JAMES GETS VICTORY NO. 300; Bearcats Open NWC Play With 82-44 Win Over PLU

SALEM, OR — Drew Miller scored 11 of his 13 points in the first half and 11 different Bearcats scored as the Willamette University Bearcats handed Head Coach Gordie James his 300th career victory with an 82-44 win over Pacific Lutheran University in the Northwest Conference opener for both teams.

The Bearcats (4-6 overall, 1-0 NWC) grabbed a 15-point half time lead as Miller and Todd Lewis (16 points, seven rebounds, four assists) combined to shoot six for seven in the first half.

C.J. Stuvland added 17 points and six boards for the Bearcats, while John Olinger dished off a team-high five assists. Ian Mansfield led the Bearcats with seven rebounds.

James, in his 18th season as the Bearcat head coach, has four NWC Coach of the Year Awards and won the NAIA Division II National Championship in 1993. Assistant Coach Wally Wing has coached with James for the entire 18 years. Nelson Lomax and Kip Ioane are also Bearcat assistants.

James downplayed the win, especially since senior point guard Harold Sublett Jr. left late in the game with an ankle injury.

This was win number 1 in the Northwest Conference season. That’s what matters,” said James. “It was a solid team win. We played an excellent half-court defense in the first half and showed outstanding ball movement in the second half.”

After starting only 1-5 from the free throw line, the Bearcats converted on 15-21 foul shots. Willamette enjoyed a 44-24 edge on the backboards and dished off for 22 assists to only six for PLU.

Willamette shot 51% for the game, including 48% from beyond the arc. PLU hit 32% of its shots, and only 13% from three-point land.

The Bearcats play the University of Puget Sound, ranked third in the nation, on Saturday night at the Cone Field House. Game time is 8 p.m.

Gordie James

Gordie James