No lead is no problem when Pacific Lutheran’s Katelyn Smith decides to take over a game.
Smith, a 6-foot junior post, powered PLU’s 54-50 victory over Willamette (0-14 overall, 0-5 Northwest Conference) Saturday night with 19 points, 14 of which came in the second half. She added four rebounds and two blocks.
Battling back from an awful first half that left PLU (6-7, 3-3 NWC) down 26-18, it became Smith’s show with 17 minutes remaining. The Yelm native rattled off nine points in a row, taking the Lutes from down six to a 29-25 lead in just over a minute.
Despite her dominant performance, Smith was not really known for her scoring this season, averaging just six points a game coming off an injury-plagued offseason. Smith injured her anterior cruciate ligament in the team’s second to last game last season.
“It’s great to have Katelyn have a bust-out game,” PLU coach Kelly Robinson said. “She has been practicing really well and it’s taken her awhile to get in the rhythm in a game. For her to have a good game tonight, she is feeling good from coming back from her injury.”
With Smith propelling the Lutes to their first lead of the game, PLU’s offense finally awoke from its slumber when junior forward Chrissy Swope added 10 points to supplement Smith’s efforts in the paint. At point guard, Megan Abdo added six points in the half, finishing with 10 in the game.
Defensively, the Lutes had 12 steals, 59 rebounds and limited Willamette to 31 percent shooting from the field.
At No. 9 Lewis & Clark women 58, Puget Sound 56: Katie Anderson’s layup with 0.4 seconds remaining helped the Pioneers (14-1, 5-1) avoid the upset bid by the Loggers (10-5, 3-3).
UPS didn’t trail during a 13-minute stretch in the second half until Anderson’s layup. Junior guard Kelsey McKinnis made three 3-pointers en route to a game-high 18 points and also had nine rebounds for UPS. Katy Ainslie had 10 points and eight rebounds for the Loggers.
At Linfield men 70, Puget Sound 65: The Loggers (6-8, 1-4) missed their final five shots from the field as the Wildcats (3-11, 2-3) rallied for the win. Rex Holmes led four Loggers in double digits with 17 points and Derek Jobe added 15 points.
Andrew Batiuk made four free throws down the stretch to finish with 25 points and 12 rebounds while Brandon Harris added 16 points for Linfield.