TACOMA, Wash. – Two of the top three teams in the Northwest Conference squared off on Friday night inside Memorial Fieldhouse, and the Pacific University women’s basketball team fell to Puget Sound 78-66 after nearly mounting an impressive second-half comeback.
Camy Aguinaldo (Senior/Honolulu, HI) reached an outstanding milestone during the contest, reaching 1,500points for her career after dropping a team-high 23 points on the night.
The Boxers (11-5, 5-2 NWC) fell to third place in the NWC standings as they suffered their second straight defeat in conference play. Pacific struggled to find a rhythm offensively in the first half and registered a field-goal percentage of 37.5% after the full 40 minutes. The Boxers had difficulty finding the stroke from beyond the arc as they made just seven of their 25 attempts.
Puget Sound (14-2, 7-1 NWC) showed why they have had so much success in their home gym, shooting over 50% on the night. The Loggers impressively scored 52 points in the paint as they were able to find their way to the basket with ease. UPS was led Samantha Swartout who scored 23 points and grabbed six rebounds.
Aguinaldo returned to form with 23 points on 9-of-17 shooting in her 37 minutes. The record-breaking point guard snatched a game-high six steals on the defensive end while dishing out four assists and pulling down four rebounds.
Rilee Price (Junior/Brea, CA) had a very good showing with 16 points to her name. The junior hit three shots from three-point range and grabbed six boards to match the team high. Brilie Kovaloff (Junior/Honolulu, HI) had another steady performance with 14 points with two threes.
How It Happened
The Loggers brought some pressure on the defensive end and forced three early turnovers, allowing them to put together a quick 9-2 run to open the game. Kovaloff finally got the Boxers off the mark with five consecutive points. Madison Dunlop (Sophomore/Palmer, AK) then knocked down a three from the corner to make it back-to-back triples for Pacific. With under a minute remaining in the first period, the Boxers had cut the lead to just one point but a short surge from the hosts including a basket at the buzzer gave them a 21-15 advantage.
Sydney Gray (Junior/Central Point, OR) found the bottom of the net from beyond the arc to open the scoring in the second quarter, but the Loggers would answer with a three of their own. The Boxers started the period just 1-of-7 from the field and this allowed UPS to extend their lead to 10 points. Overall, Pacific posted a field-goal percentage of just 33.3% in the first half and would have a 14-point deficit to overcome in the final 20 minutes. Puget Sound moved the ball very well in the first half and were able to create a multitude of open looks. They made 18 of their 27 shots from the field, good enough for 67%.
The two teams would trade buckets to start the third quarter but the Boxers would roar back into the contest with a 13-0 run to cut the lead to two points. Five straight points from Aguinaldo would give the Boxers some momentum. Price would then drop in a layup with seconds remaining in the period to make the score 55-53 with 10 minutes left to play.
Three free throws from Price would momentarily give the Boxers the lead early in the fourth quarter. However, UPS answered with a 9-0 run to regain the lead. Kovaloff drilled a three and Aguinaldo scored a layup in transition, but the hosts kept Pacific at bay by matching them both times down the floor. The Boxers cut the lead to four points with three minute remaining but another scoring run from the Loggers led them to the 78-66 victory in their home gym.
By The Numbers
- UPS scored 52 points in the paint.
- The Boxers scored 20 points off turnovers.
- Four Boxers (Aguinaldo, Kovaloff, Gray, Price,) played over 35 minutes.
The Boxers look to get back in the win column tomorrow at 4 p.m. when they return to the Stoller Center to host Willamette.
For the latest information on Pacific Athletics, make sure to check out GoBoxers.com. You can also find the Boxers on social media at @GoBoxers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.