FOREST GROVE, Ore. – Hannah Munger posted a double-double of 21 points and 15 rebounds while blocking seven first-half shots, leading the third-ranked George Fox University Bruins past the feisty Pacific University Boxers 65-55 in Northwest Conference women's basketball action Saturday evening here at the Stoller Center.
The Bruins had to overcome a terrific 29-point performance by the Boxers' Erica Schultz, including 15 in a row for her team at one stretch, in running their overall record to 13-0 and their conference mark to 4-0, all on the road. Pacific, off to its best start in 21 years, slipped to 9-3 overall and 2-2 in the NWC.
Munger scored the first two points of the game before Schultz hit a three-pointer, giving Pacific its only lead of the game one minute in. Munger then put in back-to-back baskets that ignited a 10-0 George Fox run that gave the Bruins a 12-3 lead at the 16:15 mark. Another Munger layin extended the lead to 14 at 19-5 with 12:26 left in the half, but the Boxers would not go away.
A 12-4 run, capped by a jumper by Schultz, brought the home team within six at 23-17 with 7:41 showing, but Arianna Mohsenian answered with consecutive threes to boost the Bruin lead back to 12 at 29-17. The Bruins closed the half with an 8-0 run, a three by Jami Roos making it 37-22 at the break.
A layup by Roos five minutes into the second half gave George Fox its largest lead of 17 points at 47-30, and then Schultz went to work. Having already scored the Boxers' previous six points, she added nine more in a row as Pacific climbed within 10 at 49-39 with 12 minutes remaining. Heather Hitch's layup 30 seconds later made it a single-digit game for the first time since the three-minute mark in the first half.
Paige Jensen twice hit short jumpers to bring the Boxers within six points, the second one making it a 59-53 game with 2:35 left. Keisha Gordon drained back-to-back threes, however, as the Bruins rebuilt a 12-point lead of 65-53 with a minute to go, offsetting two final free throws by the Boxers' Erica Colter.
Munger hit 10 of 14 shots from the floor en route to her seventh double-double of the season and 32nd of her career, and Gordon scored 12 points, all on a 4-for-7 game from behind the arc. As a team, the Bruins hit .466 (27-58) from the field and .381 (8-21) from three-point range, and won the battle of the boards 36-27. Mohsenian handed out six assists, and Hayley Cusick made six steals.
Schultz was 12 of 20 from the floor, including a trio of threes, and had five rebounds, steals, and blocked shots. Jensen just missed a double-double with 14 points and nine boards, and passed out four assists. Annette Highley picked up six steals. The Boxers shot .460 (23-50) on field goals, including 3-of-8 from downtown.
NEXT: George Fox plays seven of its next eight games at home, starting Friday against Willamette University with a 6:00 p.m. tipoff … Pacific makes the eastern Washington swing next weekend, visiting Whitworth University Friday at 6:00 p.m. … Both games will be part of NWC doubleheaders, with men's games following at 8:00 p.m.