by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
SPOKANE, Wash. – The Pacific Boxers used 21 points from Liana Tanaka and a seven-point run in the final 1:44 to defeat the Whitworth Pirates 80-72 on Saturday evening.
Camy Aguinaldo scored a game-high 22 points for the Pirates (6-7, 1-3 NWC), who dropped their fourth straight game. Courtney Carolan and Jenee' Brown finished with 13 points each for the Boxers (2-10, 1-3 NWC).
Pacific (Ore.) led for much of the contest, but maintained just a two-point margin heading into the game's final 1:44. Carolan Courtney and Kaela Collins each dropped in layups to extend the lead to 76-70, and free throws from Brown and Tanaka sealed the win.
The run came after a furious Pirate comeback in the third quarter gave the Bucs a chance to pick up their second Northwest Conference win. Down 47-35 two minutes into the third quarter, the Pirates went on a 21-9 run for the remainder of the period to tie the game at 56.
Madison Moffat scored five points and picked up four assists during the comeback quarter while Aguinaldo added six points and a pair of assists. A free throw from Madison Abbott tied the game entering the fourth quarter.
The exciting second half followed a back and forth matchup in the game's first two periods. Both teams led by four points at times during the first quarter which was highlighted by eight points from Aguinaldo. Despite the freshman point guard's offensive output, the Pirates trailed Pacific 19-17 at the end of the first.
Tanaka turned on the scoring in the second quarter as the Boxers built their lead. She knocked down three shots from three-point range and scored Pacific's first eight points of the period as the Boxers built up a seven-point lead with 5:15 remaining in the first half. They would carry an eight-point advantage into halftime.
Pacific finished the game shooting 38% from the floor and 32% from beyond the arc. Whitworth shot 38% overall, but only 20% from downtown.
Moffat picked up yet another double-double with 12 points and a game-high 16 rebounds. Alli Kieckbusch dropped in 19 points with 6 rebounds. She was the only Pirate who shot over 50% from the field.
Up next, the Pirates travel to Whitman on Tuesday, Jan. 9. The game will be the first between the Bucs and Blues this season and tips off at 6:00 p.m.