Feb 21, 2019

Bruins Advance To NWC Championship Game

A Winning Tradition

 
  • NCAA D-III National Champions (2009)
  • Three NCAA "Final Four" appearances (2009, 2012, 2015)
  • Six NCAA "Elite 8" appearances (2005, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015)
  • Nine NCAA "Sweet 16" appearances (2000, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016)
  • 14 NCAA National Tournament appearances in 18 years (2000, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
  • 12 Northwest Conference Championships (2000, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2018)
  • 25 straight winning seasons (1994-2018)
  • 14 Top 25 national rankings (2000, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
  • Three NCAA Division III National Coaches of the Year
  • Six NCAA Division III Region Coaches of the Year
  • 11 Conference Coaches of the Year
  • 20 All-Americans
  • One Academic All-American
  • Three Ad Rutschman Small College Athlete of the Year Finalists (Justine Benner - 2015, Keisha Gordon - 2012, Katy Campbell - 2008)
  • One Ad Rutschman Small College Athlete of the Year Winner (Kristen Shielee - 2009)
  • One George Fox Pasero Team of the Year (2009)
  • One Slats Gill Sportsperson of the Year Award (Scott Rueck - 2009 finalist)
 

By: Jake Bienvenue

NEWBERG --- The Northwest Conference Tournament kicked off on Thursday with a semifinal matchup between the No. 1-seeded and No. 11-ranked George Fox women's basketball team and the No. 4 Linfield Wildcats. The Bruins showed out in front of the home crowd, winning 76-49.

Recap:

The Wildcats hopped out to a 6-2 lead, but a steal and breakaway bucket by Emily Spencer helped to halt the run, and the Bruins were back in at 6-6 with just under five minutes left in the first quarter.

George Fox took over after that, justifying its ranking with a huge 15-0 run during the majority of the opening frame.

On top of shooting just under 50% from the field and 2-3 from deep, the Bruins were all over the Wildcats on the defensive end. They held Linfield to just eight points in the first, picking pockets to the tune of five steals, of which Spencer had three.

"I feel like we have a team that's really athletic and really plays hard," said head coach Michael Meek of the Bruins' defense, "That's part of who we are. We try to do anything to create uncertainty."

The Bruins held a commanding 21-8 lead at the end of one.

Kylin Collman hit her second three of the game less than thirty seconds in to help set the tone of the quarter.

The Wildcats were able to hit some shots in the second frame, but the Bruins stayed on the gas pedal, responding to each of Linfield's attempts to build momentum.

Junior guard Emily Spencer credits the poise and pace of the Bruins in the struggle to dictate momentum. "We try to stay composed and controlled. When we speed up on defense, we know to slow down on offense."

A host of Bruins contributed on both ends in the second quarter, but Collman led the way with eight points on 3-4 shooting from the field. Tavin Headings and Haylee Hutzler each tallied five to help the home team to a 37-23 lead at the halftime break.

Emily Holder had the hot hand out of the half, hitting a pair of jumpers to keep the Bruins firmly in control.

Tavin Headings scored four quick points around the midway point of the third to push the lead to 20, 47-27.

The Wildcats were unable to get anything going, as the lead continued to grow. Haley Strowbridge was no help for Linfield, hitting two threes and a jumper in the key for eight points in the final three minutes of the third quarter.

The teams entered the final frame with George Fox firmly in the driver seat, 61-33.

The Wildcats scored five quick points out of the break in an effort to chip into the lead, but Emily Dufour, Hutzler and Strowbridge all found the bottom of the net to push the lead to 31 with just under six minutes left, 69-38.

George Fox executed down the stretch, scoring when it needed to and likewise preventing any runs from the Wildcats.

They came away with a demonstrative 76-49 lead in front of the home fans, shooting a scorching 6-13 from beyond the arc and over 40% from the field. It was a team effort all the way through.

"This team does a great job not caring where the credit goes, but looking to be the best they can," said Meek. "The star of the team is the team."

Top Performers:

A host of Bruins showed out tonight, but three found their way into double-digit scoring. Strowbridge led with 14 points on 2-4 shooting from deep. Headings and Collman each tallied 11 in the effort. Madison Hull filled up the stat sheet as well, scoring five points to go along with five assists, two blocks, and three steals.

What It Means:

With the win, the Bruins move on to the Northwest Conference finals and a 23-3 overall record.

What Comes Next:

The Bruins will host the No. 2-seed Whitman Blues in the Northwest Conference Tournament Championship on Saturday, February 23 at 5 pm. The winner earns the automatic qualifier into the NCAA Tournament.