NEWBERG, Oregon – The No. 18 Puget Sound women's basketball team battled back from a late double-digit deficit in the Northwest Conference title game, but No. 3 George Fox held on for a 66-61 win and the conference crown. The Bruins earned an automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Tournament.
The Loggers (23-4, 13-3 NWC) await their postseason fait, which will be decided during the NCAA Selection Show on Monday, March 2, at 11:30 a.m. (PT). The only teams to beat Puget Sound this year are nationally ranked (George Fox, Whitworth).
The Bruins held a 58-48 lead with 5:49 on the clock, but Emily Sheldon's layup with 4:30 on the clock made it single-digit game, 58-50. George Fox committed a turnover in its next possession, and Amanda Forshay made the Bruins pay with a jumper at the 3:43 mark.
George Fox led 62-54 when Ashley Agcaoili quickly brought the ball up the court and pulled up for a mid-range jumper to make it a two-possession game, 52-56, with 1:40 to go. The Bruins were forced into a turnover in their next possession, and Agcaoili followed by hitting one of two free-throws to make it a 62-57 game with just over one minute to go.
Allie Wyszynski came up with a big defensive play by drawing an offensive foul, and on the offensive end Sheldon connected on a long jumper to cut the deficit to 62-59 with 30 seconds to go. However, George Fox connected on clutch free-throws and broke free of the Loggers' full-court pressure for an easy layup to seal the win.
Puget Sound trailed 33-22 at halftime, largely because it was forced into 16 turnovers while the Bruins committed just three. The Loggers bounced back with a cleaner second half and committed only five turnovers in the final 20 minutes. The Loggers handedly won the battle on the boards, 42-30, and they shot 41.5 percent from the floor while holding George Fox to 35.1 percent.
Forshay finished with her seventh double-double of the year, netting 16 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Emily Sheldon scored 15 points to go with nine boards, and Katy Ainslie added 10 points.
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