Four Bearcats Hit for 13 Points in 74-54 Win Over Whitman; Bearcats Remain Atop NWC

SALEM- The Willamette University men’s basketball team (13-5, 8-1 NWC) opened the second half with a 15-2 run, turning a seven-point lead into 20 as the Bearcats defeated the Whitman Missionairies (6-12, 2-7 NWC), 74-54, in a Northwest Conference game Friday night. The Bearcats remain in first place in the NWC.

Drew Miller, John Olinger, David Force and Miles Sandgathe all had 13 points to lead the balanced Bearcat attack. Force added seven assists and six rebounds and Sandgathe grabbed nine boards as the Bearcats battled the taller Missionairies to a 35-35 tie on the backboards.

John Olinger hit a trio of three-pointers in the first half as the Bearcats took a 27-20 lead into the break.. A tough Bearcat defense created 12 turnovers and five steals, but the Bearcats only hit 31`% of their shots. The Bearcats lead the league in defense, allowing 66.5 points per game.

The Bearcats opened the second half blazing hot, hitting 18 of 30 shots as they quickly went ahead by 20. Whitman, behind a pair of three-pointers by Greg Caldwell, pulled to within 13 at the 8:38 mark.

But a Whitman technical foul and two long threes by Miller pushed the lead back to 19 and the Bearcats cruised to their eighth straight conference win.

Casey Nelson led Whitman with 11. Caldwell had ten.

The Bearcats had 11 steals and forced 22 turnovers. Olinger had seven steals.

The Bearcats play Whitworth at home Saturday night.