KIP's CORNER - Whitworth and Whitman Come to Town this Weekend

Last week WU continued its up and down season, gaining a huge overtime win Tuesday evening over NWC-leading George Fox, only to lose at 8th place Pacific on a last second 3-pt shot the very next night.

As exciting as the Bearcats come from behind effort against the Bruins was Tuesday, Wednesday's loss (in which Willamette led two times in the final 60 seconds) proved to be equally painful. Senior post Todd Lewis and junior guard Drew Miller were outstanding in both games, providing much of the scoring punch WU delivered both evenings.

The split puts the Bearcats at 6-9, 3-3 on the season, 2 games behind both UPS and George Fox in the NWC.

This Week:
Whitworth and Whitman invade Cone Fieldhouse this weekend, as the Bearcats, due to a quirk in the schedule, play their final back-to-back home games of the year (while both Pacific and Linfield must still come to Salem, those games are on Tuesday nights).

Whitworth has become one of WU’s most heated rivalries, as both teams have ended each other’s long home court win streaks in the past seasons, as well as finishing in the top 3 of the league the last 3 seasons.

Whitman, much like Pacific, is a talented team whose record does not reflect the challenges they will present.

About the Opponents:

Whitworth Pirates (6-8, 2-4)
After their snapping their longest losing streak in five years on Saturday, the Pirates and Coach Jim Hayford return to Salem, where they have emerged victorious 2 out of the last 3 outings. Minus All-American post Bryan Depew (graduation), the Pirates have been lead by guard Bryan Williams (15 ppg) and sharpshooter Jon Young (16 ppg). WU split the last 6 meeting with Whitworth.

Whitman Missionaries (3-12, 1-5)
Coach Skip Molitor’s squad enters Cone after splitting a pair of home games last weekend. The Missionaries will look to Matt Kelly (17 ppg) and Kyle Born (10 ppg) to pull most of the weight against the WU, as they have most of the season. Willamette split with the Missionaries last year, with the home teams winning both contests.

A Closer Look at the Bearcats

-Willamette’s loss at Pacific was the 3rd last second loss in Forrest Grove during the past 5 seasons. In 2001, Pacific’s Pierre Elliot’s lay-in at the buzzer eliminated WU from playoff contention, and in 2003, Marques Johnson just missed the potential game winning lay-in at the horn, in a loss that cost WU the #1 seed in the NWC tournament.

-Team captain Harold Sublett, Jr., injury-plagued all season, has now played in back-to-back games for the first time since the 3rd and 4th games of the season in California.

-John Olinger (2nd in assists, 4th in A/TO ratio), Drew Miller (3rd in FT %, 5th in 3 PT %) are the Bearcats in the Top 5 statistically in the NWC.

-As a team, WU leads the NWC in Scoring Defense, FT%, Assists, and Assist to Turnover Ratio.

Drew Miller

Drew Miller