PARKLAND, Wash. – Jami Roos scored 18 of her game-high 27 points in a 12-minute span of the second half that lifted the George Fox University Bruins from a tie to a 20-point lead and an eventual 69-46 win over the Pacific Lutheran University Lutes in Northwest Conference women's basketball action Friday night here at the Olson Auditorium.
With the win, George Fox improved to 18-6 overall and remained tied for third in the conference with Whitworth University, both 11-4 in the league. Pacific Lutheran fell to 6-16 overall with its ninth straight loss and to 3-12 in the NWC.
The Bruins jumped out to a 4-0 lead on baskets by Megan Arnoldy and extended the margin to 8-2 on a pair of Justine Benner free throws. The Lutes roared back with a 7-0 run on a jumper and a three-pointer by Kara Sherman and a putback by Samantha Potter to take their only lead of the game at 9-8 with 12:30 left in the first period.
A jumper by McKenzie Wolfe 13 seconds later put the Bruins back in front and they never trailed again, though it took a while to shake the upset-minded Lutes. The Bruins twice rebuilt six-point leads in the half, the last at 29-23 on a conventional three-point play by Roos with 44 seconds left. Two free throws by Potter brought the Lutes within four at the break, 29-25.
A jumper by Roos to open the second half made the George Fox lead six again, but the Lutes responded with an 8-2 run to tie it 33-33 with 16:47 to go in the game. Sherman and Potter each had a pair of baskets to fuel the Lutes' rally.
At that point, Roos took over, breaking the tie for good with a layup and free throw at the 16:27 mark. Over the next 12 minutes, she poured in a layup, four free throws, and three three-pointers, the last trey making a 59-39 George Fox advantage with 4:58 left. The Lutes got no closer than 18 on a pair of Sarah Barnes free throws with 2:38 remaining, but the Bruins stretched their lead to as many as 26 points when Megan Hays hit a fast-break layin for a 69-43 lead with 11 seconds to play.
George Fox blistered the nets with a .553 (26-47) shooting percentage while holding Pacific Lutheran to only a .231 (15-65) mark. The Bruins also controlled the glass 44-34, though the Lutes grabbed 17 offensive rebounds.
Roos set a new career high in points by making 9-16 from the field, 3-6 in threes, and 6-6 from the line. Benner chipped in with 10 points and had a team-best eight rebounds and five assists. Roos made four steals, and the Bruins blocked nine shots - four by Hays, three by Hannah Munger, and two by Nicole Blizzard.
Potter posted a double-double for the Lutes as she scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while Sherman added 13 points. Megan Abdo and Chrissy Swope handed out three assists each, and Sherman and Amber Stokes made three steals apiece.
NEXT: George Fox ends the regular season at the University of Puget Sound while Pacific Lutheran hosts league-leading Lewis & Clark College Saturday, both tipping off at 6:00 p.m. ... NWC men's games will follow at 8:00 p.m.