NEWBERG, Ore. – Getting an early jump on the rest of the Northwest Conference in the only league game scheduled before the holidays, the nationally-ranked George Fox University Bruins ran away from the Linfield College Wildcats 86-36 in women's basketball action Saturday night here at the Wheeler Sports Center's Miller Gym.
The Bruins, ranked 12th in the NCAA Division III D3hoops.com poll and 18th in the USA Today / ESPN / Women's Basketball Coaches Association poll, improved to 6-0 overall and 1-0 in the conference. The Wildcats fell to 2-5 overall and 0-1 in the league.
George Fox took an early lead on baskets by Justine Benner and Megan Arnoldy, but Linfield answered with an 8-3 run to take its only lead of the game at 8-7 on a rebound basket by Katelyn Henson with 13:44 left in the half. Benner's three-pointer moments later put the Bruins ahead for good and ignited an 11-0 run, with Benner getting two more goals, that made it 19-8 with 11:16 to go.
After a layup by the Wildcats' Kaely Maltman ended the streak, the Bruins took off on an 11-2 run to build the margin to 18 at 30-12 with 5:19 remaining, a long-range trey by Roos capping the rally. The gap reached 24 points at the end of the half when Roos was fouled on a three-point attempt at the buzzer and sank all three charity tosses for a 42-18 home team advantage.
Benner and Roos both reached double digits before the half, Benner with 11 and Roos with 10. The Bruins hit .545 (6-11) from beyond the arc and .923 (12-13) from the free throw line in the period. Maltman led the Wildcats with eight points.
Arnoldy hit a pair of threes and Cusick one and the Bruins held the 'Cats to only two points in the first five minutes of the second half as the George Fox lead grew to 33 at 53-20. The gap reached 40 for the first time on a Kennedy Hobert free throw at the 5:13 mark that made it 71-31, and eventually reached its zenith of 50 points at 86-36, the final score, on a Kylie Dummer three with 42 seconds left.
Arnoldy's 16 points for the Bruins on 6-9 from the field, including 3-5 from downtown, led all scorers, while Benner and Roos finished 11 each. Seventeen Bruins played, 15 of them scoring, and no one played more than 21 minutes. The Bruins finished with a .463 shooting percentage (25-54), .579 (11-19) on threes, and .758 (25-33) from the line. Benner had a game-high seven rebounds as the Bruins almost doubled the Wildcats on the boards, 48-25. Hobert passed out four assists, Cusick made three steals, and Jodyn Peacock blocked three shots.
Maltman was the only 'Cat in double digits with 12 points, while Henson just missed with nine. Maltman led Linfield with six rebounds, and Jessica McMillan, Garce McMillan, and Taylor Solomon had two assists apiece. The Wildcats shot .304 (14-46) from the floor, .143 (1-7) from three-point range and .389 (7-18) from the free throw line.
NEXT: George Fox will be off for two weeks before hosting the University of California-Santa Cruz on Saturday, Dec. 21, at 7:30 p.m. … Linfield goes to Northwest Christian University next Saturday for a 5:30 p.m. contest.