EUGENE, Ore. – In her first game back after spending the semester abroad, Erica Schultz (Jr., Medford, Ore.) made a winning impact as she the game-winning lay-in with 4.2 seconds to go as Pacific beat Northwest Christian 56-55 in women's basketball action at the Morse Events Center.
Schultz led the Boxers back from an 11-point second half deficit, scoring the Boxers' final six points and eight of the team's final 11. She led all scorers with 19 points, connecting on 8 of 14 from the field. Paige Jensen (So., Bemidji, Minn.) finished with a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds as she played all 40 minutes. The Boxers (4-6) shot 37.9 percent from the field (22-58) and out-rebounded the Beacons 45-37.
Hope Williams led Northwest Christian (4-11) with 15 points and nine rebounds. Lori Renner added 11 points as the Beacons shot 33.3 percent from the field (20-60) and just 64.7 percent (11-17) from the free throw line.
Pacific held the early lead in a low-scoring first half, going up 11-8 on a three-pointer by Kandice McArthur (Jr., Post Falls, Idaho). That's all the offense that Pacific would see over the next eight minutes, with the Beacons pulling ahead 12-11 on a pair of Katey Monteith free throws and went up by three on Jackie Cunningham's lay-in at the 12:02 mark.
Northwest Christian would go on a four-minute scoring drought of their own, not scoring again until Jess Anderson connected on jumper with 8:28 to go. Schultz finally scored on a 10-foot jumper with 7:19 remaining, putting an end to the 8 minute, 35 second scoring drought. Schultz added the Boxers' next points with 4:56 left to pull Pacific within one at 16:15.
The Beacons pulled out on a 7-0 run from there, going ahead 23-15 on Renner's trey with 2:42 left. Pacific then closed the stanza on an 8-2 run of their own, culminating on a Kristen Corrales (So., Waimanalo, Hawaii) three-pointer that brought the Boxers within 25-23 at the half.
Northwest Christian opened up a close start to the second half by pulling ahead 35-27 on Williams' lay-in five minutes into the stanza. The Boxers pulled back to within four on Brittney Anderson's (Jr., Missoula, Mont.) lay-in at the 14:45 mark, but Renner responded with a lay-in that started a 7-0 Beacons' run and gave Northwest Christian the first double-digit lead of the game, 42-31, with 12:29 left in the half.
Pacific proved resilient, cutting the lead back to five points on McArthur's three-pointer at the 11:06 mark and Olivia Scheidt (Fr., Costa Mesa, Calif.) cut it to four with a three-point play with 8:48 to go. The margin remained between four and five before Corrales connected on a trey at the top of the arch with 3:52 to go cut the lead to 50-48.
While Pacific kept it close, they wouldn't be able to gain the lead until the final minute. After the Beacons missed on a one-and-one opportunity, Schultz came back down the floor and connected on a lay-in to bring the Boxers within 55-54 with 25 seconds left. Another missed bonus gave the Boxers the last shot. Corrales missed a three-pointer with 16 seconds left, but the ball out of bounds was awarded back to Pacific. Jensen found Schultz on the in-bounds, who hit the straightaway lay-in for the winner.
Pacific makes a long-awaited return to the Stoller Center on Friday, returning to Northwest Conference play as they host Willamette. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.
BOXER BYTES: Tip-off was delayed 10 minutes when the shot clocks at the Morse Events Center failed to operate…Tonight's contest ended a nine-game road trip for the Boxers. Pacific last played at home on Nov. 15, when they hosted Concordia (Ore.) to open the season. It was also Pacific's first game since playing at La Verne on Dec. 21…Pacific is now a perfect 9-0 against Northwest Christian.