arnoldy and a layup by Munger while holding Linfield scoreless for over five minutes.  A layup by Tyra Barawis broke the Linfield drought, but Munger hit two layups and Cusick a three from the left corner to give the Bruins a 20-point lead of 39-19 with 13:08 left in the game. 

Katie Bergquist hit a three from the right wing to cut Linfield's deficit to 17 at 39-22 with 12:52 left, but that was as close as the home team would get.  Arnoldy's layup and free throw with 9:28 left made it 48-24, the Bruins' largest lead, and the margin stayed between 19 and 22 points the rest of the way.

Offensively, the Bruins shot .358 (24-67) and .190 (4-21) from three-point range, but the defense limited the Wildcats to a mere .268 (15-56) from the field and .222 (2-9) from downtown.  The Bruins held a commanding 51-36 advantage on the glass, including 18 offensive boards, and blocked five shots, three by Munger, who now has 351 in her career and moved into 13th place in all-time blocks in the  NCAA Division III.  Roos handed out five assists and Cusick made three steals.

Henson was the only Wildcat in double figures with 11 points, and she and Kaely Maltman had the team high with five rebounds apiece.  Maltman had five assists and Henson made three steals.

NEXT: George Fox goes to Willamette University while Linfield stays home to host Pacific Lutheran University Saturday, both starting at 6:00 p.m.  Men's NWC games will follow each at 8:00 p.m.