It might not be a season of lots of highlights, but at least the Pacific Lutheran women’s basketball team has Willamette to thank for two of them.
A month ago, the Lutes won a double-overtime game over the Bearcats in Parkland. And on Friday night, they scored five points in the final 17 seconds to pull out a stunning 65-64 victory in Salem, Oregon.
It was the Lutes’ first Northwest Conference road win of the season.
After Megan Abdo hit a 3-pointer with 17 seconds remaining to cut Willamette’s lead to 64-63, the Bearcats’ JoJo DeLong committed a turnover three seconds later.
That set up PLU’s final possession.
“We drew up a play to get it to Tayler Flemming, but she was denied,” Lutes coach Jennifer Childress said. “So Megan drove to the basket.”
Abdo missed a tough short shot but grabbed her own rebound and got off the winning putback as the buzzer sounded.
Abdo finished with 14 points. Flemming added 12, and Sarah Barnes had 11 off the bench for the Lutes (5-17, 2-11 NWC).
“It was good to see we had the mental toughness to pull out a win,” Childress said.
Emily Sheldon scored 22 points, and Amanda Forshay added 21 for the Loggers (19-3, 10-3), who shot 47.9 percent from the floor (34 of 71) and made 11 3-pointerrs.
George Fox’s win at Whitworth put the Loggers in a tie for second place with Whitworth and Whitman.
UPS (11-10, 6-7) trails Willamette by a half-game for the final playoff berth.
Holden was shooting 75.6 percent from the free throw line this season before making 21 of 21 attempts Friday.
The Loggers (11-10, 6-7), who had dropped five of their past seven games, trailed 8-0 before answering with a 17-5 run.
Willamette (9-14, 7-7) made 6 of 8 free throws in the final 1:12 to hold off the Lutes (7-15, 5-8).
Dylan Foreman scored a career-high 26 points for PLU, including six 3-pointers.