Jan 31, 2020

No. 19 Bruins Defeat Rival Linfield for Third-Straight Win 

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 Joshua Nutter

NEWBERG --- The George Fox women's basketball team played host to NWC opponent Linfield (10-8, 4-5 NWC) in Miller Gymnasium on Friday night and came away with its third-straight win by a score of 62-50 in a low-scoring affair. The Bruins (13-4, 5-3 NWC) entered the contest winners of four out of their last five games in conference play. 

Recap

The Bruin offense is led in scoring by Emily Holder with 10.9 and Emily Spencer with 10.3 points per game. The duo, along with fellow senior starters Kylin CollmanHailey Hartney, and Haley Strowbridge, accounts for 70 percent of the Bruins nightly offense. Spencer has led the team in steals and assists all season while Hartney and Collman serve as X-factors on the wings thanks to their three-point shooting ability which spaces the floor for Fox. Hartney shoots for a team-high 48.3 percent while Collman shoots a solid 35.7 percent from outside the arc to open up driving lanes for Spencer's slashing runs at the rim to pair with pick-and-roll plays from Holder. 

The Bruins and Wildcats both came out slow in the contest due to turnovers and missed opportunities on both sides, with the score knotted up at 7-7 with 3:08 remaining in the frame. Neither squad was able to establish control of the game through the rest of the quarter, and Linfield closed out the quarter with a slim 10-9 lead. 

Linfield shot out on a 5-0 run to start the second, but the Bruins responded with an 8-0 run of their own to claim a 17-15 lead four minutes int the quarter. Neither squad found another bucket for nearly two minutes until Kaylee Bishop broke the silence with a deep three to give the Bruins a 20-17 advantage. The Bruins took a 24-21 lead into the locker room. 

Neither team was shooting particularly well; George Fox hit 31 percent from the field on 9-for-29 while Linfield sat at 29.6 percent on 8-for-27 from the field. Holder and Collman had a game-high six points each to lead the Blue & Gold with Collman adding an impressive four steals in the first half. 

GFU increased their pace and efficiency a bit to start the second half, extending their lead to 34-29 with four minutes remaining. Another mid-quarter lull struck, and the scoring slowed significantly until the two-minute mark. The Bruins used a 5-0 run to close the quarter with a 42-33 lead going into the final frame. Cassidy Posey led the Bruins with 11 points off the bench after finding her stroke in the post during the third quarter. 

George Fox got aggressive on the offensive glass to start the fourth quarter, getting a pair of second-chance buckets. The Wildcats were able to respond, using back-to-back threes to come within seven points with 7:45 to go and compelling a Bruins timeout to re-organize the defense. The timeout was enough to calm the Bruins' nerves and GFU began putting the Wildcats away, holding a 51-41 lead with five minutes remaining. The Bruins didn't let up on the Wildcats and finished off the game for a 62-50 win. 

Top Performers

Posey had a breakout performance off of the Bruins' bench with a game-high 15 points. Collman had a solid game on the wing for Fox with 12 points and four steals while Hartney added 10 points, nine rebounds, and three steals on the other wing. 

What It Means

The Bruins retain sole possession of third place in the NWC with the win as they improve to 14-4 on the season and 6-3 in conference play. The game was not a brilliant offensive effort for either side as the Bruins shot only 33% from the field and 20% from three-point range. The victory, however, was a testament to the Bruins' depth of talent. Their two leading scorers combined for just 14 points and the Bruins found a way to win on the offensive performances of their senior wings and Posey's performance off the bench in place of the injured Aubrey Baker

What Happens Next

The Bruins will visit NWC foe Willamette on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 4:00 p.m.