Losing skid reaches five for Pacific women

BASKETBALL: Boxers get swept at home by Linfield and George Fox
by: Chase Allgood, Pacific’s Kristina Stevens gets fouled on the arm by Linfield’s Casey Stepan  during last Friday’s conference game.

The Pacific women's basketball team dropped both games of a weekend homestand, stretching their losing streak to five games and falling farther off the pace in the Northwest Conference.

Pacific (2-12, 1-5) nearly upended Linfield on Friday night only to lose by a point, 57-56. The next night against No. 16 George Fox, little went right for the Boxers in a lopsided 74-53 setback.

'Despite the loss, I feel we played a much better basketball game against George Fox,' said Pacific head coach Sharon Rissmiller. 'Our team responded well to the adjustments we made defensively. We took care of the basketball and for the first time this season did an outstanding job converting at the free throw line.'

George Fox (14-1, 6-0) enjoyed a 39-27 rebounding advantage on Saturday, including 16 offensive boards. That inside presence, combined with 7 of 21 shooting from three-point range, allowed the Bruins to build a 10-point second-half lead that grew even bigger with a 14-1 surge late in the game.

Amy Pedersen led Pacific with 13 points and eight rebounds, while teammates Kristina Stevens and Christine Kim scored 10 apiece.

Friday's game was considerably more enjoyable for the Pacific faithful. The Boxers trailed by seven points with just over four minutes left but made a valiant rally before coming up short.

Brihtani Lassiter's two free throws gave Linfield a 58-45 lead with 4:04 remaining. Stevens made it a three-point game with just over a minute left, and Mallory Goldammer's layup with 42 seconds on the clock cut the gap to one.

Linfield's Courtney McFadden missed a layup at the other end, setting up Pacific for the final shot, but the Boxers couldn't manage more than an off-balance jumper at the buzzer.

'We played a very good second half of basketball,' Rissmiller said. 'We did everything we needed to do in the second half to give us a chance to win the game, even a shot in the paint. As a team, it is crucial for us to play well for all 40 minutes of the game.'

Pacific rallied from a 30-19 halftime deficit that grew to 14 points in the opening stages of the second half. The Boxers briefly took the lead at 39-37 thanks to a 20-4 run midway through the half, but Linfield answered with a 9-2 run of its own to go back ahead by seven with a shade over four minutes remaining.

Pedersen and Kim led a balanced scoring attack with 14 points apiece, while Goldammer added 12 points and Stevens chipped in 10 points and nine rebounds.

Pacific will try to rally this weekend with a trip to Willamette on Friday and a home game against Pacific Lutheran on Saturday.

Willamette (3-12, 1-5) currently occupies the bottom of the conference standings along with Pacific. The Bearcats have lost 10 of their last 11 games and are coming off a 31 percent shooting night in a 61-43 loss to Linfield. Molly Finnion leads Willamette with 14.9 points and 11.0 rebounds per game.

Pacific Lutheran (9-6, 2-4) is also struggling. After starting the season 7-2, PLU has dropped four of six in conference play. Both wins came last weekend at home against Whitman and Whitworth.

Kyle Haag, who scored a game-high 22 points on Saturday against Whitman, is the Lutes' leading scorer at 15.2 points per game. Emily Voorhies is averaging 7.2 rebounds per contest.

Saturday's game will tip off at 6 p.m. at Pacific Athletic Center.