Willie's career-high 23 points leads Pios to win

Willie's career-high 23 points leads Pios to win

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Janessa Willie finished with 23 points, a new career high, after scoring 15 points in the first half as the Lewis & Clark Pioneers defeated the Whitworth Pirates, 74-71, on Friday night at Whitworth Fieldhouse.

Willie finished 8 of 19 from the field and 6 of 9 from the free-throw line to help the Pioneers bounce back from a 17-7 first-quarter deficit. The Pios were 3 of 20 to start the game from the floor.

The win moves the Pioneers to 2-1 in the Northwest Conference and 7-5 overall.

Lewis & Clark scored in bursts throughout the late first and early second quarters. Willie had back-to-back jumpers to get the Pios going from the floor at the end of the opening period. Trailing by 10 at the start of the second, Willie scored a pair of layups to go with a score from Alyx Crager that forced Whitworth to take a timeout in the first minute. The Pioneers made 11 of 17 shots to end the first half and move to within one at halftime.

In the third quarter, senior Lauren Wood scored 12 of her 14 points to help the Pios move ahead 56-55 entering the fourth quarter. Wood added another double-double with 16 rebounds, one shy of her career best, and was 7 of 10 from the floor.

The Pioneers went 13 of 18 from the free-throw line, led by a 5 of 6 performance from Miyah Leith, who finished with 15 points and five steals. Rachel Cox had 10 points in the first half off the bench and finished with 12.

Lewis & Clark plays at No. 8 Whitman on Saturday.