Bearcat Hoops News and Notes

LAST WEEK

Willamette split two games at home, defeating the Missionaries of Whitman College (74-54), and losing to Whitworth College (58-57). The Bearcats currently stand in 2nd place in the NWC, one game behind conference leading Puget Sound. WU is 13-6 overall, 8-2 in NWC action.

THIS WEEK

Willamette hosts George Fox University on Friday night in Salem, then travels to Portland to battle rival Lewis and Clark College. Both games tip at 8 pm, and are part of doubleheader action with the women’s teams.

RIVALRY RENEWED

Whitworth’s narrow decision over the Bearcats on Saturday night was the latest in the heated rivalry between the two schools. In snapping Willamette’s 16 game home floor winning streak, Whitworth earned a bit of revenge, as Willamette had ended the Pirates own 16 game home floor winning streak earlier this season. In fact, in the past 3 seasons, the only team to beat Whitworth in Spokane has been the Bearcats, just as the only team to beat Willamette in Salem has been the Pirates.

ABOUT THE BEARCATS

Willamette guard David Force was named Honorable Mention Player of the Week in the NWC, following his 36 pt, 15 rebound, 8 assist performance over the weekend. It is the second time Force has been honorable mention (John Olinger and Brennan Garrelts have also garnered the same award once apiece this year).

After battling early season injury problems, Willamette is now 7-1 with its projected starting line-up (Force, John Olinger, Harold Sublett, Jr., Miles Sandgathe, Brennan Garrelts) in place.

Willamette’s bench has made large contributions all season long, and last week was a continuation of that trend. Guard Drew Miller (So, Keizer, Or) ignited the Bearcats with 13 pts off the bench Friday night against Whitman, and provided a defensive spark, helping Harold Sublett, Jr. hold Whitman scoring leader Greg Ricker to just 2 points.

WU continues to lead the NWC in two defensive categories: total points allowed per game (64.4) and in 3 pt field goal % allowed (.312).

Willamette, courtesy of a raucous 1800 fans on Saturday night, now leads the NWC in home attendance, averaging 1310 fans a game in Cone Fieldhouse. The Bearcats in Salem are now 16-1 the past two seasons.

ABOUT GEORGE FOX

Head Coach Mark Sundquist Bruins enter Friday’s game at 6-14 (2-9) overall. In their most recent game, Fox battled Linfield College down to the wire, only to fall at home 70-64. The Bruins have been paced all season by post Mark Gayman (17.2 ppg) and guard Aaron Schmick (15.9). George Fox lost a hard fought, overtime matchup with the Bearcats in Newberg the first time the two teams met.

ABOUT LEWIS AND CLARK

The Pioneers of Lewis and Clark, an NCAA tourney participant 4 out of the last 5 years, currently stand at 12-7 (5-5) on the year. Head Coach Bob Gaillard’s team boasts an early candidate for NWC Player of the Year in senior John Mietus. Mietus has averaged a double double for the season (21.8 ppg, 10.8 rebs), and along with sharp shooting guards Danny Winchester (76 made 3 pts) and Ryan Wells (73 made 3 pts), poses a major threat offensively. WU defeated LC 67-63 in Salem in January.

PROBABLE STARTERS

Willamette pts. rebs. Assts.
1. David Force 14.7 5.1 3.7
2. John Olinger 12.1 2.7
3. Harold Sublett, Jr. 8.9 5.5 2.1
4. Miles Sandgathe 11.4 5.6 1.4
5. Brennan Garrelts 7.1 4.2

George Fox
1. Aaron Schmick 15.9 4.5 3.8
2. Ben Melvin 11.1 4.2
3. Bryan Wadlow 10.0 4.2 2.3
4. Mark Gayman 17.1 8.4 2.1
5. Scott Szalay 11.8 7.9

Lewis and Clark
1. Adam Merino 2.4 4.1
2. Danny Winchester 16.6 3.2
3. Ryan Wells 13.3 3.1
4. John Mietus 21.8 10.8 1.5
5. Tommy Magnusson 9.8 6.3 2.0