Pacific Lutheran was on fire this evening when it stepped on the court to face UC Santa Cruz in a non-conference women's basketball game in Olson Auditorium. The Lutes came out on top, 62-53, in their season opener.
The star of the night for the Lutes was junior guard Shelly Kilcup. In the first six minutes she snagged four rebounds, and she found her shot a minute later with a three-pointer for the Lutes. Kilcup would not stop there, finishing with a double-double by scoring 20 points and adding 11 rebounds. She also contributed five steals and three assists. Not far behind Kilcup was sophomore post Samantha Potter, who finished with 17 points and nine rebounds.
PLU also finished the game with 20 assists on its 26 baskets, led by Sara Backstrom with eight assists and Andi Adams with four.
The Banana Slugs struggled in the first half to find their shots, shooting only 33 percent both from the field and three-point range. They stayed in the game because of the bench play, getting 18 of their 27 first-half points from the reserves.
After leading 33-27 at the half, the Lutes surged to an 18-point lead, 46-28, in the opening six minutes of the final period. But UC Santa Cruz refused to give in, eventually whittling its deficit to five points at 58-53 with 2:52 remaining.
Pacific Lutheran's Chrissy Swope hit a pair of free throws with 1:13 left to put the Lutes back on top, 60-53, and the Banana Slugs missed two shots and also turned the ball over on their final three possessions.
Dani Mofsowitz and Sarah Mackey both scored 11 points to lead the Banana Slugs, and Mackey led her team with six rebounds. Both teams had 41 rebounds in the contest.
The Lutes held strong and were able to counter the visitors with a total of 13 steals in the game, may of which they turned into easy layups. The Lutes outscored the Banana Slugs 29-26 in the final half, sealing the victory.
The Lutes won the game from the field, making 42 percent of their shots to just 27 percent for the visitors. In addition, UCSC was just 5-for-22, or 23 percent, from three-point range.