NEWBERG, Oregon – The Puget Sound women's basketball team picked a bad time to have its worst first half of the season, but the timing could not have been better for its biggest comeback of the year. The Loggers advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division III Tournament with a 61-56 win over Claremont Mudd-Scripps at George Fox on Friday evening.
The Loggers (24-4) posted a season-low 19 points in the first half and trailed the Athenas (24-4), 33-19, at the break.
Just as it has done several times this season, Puget Sound made the appropriate adjustments for the second half. Amanda Forshay's layup midway through the second half cut the CMS lead to 42-39, marking the first one-possession lead for CMS since the score was 11-8.
The Athenas managed to build their lead to 52-44 with 6:36 on the clock, but that's when the Loggers began a 15-3 run. Alexis Noren hit a pair of free-throws to cut the CMS lead to 55-54 with 2:12 left, and the Athenas missed a 3-pointer in their ensuing possession to leave the door open for Puget Sound to take its first lead since early in the first half.
Forshay took advantage of the opportunity as her drive down the middle of the lane gave the Loggers two points and the lead, 56-55, with 1:26 to play. CMS followed with a turnover, and Katy Ainslie immediately hit a jumper to give the Loggers a 58-55 edge.
The Logger defense stifled CMS down the stretch and held the Athenas to just one point in the final five minutes of the game.
Ainslie led the Loggers in scoring with 20 points and seven rebounds, while Forshay added 19 points and eight boards. Emily Sheldon dished out a game-high six assists without committing a turnover.
Puget Sound will play George Fox on Saturday, March 7, at 7 p.m.
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