Lewis & Clark moves to championship game

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Lewis & Clark women's basketball captured a 60-51 victory on Thursday night over the Whitman Missionaries in the Northwest Conference Tournament Semi-Final at the Pamplin Sports Complex. With the victory the Pioneers will now host the George Fox Bruins who won the other semi-final.

The Pioneers improve to 21-5 on the season and 14-2 in Northwest Conference action. The Bruins, who defeated the Puget Sound Loggers, are also 21-5 overall and 14-2 in the NWC. The Missionaries end the season 15-11 overall and 9-8 in conference play.

Junior Megan Spence led Pioneers with a team-high 14 points, while both Kristina Williams and Christina Herring each chipped in 11 points. Junior Neva Hauser finished the game with 10 points. Margaret Dowling led all players with 13 rebounds and Spence came down with nine.

Jenele Peterson ended the night with a game-high 15 points. Tiffani Brewer scored 11 for the Missionaries and Rebecca Sexton chipped in 10.

In the first half the two teams tied the contest on six occasions, including a 25-25 deadlock at the half. The largest lead by either side in the first half of action was just five points. The Pioneers went up by five with 9:42 remaining after freshman Tayler Wang nailed a jumper. The Missionaries fought their way back from behind, taking their five point lead with 2:10 on the clock with a successful free-throw from Peterson. The Pios erased the lead with two offensive rebounds that resulted in baskets and a free-throw to send the game into the locker room tied 25-25.

Whitman went on a 9-3 run to open the second half of play with 14 minutes remaining, to take a 34-28 lead. The Pioneers answered back with nine unanswered points to once again take possession of the lead. The lead would remain with the Pioneers the remainder of the game. Lewis & Clark would hit 12 of 16 free-throws the rest of the way to close things out with the win.

The Pioneers return to the court on Saturday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. when they host the Bruins for the Northwest Conference crown. The winner of the game will earn the automatic qualifier to the NCAA Division III Tournament.

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