By John Tveter, Sports Writer
The Pacific Lutheran University women’s basketball team has a motto this season — “Mission Possible.” This helps the team keep the attitude that it can do anything. The Lutes stayed true to their motto Sunday as they played the Wolves of Western Oregon University, an NCAA Division II school.
After losing a close game to Evergreen State the night before, it would have been easy for the Lutes to hang their heads and accept that they were supposed to lose. They didn’t though.
The Lutes were down by five points at halftime, and came out firing in the second half. PLU took the lead shortly into the second period, but the Wolves refused to go away.
After a Western Oregon basket, the PLU lead was cut to four minutes with 1:25 to play. The Lutes maintained their composure and calmly knocked down 9 of 10 free throws in the final seconds to seal the 66-56 victory and even their non-conference record at 1-1.
The win was the first career win for first-year head coach Jennifer Childress.
“This was such a great win for us,” senior Samantha Potter said. “It sets the tone for the rest of our season. A win against a good division two team like Western Oregon will only push us to work harder. We talk about ‘earning four’ and this is a stepping stone toward our goal.”
The definition of ‘earning four’ means the top four teams in the Northwest Conference advance to the conference tournament at the end of the regular season.
The Lutes were led by the tenacious tandem of Potter and fellow senior Shelly Kilcup, who each contributed 19 points and 12 rebounds. Katelyn Smith, also a senior, contributed four assists and a block, while Kilcup paced the defense with 3 steals.
The Lutes relied on their quality free throw shooting and rebounding for the win. PLU out-rebounded Western Oregon 39-31.
The Lutes returned to action Thursday at 7 p.m, when they hosted Claremont Mudd-Scripps, a Division III school from California.