Pioneers grab win in first NWC matchup of the season

Pioneers grab win in first NWC matchup of the season

PORTLAND, Ore. – Alyx Crager and Ayisat Afolabi both scored in the double-digits, leading Lewis & Clark to a 93-47 win against Pacfic Lutheran. This was the first Northwest Conference matchup for both the Pioneers (4-1, 1-0 NWC) and the Lutes (0-4, 0-1 NWC). Crager finished with her second double-digit game of the season, netting 16 points. 

With three steals in the first five minutes, senior Afolabi led the Pioneers defense to keep the Lutes under 15 points in the first quarter. Miyah Leith pulled down four offensive rebounds, leading both teams for the period. The stats reflected a team effort by the Pioneers, with all but two of the ten players on the court for Lewis & Clark scoring two points in the quarter. 

Starting out the second quarter all tied up, the Pioneers quickly pulled ahead, grabbing a lead that they would maintain for the remainder of the game. Sophomore guard Crager added three assists to the Pio's offensive efforts, helping set up Afolabi for a period-high six points.

"It finally feels like we came together as a team," said Crager, "we waited a long time for this. Finally people aren't afraid to do what they can do, we're working as a unit, we're meeting our goals, and its showing up in games and I couldn't be more proud of our team right now." 

Afolabi continued her defensive shutdown in the second half, grabbing a steal within the first minute of the game, followed by a fast break and her first two points of the half. Never letting PLU within more than eight points, Lewis & Clark extended their lead to double digits going in to the final period. Crager was 3-3 on field goals during the third quarter, netting a three-pointer and three free throws, totaling to 10 points. 

Afolabi ended the game 7-11 on field goals, with 17 points and seven rebounds. She also added four steals, three assists and two blocks. Jackie Lizarraga had the only other blocks of the game, with two of her own, as well as eight points and one assist. Fellow junior Leith had nine points, as did sophomore Sarah Hodman. Senior Sarah Anderson ended the night with eight. 

The win gives Lewis & Clark their fifth win in a row, and their first Northwest Conference win of the season. Looking forward, the Pioneers continue the NWC season and return to the court Saturday night at 4:00 p.m. in McMinville to take on the Linfield Wildcats. 

"I really want that win and I know all of us do," said Crager, "I think defensively we are going to have to step it up and pick our game, they [Linfield] are a lot quicker and we just have to shoot the ball."