PORTLAND, Ore. -- Scoring the first 15 points of the game, the Lewis & Clark Pioneers built a 28-7 first-quarter lead on their way to a 74-65 win over the Warner Pacific Knights on Tuesday night and a 3-1 start to the season.
Hosting their final game at the Pamplin Sports Center until December, the Pios played their whole roster after entering the fourth quarter with an 18-point lead. Lauren Wood led the Pioneers with 12 points in 22 minutes, followed by eight apiece from Janessa Willie, Kelley Koeppen, Jillian Jin and Tori Eichten.
After losing the season opener, the Pios have won three straight games.
"Feels great," said Koeppen, one of seven seniors on the team. "That first loss was a bit tough, but we didn't let it hold us back. We came out strong and we wanted those next three wins at home, and we got it."
Lewis & Clark defeated St. Catherine and Corban on back-to-back nights during last weekend's L&C Bon Appetit Tip-off Classic.
Warner Pacific (2-5) fought back in the second half, lessening the Pios' lead early in the third quarter and then closing to within eight with 24 seconds to play. Lewis & Clark took out its primary lineup with just under five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and a 22-point lead.
"They came out hard and we knew they would," said Koeppen. "We had to keep our heads up, stay composed, make great passes and play great basketball."
Jin made consecutive 3-pointers and another basket over a 90-second span to move the Pioneers ahead 71-47 with 3:28 to go. Wood, who entered the game averaging a double-double, finished with seven rebounds. Koeppen finished with seven boards as well, playing 15 minutes. Willie remained at 50 percent for the season from the field and 3-point line after shooting 3 of 6 and 2 of 4 from each, respectively, on Tuesday.
Lewis & Clark shot 54 percent as a team, a season best, and made 6 of 12 from 3-point range. The Pioneers have made over 80 percent of their 3-point attempts in each of their last two games. Turnovers were a problem against the Knights, however, as the Pios committed a season-high 26, the second most in any game under second-year head coach Pamela Findlay.
The Pioneers next games are in southern California at the Occidental-Caltech Fall Classic on Friday and Saturday.
"We're going to have a potluck with all the families down there," said Koeppen of the team's trip, which will depart on Thanksgiving morning. "We're excited. We played Occidental and Caltech my freshman year, so it's been a while. They're both great teams. We have to treat all the teams the same and try to come out ahead."
Both games of the tournament begin at 3 p.m.