Johnson's Career High Lifts Buc Women Past Puget Sound - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Johnson's Career High Lifts Buc Women Past Puget Sound

Senior Kayla Johnson scored a career-high 31 points to lift Whitworth past Puget Sound on Friday night. Senior Kayla Johnson scored a career-high 31 points to lift Whitworth past Puget Sound on Friday night.

by Whitworth University Sports Information

TACOMA, Wash. – Senior Kayla Johnson scored a career-high 31 points to lead the Whitworth University women’s basketball team to an 83-71 Northwest Conference win over Puget Sound at Memorial Gymnasium in the Pamplin Sports Center on Friday evening.

Johnson, who scored a then-career high 27 points in the last meeting between the two teams, shot 68.4 percent (13-19) from the floor with four rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Whitworth improves to 15-5 on the season, with a 9-2 record in the Northwest Conference. Puget Sound falls to 13-7 overall, with a 6-5 mark in the NWC.

Puget Sound scored the first four points, but a three-point play from Kayla Johnson sparked a 6-0 Whitworth run that put the Pirates up 6-4. Whitworth’s first 15 points came from the senior class. Junior Kendra Knutsen was the first player outside of the seniors to score, sinking a basket with 11:45 left in the half to put Whitworth up 17-10. The Loggers pulled within three, 24-21, with 8:44 left in the half, but Whitworth responded with a 6-0 run to reclaim a firm grip on the lead. Sophomore KC McConnell gave Whitworth a 42-28 lead at halftime, Whitworth’s largest lead of the half.

Puget Sound opened the second half with five unanswered points to cut Whitworth’s lead to nine, 42-33. Junior Katara Belton-Sharp ended a 6-0 Logger run that had cut Whitworth’s lead to five, 46-41. Johnson turned a steal from senior Jamie Lyons into a fastbreak layup to put the Pirates up 48-41. After Puget Sound pulled within eight points with 10:03 remaining in the game, Whitworth put together an 8-0 run over the next two minutes of action to extend to a 67-51 lead. The Pirates kept a double digit lead for the rest of the second half.

Whitworth shot 52.8 percent (19-36) in the first half and 53.1 percent (17-32) in the second half to a 52.9 percent (36-68) for the game. The Pirates scored 22 points off of 23 Logger turnovers and used 11 offensive rebounds to score 16 second chance points.

In addition to Johnson's 31 points, KC McConnell added 16 points for the Pirates, with four of her eight rebounds coming on the offensive glass. Senior Kendra Lahue added 12 points for Whitworth and Jamie Lyons pulled down seven rebounds. McConnell and Kendra Knutsen dished out a game-high four assists each, and sophomore Lexie Zappone had a team-high three steals.

Katy Ainslie led the Loggers with 18 points and eight rebounds. Amanda Forshay added 15 points and six rebounds for Puget Sound, and Ashley Agcaoili chipped in 11 points with a game-high four steals.

Next up, Whitworth wraps up the Tacoma trip with a matchup at Pacific Lutheran at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 8th.

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