TACOMA, Washington – The Puget Sound women's basketball team is heading to its first Northwest Conference title game in five years and its eighth overall as the Loggers beat Whitworth, 71-64, in an NWC semifinal matchup at Memorial Fieldhouse on Thursday night.
The No. 18 Loggers (23-3, 13-3 NWC) will play at No. 3 George Fox on Saturday, Feb. 28, for the conference title and an automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Tournament. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
Amanda Forshay led all players with 20 points and grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the season. The senior from Moraga, California, surpassed Wendy Davis (1991-95) for No. 10 on Puget Sound's all-time scoring list (1,172 points). Forshay needed just seven points to crack the top 10, and she achieved the feat with an and-one layup shortly before halftime.
The Loggers held a 34-29 lead at the break after limiting the Pirates (21-5, 12-4 NWC) to 28.6 percent shooting from the floor in the opening period. Forshay flirted with a first-half double-double as she netted nine points and pulled down seven boards through the first 20 minutes.
Emily Sheldon's jumper with 13:18 on the clock gave the Loggers a game-high 15-point lead, 50-35. However, Whitworth would not go away quietly.
Puget Sound held a comfortable double-digit lead, 60-47, when the Pirates rallied for a 17-5 run to make it a one-point game, 65-64, with 2:07 to go. The Logger defense buckled down in the clutch and forced the Pirates to turn the ball over in each of their final three possessions.
The Loggers and Bruins are familiar foes on the NWC's biggest stage. Puget Sound and George Fox battled for the conference title in four consecutive years, from 2007 to 2010.
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