Rough shooting start hampers Pios against No. 8 Whitman

Rough shooting start hampers Pios against No. 8 Whitman

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers shot a season-low 19 percent in the first half in Saturday's 77-65 loss to the No. 8 Whitman Blues at Sherwood Athletic Center. The Pioneers recovered to shoot 44 percent in the second half and outscored the Blues in both second-half quarters, but Whitman hit on a season-high 60 percent of its shots to close out a win.

Janessa Willie followed up her career-best scoring performance in Friday's 74-71 win at Whitworth with a new career high, scoring 24 points on 6 of 15 shooting and added three assists for the Pios. Miyah Leith was 4 of 15 from the floor for 11 points, four rebounds and three assists. Lauren Wood added 10 to go with five rebounds.

Lewis & Clark opened the game with a 7-0 lead on threes by Willie and Alyx Crager, who finished with nine points. Whitman's leading scorer, Casey Poe, was whistled for two fouls during that stretch and ended up playing three minutes in the first half.

But the Pioneers' shooting suffered the remainder of the first half. Following the 2 for 2 start, Lewis & Clark finished the opening half 3 of 24 from the field to trail 38-19 at halftime. Following a 3-pointer by Willie with 7:43 left in the second, the Pioneers didn't score again until Serena Saba made a basket with 1:27 remaining. Saba finished with six points to go with two rebounds, two steals and an assist.

Whitman (12-1; 4-0 NWC) had four players in double figures, led by Taylor Chambers' 12. She played 19 minutes as Poe, who finished with 11 points, sat out most of the first half. The Blues held a 38-20 edge in points in the paint and outscored Lewis & Clark 37-11 off the bench.

The Pioneers return home on Friday against Linfield for their first game in Portland since Dec. 4. Having played three of their first four Northwest Conference games on the road, the Pios are 7-6 overall and 2-2 in the conference. Lewis & Clark hasn't won consecutive games since winning three straight in mid-November.