SPOKANE, Washington – The No. 21/18 Puget Sound women's basketball team was poised pull off an upset win at No. 18/15 Whitworth, but the Pirates pulled away in the final two minutes to claim an 83-77 win over the Loggers on Friday night.
Whitworth (15-1, 6-1 NWC) led for a majority of the game, and its lead got as high as 14 points, 41-27, with 4:00 left in the first half. A 9-2 run by the Loggers (13-2, 4-2 NWC) helped to cut the deficit to 47-39 at halftime.
Puget Sound battled back and made it a one-possession game, 52-49, after Allie Wyszynski hit a pair of three-throws with 14:42 on the clock. Yet it seemed that the Pirates always had an answer when the Loggers inched closer, and Whitworth's lead reached 69-58 with just over eight minutes left in the second half.
The Loggers rattled off seven consecutive points as Emily Sheldon and Amanda Forshay connected on jump shots, and Olivia Roberts' 3-pointer cut the Pirates' lead to 69-65. Minutes later, Sheldon's jumper brought the Loggers to within 76-75.
Amanda Forshay's jumper from the foul line gave Puget Sound a 77-76 lead with 1:21 on the clock, marking its first lead since holding a 3-2 edge in the first two minutes of the game. However, the Pirates answered right back with a 3-pointer, and the Loggers turned the ball over in their ensuing possession. Whitworth made four consecutive free-throws to seal the game.
"I'm very proud of the team for our battle in the second half as well as our rebounding effort," said Puget Sound head coach Loree Payne. "Whitworth is a very good team, and they made some big plays at the end of the game."
Amanda Forshay led Puget Sound with 23 points, and Emily Sheldon also scored in double figures with 19.
Both sides took good care of the ball, but the Pirates committed only nine turnovers to the Loggers' 13. Whitworth also finished with a slight edge in field-goal percentage, 49.2-46.3.
Puget Sound looks to bounce back when it plays at Whitman on Saturday at 4 p.m.
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