Bearcats Second Half Surge Beats PLU 82-71

SALEM - The Willamette University men’s basketball team (10-5, 5-1 NWC) erased a nine-point deficit in the first four minutes of the second half, then went on a 25-9 run to defeat Pacific Lutheran University (4-11, 1-5 NWC) 82-71 at the Cone Field House Saturday night.

Five Bearcats scored in double figures, led by John Olinger’s 16 points. It was Olinger who tied the game at 40-40 four minutes in to the second half with the second of two straight three-point bombs.

Harold Sublett Jr. (11 points, eight rebounds, three assists) gave the Bearcats their first lead of the second half with another three-pointer at the 14:45 mark.

Then the Bearcats stepped up the defense, forcing 11 second half turnovers and grabbing five steals after falling behind 36-27 at halftime.

Jonathan Anderson scored a game-high 24 points, 14 in the first half, to pace the Lutes.

Miles Sandgathe had 15 points and five rebounds. David Force (14 points, eight assists), and Ryan Rahlfs (12 points) also hit for double figures for the Bearcats.

Willamette lost the battle of the boards, 36-32, but shot 58% in the second half. They finished the game hitting 44% of their shots while PLU hit just under 50%.