GFU
Gordon

NEWBERG, Ore. – Overcoming a sluggish start, George Fox scored 10 points in a row early in the second half to break open a tight game and go on to a 58-35 win against the California Lutheran in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Friday.

The third-ranked Bruins improved to 28-0 and will meet a familiar Northwest Conference foe, seventh-ranked Lewis & Clark, on Saturday.

The Bruins opened the game with a quick 6-0 start on a layup by Megan Arnoldy, a 3-pointer by NWC Player of the Year Keisha Gordon, and a Hannah Munger free throw. After hitting two of their first three shots, however, the Bruins went ice-cold, making only four of 22 attempts for a paltry .240 shooting percentage (6-25) in the half.

Unfortunately for the Regals, they were unable to take advantage of the Bruins’ poor shooting by being even more inaccurate. Cal Lutheran made only three of its first 19 shots and finished with a .208 percentage (5-24). As a result, the Regals were never able to make much of a dent in the Bruins’ lead. The closest they came was at 6-4 three minutes in after a layup by Erica Whitley and two free throws by Rachel Heagy.

Despite long stretches with no scoring, the Bruins managed to build a 10-point lead of 20-10 after two Hayley Cusick free throws with 3:51 left in the period. Whitley hit a 3 and a two to bring the Regals within five at 20-15 as the half ended.

Channing Fleischmann hit a layup to start the second half as the Regals cut the George Fox lead to 20-17, but the Bruins held the visitors scoreless for the next six-and-a-half minutes while reeling off 12 points of their own to make it 32-17 with 12:57 to play. A 3-pointer by Whitley ended the run, but 32-20 was as close as the Regals would get.

A layup by Gordon gave George Fox its first 20-point lead of 45-25 with 8:47 left. Their largest lead was 23 twice, at 48-25 following two Carly Towne free throws with seven minutes to go, and the final score.

George Fox shot .450 (9-20) in the second half while almost doubling their point output with 38, finishing with a .333 mark (15-45) for the game. Cal Lutheran’s final percentage was .235 (12-51). The Bruins held a whopping advantage at the free throw line as they made 24-of-34 (.706) to 6-of-11 (.545) for the Regals, and made 19 turnovers to 27 for the visitors.

Gordon had 14 points, extending her Bruin record for career points to 1,678, and Arnoldy had 11, while Munger, Cusick, and Jami Roos had nine each. Arnoldy just missed a double-double with nine rebounds. Munger had three steals and blocked six shots, giving her 308 in her career and moving up three spots to 21st on the all-time D-III list.

Whitley had a game-high 17 points, hitting 6-of-9 from the floor (4-of-5 on threes), to lead the Regals. Haegy had a team-high six rebounds, and Whitley made three steals.