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Peterson scores 20 in Wolves first win of seasonSalem-News.com Sports
WOU Women's Basketball
(MONMOUTH, Ore.) - Rylee Peterson filled up the box score to lead Western Oregon to an 83-76 win over Humboldt State in the WOU/Phoenix Inn D2 Shootout, Saturday.
Peterson scored a career-high 20 points, grabbed seven rebounds, blocked five shots and had seven steals in helping Western Oregon (1-2) earn its first win of the season. She went 6-of-13 from the field and 7-of-10 from the free throw line.
"Our kids did a very good job getting her the ball when she cut to the basket especially late in the game," said Western Oregon head coach Greg Bruce. "She is a high IQ basketball player, and if we can just get her the ball we are going to be in good shape."
Western Oregon also received 18 points from Sara Zahler, who went 10-of-10 from the charity stripe while playing all 40 minutes. Jamie Richardson and Danielle Bellando each added double-figure scoring performances with 11 and 12 points, respectively.
"Last year we had to depend on Katie (Torland) for everything, but if we are going to have success this year we have to have different kids step up," Bruce noted. "Now everyone has a chance and I believe they will produce given the opportunity."
In addition to Zahler, WOU also enjoyed a strong performance at the free throw line, where it outscored HSU by nine (33-24). The Wolves made 33-of-38 from the charity stripe, and the 38 attempts were the most for Western Oregon since taking 39 free throw shots against Saint Martin's two seasons ago (Jan. 22, 2009).
"It is something that we work on and it is one of our strengths," explained Bruce. "To play the way we do we have to make threes and get to the line. If we don't do those things we are going to have trouble scoring."
Western Oregon did very good offensively early in the first half to build an 11 point lead (27-16). However, HSU would go on an 8-0 run shortly before half to cut WOU's lead to one (38-37) with one minute left. Jade Haas would provide the answer with an and-1 layup to give Western Oregon a 41-37 lead at halftime.
Humboldt State would come out quickly in the second half and score the first nine points of the period to take a five-point lead (46-41). WOU then answered right back with a 7-0 run to reclaim the lead. The two teams then exchange baskets until the game was tied for the ninth time at 54-54. Western Oregon then scored 10 of the next 12 points and never relinquished the lead.
This was the second straight game for the Wolves scoring over 80 points, after it reached that plateau just three times all last season.
"Scoring is our emphasis because we are small and sometimes we won't get the easy baskets," Bruce stated. "We are more going to be able to outscore people more than we are going to be able to defend them and stop them that way." Jeanette Dewitt had 24 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Lumberjacks. However, Western Oregon was able to hold Humboldt State's Bree Halsey to just 10 points and nine rebounds, after she had 23 and 12 against Saint Martin's last night.
"I thought Melissa Fowler not only did an outstanding job on (Halsey)," Bruce noted.
The Western Oregon women's basketball team will be in Grand Junction next weekend (Nov. 26-27). The Wolves will take on Mesa State on Friday and UT-Permian on Saturday.
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