TACOMA, Washington – The Puget Sound women's basketball team defeated Whitman to make it to a second-consecutive Northwest Conference title game. The Loggers won the semifinal, 84-79, in overtime on Thursday evening.
The Loggers (19-7, 13-3 NWC) were ranked No. 2 in the NWC tournament and hosted the No. 3 Missionaries (17-8, 10-6 NWC). The teams met for the third time this season, and this matchup proved to be just as much as a battle as the previous meetings. The visitors from Walla Walla held a 31-26 lead at halftime. Whitman led at the break in all three match-ups this year.
The second half was a back-and forth affair, with the Loggers pulling even, then jumping out in front, before the Missionaries made their own push to tie the game at 68-68 with 1:40 left. Alexis Noren made a shot to put Puget Sound ahead by two with 30 seconds left, but Casey Poe made a circus shot on the other end to tie the game again and send the teams to overtime.
With 46 seconds left, Whitman led 79-78. However, Samone Jackson forced a turnover, corralled a steal, and made her fast break layup. After forcing another turnover by the visitors, Emily Sheldon was fouled with 22 seconds remaining. The senior, who leads the league in scoring, calmly stepped to the line and sunk the two shots, giving the Loggers an 82-79 lead. With six seconds left, and the score the same, Allie Wyszynski knocked down her own free throw shots to seal the semifinal victory for Puget Sound.
Emily Sheldon led the Loggers with 23 points. She also added seven rebounds and five assists. Samone Jackson chipped in 19 points and five steals. Alexis Noren recorded 17 points, while Elizabeth Prewitt had 12.
Puget Sound shot 50.0 percent (27-for-54) from the field, while the Missionaries shot 44.6 percent (29-for-65). The Loggers were 10-for-22 (45.5 percent) from beyond the arc, while Whitman was 6-for-19 (31.6 percent). The Loggers were outrebounded 36-29.
Puget Sound will next play at George Fox in the Northwest Conference title game on Saturday, Feb. 27. George Fox defeated Whitworth in the other semifinal on Thursday. The title game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
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