Afolabi moves over 1,000 career points as Lewis & Clark wins at PLU

Afolabi moves over 1,000 career points as Lewis & Clark wins at PLU

TACOMA, Wash. -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers used a 13-0 run to end the third quarter on their way to a 63-52 win over the Pacific Lutheran Lutes on Saturday afternoon at Names Family Court.

The win moves the Pios to 7-3 in the Northwest Conference entering a pivotal game with defending NWC champion George Fox on Tuesday at 6 p.m in Portland. The teams are tied for third place in the NWC, and the top four teams make the postseason tournament in late February.

Entering Saturday's game in need of three points to total 1,000 for her career, senior Ayisat Afolabi scored four in the first five minutes to reach the milestone and finished with a game-high 16 points. She nearly had her 12th double-double of the season, after finishing with nine rebounds.

"1,000 points, I'm happy. It feels like a regular day," said Afolabi, who ranks top 30 in the nation in double-doubles. "I'm actually really happy this team has been winning. Coming from last year, it been a big improvement."

Lewis & Clark won three games last season and a total of 11 over the last two seasons after winning 13 in 2013-14. The Pioneers were the 2013 NWC champions with a 25-4 overall record.

Janessa Willie and Sara Hogman highlighted the third-quarter run by the Pios, as the pair scored nine of the 13 points with Hogman assisting on two of Willie's scores. Willie finished with 12 points in 18 minutes off the bench, and Hogman had six. Natalie Kelly added nine points.

The Lutes were led by 11 points from Lacey Nicholson, the lone four-year player on the Pacific Lutheran (1-18; 0-10 NWC) roster.

Lewis & Clark (13-5; 7-3 NWC) lost to George Fox, 79-61, the first time the teams met earlier this month, allowing 22 unanswered points in the opening quarter.  

"George Fox has this press that has really killed us," said Afolbai. "We need to focus on beating that press, staying calm and collected and make the easy pass." George Fox leads the conference with nearly 25 takeaways per game.

Afolabi has been calm and collected over her last three games, and in the quest for 1,000 career points, scoring a career-high 27 points a week ago in Lewis & Clark's win over then-No. 18 Whitman, followed by 26 points in Friday's defeat of Linfield. She is leading the NWC in rebounds per game and is fourth in scoring average.

The Pios will celebrate Afolabi's 1,000-point milestone and host a Pink Out Game to raise awareness for breast cancer research during the game on Tuesday at Pamplin Sports Center.

Other Northwest Conference Scores - Saturday

Puget Sound 96, Linfield 77
Whitman 71, Willamette 51
George Fox 74, Pacific 67