The basketball rolled around on the court, untethered and available.
Two hustling Pacific Lutheran University players converged, tumbling to the floor after it – only to grasp at air.
That is because seemingly out of nowhere arrived Puget Sound sophomore Amanda Forshay, who in one big swoop slid on her knees, grabbed the loose ball and sent a downcourt dart to teammate Kelsey McKinnis.
The Loggers have had their issues, which have lent to an unexpectedly up-and-down season. But what they do have are young, talented, relentless, athletic wing players – with Forshay at the top of the list.
Similar to the last meeting, UPS pulled away from a tight game at the end of the first half to claim a 70-54 Northwest Conference victory over the Lutes at Olson Auditorium on Tuesday night.
UPS (11-9, 4-7 NWC) has won 13 of the past 14 games against its cross-town rival.
It was quite a night for Forshay, the 6-footer from Moraga, Calif. She scored a career-high 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting – 13 coming in the first half when the Loggers made their big move.
With PLU holding a 22-19 lead with 71/2 minutes remaining, it was Forshay who started UPS’ 17-2 run to end the half. She sank a 3-pointer from the top of the key to tie the game, and on the Loggers’ next trip, she muscled up a 5-footer, was fouled and completed a three-point play. UPS never trailed again.
“Coach (Payne) has really been stressing that we, as younger players, step up,” said Forshay, who was part of three 20-win teams at Campolindo High School.
While UPS coach Loree Payne hailed Forshay’s 28-minute effort as one of the most complete she’s had in almost two seasons, she also gave credit to the example set by her two seniors – Sarah Stewart (six points, two blocked shots) and McKinnis (18 points, career-high 12 rebounds).
In fact, McKinnis moved past former backcourt mate Jocelyn Riordan for seventh all-time in UPS scoring with 1,328 points.
“We have two great seniors,” Payne said.
At the time the Loggers got rolling late in the first half, PLU missed 14 of its final 15 field-goal attempts.
“At that point, we lost energy,” Lutes coach Kelly Robinson said. “They went on a little bit of a run. They started to outhustle us, got loose-ball plays and some calls, and we didn’t get any second-chance points – or even looks at them.”Todd Milles: 253-597-8442 firstname.lastname@example.org