Trailing the vast majority of the game, the University of Puget Sound women’s basketball team surged late and rallied for a 71-64 victory against visiting Pacific on Saturday.
Loggers forward Allie Wyszynski scored a game-high 15 points off of the bench on 6 of 9 shooting in 20 minutes. Senior forward Amanda Forshay added 12 points and eight rebounds and Katy Ainslie had 10 points as the Loggers remained unbeaten on its home court in Northwest Conference play.
“Our experience showed through in the end,” said UPS coach Loree Payne, “being able to knock down some key free throws and being able to have that composure at the end of the game.”
UPS (11-1, 2-1 NWC), which trailed until the 7-minute, 39-second mark in the second half when it took a 58-56 lead, struggled to contain the sharpshooting of Pacific (6-7, 2-2).
Trailing by as many as 10 points largely behind the 3-point prowess of Pacific, UPS continued to slowly chip away at the deficit before grabbing and holding onto lead for the final seven minutes.
“High scoring game tonight. I think defensively in the first half, we weren’t as intense as we should have been,” Payne said. “I thought we gave them a lot of open looks that got them going a little bit. I think in the second half, our defense really buckled down and we got stops. In the first half, it was pretty bucket for bucket.
“It was fun to watch a lot of scoring, but frustrating as a coach to watch us not get stops.”
Much of the Loggers closing performance can be contributed to strong defensive play that led to turnovers, limited second chance opportunities and forced Pacific into bad looks.
In total, Pacific turned it over 21 times and shot 30 percent in the second half.
“We really cranked up the heat a little bit defensively, and we have that ability to do it,” Payne said. “We need to figure out how to do it for 40 minutes. The last three games, we’ve kind of been a second-half team. We don’t want to get into that habit. We’ve played great second halves in our first three conference games, but we need to be able to put together full games.
“I’m proud of how the kids responded and it’s always nice to come away in this tough conference with a 2-0 weekend.”
The lady Loggers will take a few days off before returning to action at home on Friday against visiting Lewis & Clark from Oregon.
Jori Hall scored a game-high 20 points for PLU (3-9, 0-3). The Lutes led 30-23 at halftime but were dominated on the glass, being outrebounded 54-28.
Lews & Clark (5-8, 2-2) made 15 of 33 shots in the second half (45.5 percent) and forced nine PLU turnovers to quickly make up for the first-half deficit.
Ayisat Afolabi had 15 points and 12 rebounds and Sarah Anderson scored 11 of her 14 points for the Pioneers after halftime.
Nick Holden had 13 points and nine rebounds for Puget Sound (7-4, 2-1), Kohl Meyer had 13 points off the bench and James Osorio and Keith Shattuck scored 11 apiece.
Bobby Ahern scored a game-high 24 points for Pacific (6-7, 1-3).
Brandon Lester scored a game-high 20 points in 33 minutes off the bench and Dylan Foreman added 16 for the Lutes. Pacific Lutheran (3-9, 1-2) got just eight points from its starting lineup (four each from Austen Wilson and Bryce Miller).
Serg Ovchinnikov scored all of his 18 points for Lewis & Clark (7-6, 2-2) off 3-pointers, making 6 of 10.