Men's Basketball News Release

MEN’S BASKETBALL: Bearcats (12-4, 6-2 NWC) move into tie for first place

THIS WEEK: Willamette travels to Puget Sound on Friday
Jan. 31 at Puget Sound (9-8, 4-4 NWC), 8 p.m.

LAST WEEK: Willamette wins pair at home, lose nail-biter at PLU
Jan. 21 at Willamette 70, Pacific 53
Post Marques Johnson (Sr., Grant HS) scored a game-high 20 points and pulled down seven rebounds to lead Willamette past visiting Pacific. The win kept the Bearcats unbeaten at home in six games, while Pacific saw its winning streak snapped at four games. The two teams battled through a defensive-oriented first half and the Bearcats took a 29-22 lead into intermission. But Pacific scored the first seven points of the second half to knot the score at 29. PU was still within three points (40-37) with just over 12 minutes left before the hosts took charge. Willamette then reeled off seven straight points. The Bearcats also got 16 points and four assists from point guard Ryan Hepp (Sr., Century HS) and 14 points and five assists from wing Miles Sandgathe (Jr., Pleasant Hill HS). Willamette shot 54.0 percent from the field for the game, compared to just 42.6 percent for Pacific. Pacific out-rebounded the Bearcats handily in the first period (21-14), but the Bearcats turned the tables in the second half, out-boarding the visitors 19-11.

Jan. 24 at Willamette 76, George Fox 60
Harold Sublett Jr. (So., Hayden HS, Ariz.) and Miles Sandgathe (Pleasant Hill HS) sparked a 22-9 run in the middle 10 minutes of the second half to lead Willamette to the victory over George Fox. The win kept Willamette undefeated (7-0) at Cone Field House. George Fox was in the game most of the way until the Bearcats boosted their lead to 15 points with four minutes remaining. Willamette had leads of 19-9 and 31-19 in the first half, but the pesky Bruins scored the final 11 points of the half to close to within 31-30 at intermission. The two teams split the first 20 points of the second half before WU began to pull away from a 41-40 edge. Sublett Jr. scored eight points and Sandgathe tallied six in the critical run that made the score 63-49 with 5:29 remaining. Sublett Jr., who had just one point at the half, finished the contest with 13 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Sandgathe finished with 18 points on 7 of 11 shooting from the field. Willamette’s Marques Johnson (Sr., Grant HS) scored 10 of his team’s first 13 points and finished the night with 20 points and eight rebounds.

Jan. 25 at Pacific Lutheran 57, Willamette 54
Pacific Lutheran out-scored Willamette 38-21 in the second half and three Bearcats fouled out as the Lutes upset the visitors. WU defeated PLU 62-37 back on Jan. 4 in Salem. After taking a 33-19 halftime lead, Willamette shot just 25.0 percent from the field in the final 20 minutes. WU also made just one three-point shot in eight attempts on the night. The Bearcats were led by Ryan Hepp (Sr., Century HS) and Miles Sandgathe (Jr., Pleasant Hill HS). Hepp scored 15 points, dished out four assists and came up with three steals. Sandgathe also netted 15 points and added six boards. Harold Sublett Jr., (So., Hayden HS, Ariz.) chipped in with 10 points and seven rebounds.

THE RACE TO 1,000: Point guard Ryan Hepp (Sr., Century HS) and post Marques Johnson (Sr., Grant HS) are each closing in on the 1,000-point plateau for a career. Heading into Friday’s game at Puget Sound, Hepp has 960 points in his career and Johnson has 909.

NOTES: Whitworth, which led the NWC by 1/2-game over WU heading into last week, went 1-1 during the past week to put the Pirates and Bearcats in a tie for first place at 6-2. Whitworth defeated Whitman on Tuesday but lost in overtime at Lewis & Clark on Saturday … the Bearcats are 7-0 at home this season and have won all 14 periods in those games … Willamette leads the NWC in scoring defense (61.9 ppg), field goal percentage (50.4%) and three-point field goal percentage (40.1%). The Bearcats are No. 2 in scoring margin (+10.2), turnover margin (+3.25) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.08:1). Individually, Marques Johnson (Sr., Grant HS) ranks fourth in the NWC in scoring (16.3 ppg), third in field goal percentage (57.5%), tied for fifth in blocked shots (0.75) and eighth in rebounding (6.3 rpg). Ryan Hepp (Sr., Century HS) ranks seventh in scoring (15.2 ppg), first in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.76:1), second in assists (4.62 apg), fifth in steals (1.62 spg), eighth in free throw percentage (76.4%) and ninth in field goal percentage (53.3%). Miles Sandgathe (Jr., Pleasant Hill HS) is eighth in scoring (15.0 ppg), first in three-point field goal percentage (56.2%), second in free throw percentage (85.7%), fifth in field goal percentage (55.9%) and tied for sixth in steals (1.50 spg).

PREVIOUS ALL-TOURNAMENT HONORS: Post Marques Johnson (Sr., Grant HS) has been named to the all-tournament team in each of the three tournaments Willamette has played in. He also was named MVP of the Bud Presley Classic and Co-MVP of the John Lewis Holiday Classic. Point guard Ryan Hepp (Jr., Century HS) was the other Co-MVP of the John Lewis Holiday Classic and was named to the all-tourney team of the Bud Presley Classic. Wing Miles Sandgathe (Jr., Pleasant Hill HS) was also named to the Bud Presley all-tournament team.

