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One up, one down

BASKETBALL: Pacific splits its first two Northwest Conference games thanks to an offensive explosion from Mallory Goldammer
by: Tommy Whitcomb, Pacific sophomore Mallory Goldammer drives to the basket last Friday night against Puget Sound. Goldammer scored a career high 36 points, but the Boxers fell to UPS, 87-74.

After a rough early season schedule, the Pacific women's basketball team kicked off Northwest Conference play last week by splitting its first two league games.

The Boxers (2-8, 1-1) recorded their first conference victory under first-year head coach Sharon Rissmiller last Wednesday, dispatching Lewis and Clark, 75-70. Two nights later Pacific fell 87-74 to No. 23 Puget Sound despite a career night from sophomore Mallory Goldammer.

Goldammer scored 36 points against UPS, going 12-for-14 from the field and a perfect 7-for-7 from three-point range. Goldammer's performance was just four points off the Pacific single-game school record and it earned her Northwest Conference Player of the Week honors.

'Mallory has been shooting the ball really well for us in practice and is continually improving,' Rissmiller said. 'She had just an absolutely outstanding game against UPS.'

The loss to Puget Sound was disappointing - especially since the Boxers led by as many as 11 points in the second half - but Goldammer's emergence as a go-to scorer will be crucial over the team's remaining 14 games. The sophomore scored 17 points to key last Wednesday's win over Lewis and Clark and, in just two games, improved her per-game scoring average from 9.6 to 12.2 points. She ranks second on the team and 11th in the conference.

'I can only imagine what she'll do throughout the rest of the season and in the next two years,' Rissmiller said. 'I'm very excited and happy for her.'

Pacific had a chance to make it a clean sweep of its first two conference games last Friday, but stumbled down the stretch against Puget Sound (8-3, 1-1). Pacific led by 11 points early in the second half but ultimately succumbed to the Loggers' hot shooting - Puget Sound shot 68 percent (19 for 28) from the floor after halftime.

'It was another close, hard-fought game,' Rissmiller said. 'We knew that they were a good team with size, lots of experience and talent. We just came up a little short at the end and UPS had one of their hottest second-half shooting nights ever.'

Pacific built a 34-24 lead near the end of the first half but Puget Sound closed on an 8-0 run to make it a two-point game at halftime. Goldammer opened the second half with three straight three-pointers, helping the Boxers' lead grow as large as 52-41. It was mostly downhill from there, however.

Puget Sound used a 17-1 run to regain the lead, then pulled away down the stretch with an 8-2 surge that pushed the lead to 14 points with 5:38 remaining. Pacific never recovered.

'As a team we stuck to the game plan, competed the entire time game and we were a real challenge for Puget Sound to try and beat,' Rissmiller said.

In addition to Goldammer's 36-point outburst, Pacific got 10 points apiece from senior Amy Pedersen and junior Christine Kim.

Last Wednesday's game against Lewis and Clark (5-6, 1-1) had a more favorable outcome for the Boxers. In another see-saw battle, Pacific built big leads in both halves only to watch as the Pioneers battled back to keep things close.

An 11-point Pacific lead in the first half vanished behind a 14-0 Lewis and Clark run, and the Boxers led by as many as 12 points in the second half before the Loggers closed to within two with 2:23 remaining.

Kim sealed the win for Pacific when she nailed a 15-footer with 34 seconds left. The junior led the Boxers with a season-high 21 points, including four three-pointers. Goldammer scored 17 and Pedersen added 15 points and 12 rebounds.

'There were several times when we needed a big basket and throughout the game various players stepped it up and knocked down their shots,' Rissmiller said. 'The great thing about our team is we play really well together and on any given night it seems as if somebody new elevates their game to a new level.'