Hepp reaches 1,000 career points in victory over L&C

SALEM — Senior point guard Ryan Hepp surpassed the 1,000 career point barrier in grand style Saturday in leading Willamette to a 79-65 Northwest Conference men’s basketball victory over Lewis & Clark.
The win puts the Bearcats (14-5, 8-3 NWC) back into second place in the conference standings ahead of the Pioneers (14-8, 9-4 NWC). Whitworth (19-2, 10-2 NWC) maintained its tight grip on first place Saturday with a 73-71 win at home against Puget Sound.

Hepp surpassed the 1,000-point plateau in the first half by scoring 15 points as the Bearcats took a 38-26 lead into intermission. He finished with 20 points on 8 of 11 shooting from the field and converted both three-point attempts. His second trey with 5:01 left in the game gave WU its first 20-point lead of the contest at 66-45.

Willamette also got 15 points from Miles Sandgathe and 13 points and six rebounds from Marques Johnson. David Force came off the bench to add 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists in just 21 minutes.

Lewis & Clark, which could never whittle the second-half deficit to single digits, was led by Colin Oriard’s 20 points and 11 rebounds. Kristofer Speier added 17 points and six boards.

WU held the Pioneers’ Danny Winchester to just five points on 2 of 7 shooting. He came into the game averaging14.7 points a game and leading the NWC in three-pointers made with 70. He hit just one trey on the night in the opening minutes of the game.

Willamette shot an even 50.0 percent from the field for the game, compared to 44.4 percent for the visitors. The Bearcats out-rebounded L&C 37-30 and committed just nine turnovers.

WU is now 8-0 on the season at home.

Ryan Hepp

Ryan Hepp