Whitworth (15-2) 6 2
WILLAMETTE (12-4) 6 2
Lewis & Clark (10-7) 5 3
Linfield (11-6) 4 4
Puget Sound (9-8) 4 4
Pacific (7-9) 4 4
Pacific Lutheran (7-10) 4 4
Whitman (5-12) 2 6
George Fox (6-10) 1 7


12 Ryan Hepp* PG 5-11 175 Sr./Sr. Hillsboro, Ore. (Century)
14 Drew Miller PG/W 6-1 170 Fr./Fr. Keizer, Ore. (McNary)
20 B.J. Dobrkovsky W 6-3 195 Sr./Sr. Lebanon, Ore. (Lebanon)
23 Henry Greeley W 6-3 185 Fr./Fr. Seattle, Wash. (Lakeside)
24 Harold Sublett Jr.* PG/W 6-1 190 Jr./So. Phoenix, Ariz. (Hayden)
30 Michael Plank PG 6-0 160 Fr./Fr. Stockton, Calif. (Franklin)
32 P.J. McDevitt W 6-4 165 Jr./Jr. Sacramento, Calif. (Jesuit)
34 David Force W 6-3 195 Jr./Jr. Lake Oswego, Ore. (Lakeridge)
40 Marques Johnson* P 6-5 205 Sr./Sr. Portland, Ore. (Grant)
42 Brennan Garrelts* P 6-7 205 Fr./Fr. Roseburg, Ore. (Roseburg)
44 Miles Sandgathe* W 6-5 210 Jr./Jr. Springfield, Ore. (Pleasant Hill)
50 Ryan Rahlfs P 6-5 215 Jr./Jr. Bellevue, Wash. (E. Catholic)
52 Jacob Baran P 6-5 230 Fr./Fr. Beaverton, Ore. (Beaverton)
55 Joe Carmichael P 6-7 220 Gr./Sr. Eugene, Ore. (Sheldon)

* Probable starters

HEAD COACH: Gordie James (16th year)
ASSISTANTS: Wally Wing (16th year), Nelson Lomax (4th year),
Kip Ioane (2nd year), Shawn Gahr (1st year)

1987-88 18-10 10-0 1st
1988-89 15-12 9-3 1st
1989-90 25-6 10-2 1st (tie)
1990-91 19-10 8-4 3rd
1991-92 17-13 8-4 2nd
1992-93 29-4 11-1 1st (NAIA Division II National Champions)
1993-94 24-6 10-2 1st (tie)
1994-95 20-12 8-4 1st (tie)
1995-96 11-13 5-9 7th
1996-97 10-14 8-8 5th
1997-98 14-10 10-8 5th
1998-99 15-10 11-7 3rd (tie)
1999-00 15-10 9-7 4th
2000-01 10-14 7-9 5th
2001-02 18-8 12-4 2nd
2002-03 12-4 6-1
TOTALS #272-156 142-74

# The all-time school record for wins by a Willamette head coach is 277 by the late John Lewis. From 1947-67 (20 seasons), Lewis’ teams went 277-239 and won or shared seven conference titles. Lewis also coached baseball at WU and served as athletic director.


22-23 Bud Pressley Classic Atherton, Calif.
22 Menlo vs. Willamette W, 86-83
22 Fresno Pacific vs. CSU-Hayward
23 Third-place game
23 WU vs. Fresno Pacific (Champ.) W, 66-58

6-7 John Lewis Holiday Classic Salem
6 Southern Oregon vs. Linfield
6 Western Baptist vs. Willamette W, 80-73
7 Western Baptist vs. Linfield
7 Southern Oregon vs. Willamette W, 87-66
13 Warner Pacific Salem W, 72-60
14 Western Oregon Monmouth L, 61-57
28-29 Pioneer Classic Hayward, Calif.
28 Wisconsin-Whitewater vs. WU L, 60-55
28 Pacific Lutheran vs. CSU-Hayward
29 Wis.-Whitewater vs. P. Lutheran
29 WU vs. CSU-Hayward W, 86-58

4 Pacific Lutheran* Salem W, 62-37
7 Lewis & Clark* (KBZY 1490) Portland W, 77-70 (OT)
10 Linfield* Salem W, 87-67
17 Whitman* (KBZY 1490) Walla Walla, Wash. W, 81-61
18 Whitworth* (KBZY 1490) Spokane, Wash. L, 66-57
21 Pacific* Salem W, 70-53
24 George Fox* (KBZY 1490) Salem W, 76-60
25 Pacific Lutheran* Tacoma, Wash. L, 57-54
31 Puget Sound* Tacoma, Wash. 8:00

7 Linfield* (KBZY 1490) McMinnville 8:00
8 Lewis & Clark* Salem 8:00
14 Whitman* Salem 8:00
15 Whitworth* (KBZY 1490) Salem 8:00
18 Pacific* Forest Grove 8:00
21 George Fox* (KBZY 1490) Newberg 8:00
22 Puget Sound* Salem 8:00
27 NWC playoffs (No. 3 at No. 2) TBA TBA

1 NWC Champ. (Winner at No. 1) TBA TBA

* Northwest Conference game

TICKETS: Ticket prices for all Willamette regular season home games are:
$5 General Admission
$3 Students and seniors
Free Children 12 and under
To purchase tickets in advance, call (503) 370-6011.

WILLAMETTE ON THE RADIO: Selected Willamette University basketball games will be broadcast live on Salem radio station KBZY (1490 AM). The broadcasts begin at the conclusion of each women’s game. Mike Allegre will provide the play-by-play.

(503) 370-6063 Willamette University
(503) 949-9830 Cell