Pacific Lutheran Edges Sagehens In Season Opener

Pacific Lutheran Edges Sagehens In Season Opener

Claremont, Calif. - Sophomore forward Basha Brulee-Wills had a game-high 17 points and a key steal late in the game to give the Sagehens a chance to tie, but Pacific Lutheran held on for a 58-56 win in the season opener for both teams on Saturday at Voelkel Gymnasium. 

Pomona-Pitzer trailed 58-54 in the final minute, but Pacific Lutheran missed the front end of a one and one, and sophomore guard Kacie Hitomi swooped in from the right side for a layup to cut the lead to 58-56.

After the Lutes called a timeout with 13 seconds left, Brulee-Wills knocked the ball out of bounds off a Pacific-Lutheran player to give the ball back to the Sagehens with one last chance to tie. Hitomi tried to convert another drive from the other side, but her shot hit off the rim and the loose ball went out of bounds to Pacific Lutheran with 0.8 seconds left and they were able to seal the win.

The Sagehens had the better of the play early and took an 18-7 lead with 9:07 left in the half on a Brulee-Wills foul shot. However, the Lutes closed out the half on a 15-6 run to pull within 29-28 at intermission, on a three-point play by Megan Abdo with 0.4 seconds on the clock.

Pacific Lutheran took the largest lead in the second half at 50-44 with 9:03 to go, but the Sagehens came back to tie the score 54-54 with 4:15 left on a tough Brulee-Wills jumper in traffic. Abdo hit one foul shot with 3:27 left, and then hit the big shot of the game with 1:15 to go, knocking down a three-pointer off a kickout pass from Sarah Barnes to push the lead to four points.

Junior forward Amelia Hummel had a double-double for the Sagehens with 11 points and 10 rebounds, while junior forward Jenn Okonkwo was one rebound shy of joining her with 14 points and nine boards. Abdo tallied 15 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals, leading Pacific Lutheran in all four categories.

Pomona-Pitzer will be back in action on Thursday for a 5:30 p.m. road contest at La Sierra.