Olinger Leads Bearcats to OT Win Over George Fox, 94-87

SALEM, OR — John Olinger scored 7 of his 22 points in overtime as the Willamette University men’s basketball team handed George Fox University its first Northwest Conference loss of the season, winning at home, 94-87 Tuesday night.

The Bearcats raise their season record to 6-8 overall, 3-2 NWC. The Bruins fall to 8-5, 3-1 NWC.

Olinger (22 points, nine assists, six rebounds) scored the first four points in overtime to give the Bearcats the early OT lead. Brennan Garrelts (nine rebounds, six points) hit a 3-pointer, Olinger hit three more free throws and CJ Stuvland (17 points, four assists) connected on a pair from the stripe as the Bearcats scored the first nine points in OT to take the victory.

No more than seven points separated the two during the second half. The Bruins took a one-point halftime lead, 40-39, then scored the first four points of the second half on a pair of jumpers from Mark Gayman (27 points, seven rebounds). The Bruins’ biggest lead was 68-61 on another Gayman jumper with 6:32 to play in regulation.

Henry Greeley scored his only points of the game on a long 3-pointer, then Drew Miller (22 points, six rebounds, five assists) hit another three and the Bearcats were right back in it.

Gayman’s three-point play put the Bruins up by four, 77-73 with 1:28 to play.

Miller buried another 3-pointer to pull the Bearcats within one. Then Olinger hit Todd Lewis (14 points, two rebounds) for the Bearcats’ first lead in the second half.

Aaron Schmick tied the game as he hit one of two free throws with 11 seconds to play, setting the stage for Olinger’s overtime heroics.

For the game, the Bearcats hit 44% of their shots. The Bruins, after shooting 57%, in regulation, hit only 2-9 in OT to finish the game at 52%. Willamette won the battle of the boards, 39-32 and committed only 13 turnovers to 19 for the Bruins.

In the overtime period, Willamette hit 11-14 from the free throw line. The Bearcats play Wednesday night at Pacific University, a make-up contest from last Saturday’s cancellation due to ice.

John Olinger

John Olinger