Hepp leads charge in comeback win at L&C

PORTLAND — Ryan Hepp helped rally Willamette from a 16-point second-half deficit at Lewis & Clark to force overtime, and the Bearcats outscored the Pioneers 10-3 in the extra period to remain undefeated in Northwest Conference play with a 77-70 victory over the hosts.

The win improved Willamette’s records to 8-2 overall and 2-0 in the NWC, tying the Bearcats for first place in the conference with Whitworth (11-0, 2-0).

Willamette trailed by 16 points twice in the second half and was behind 65-51 with 4:43 left to play before Hepp led the Bearcat rally. The senior point guard fueled a 16-2 run to close out the period by scoring 11 straight points for the visitors. He scored all 11 points in a span of 81 seconds.

Hepp led all scorers with 24 points. WU’s Miles Sandgathe finished with 17 points and seven rebounds. Harold Sublett Jr. scored 10 of his 13 points in the second half. Marques Johnson ended up with 11 points and, for the second straight game, 11 rebounds.

Kris Spier led L&C with 23 points.

Willamette shot 51 percent for the game and committed just eight turnovers