Bell Leads Bearcats to Win Over Lewis and Clark, 61-57

PORTLAND, OR — Jennifer Bell scored 18 points and Vanessa Wyffels added 17 as the Willamette University women’s basketball team gutted out their second straight Northwest Conference win with a 61-57 victory over Lewis and Clark.

Ahead by as many as 13 points in the second half, the Bearcats saw the Pioneers take a one-point lead, 50-49, with 4:06 left. But Bell’s three-pointer and a Wyffel’s lay-up put Willamette back on top by five.

The Pioneers had a chance to take the lead again, but a missed 3-pointer from Sarah Moon (20 points) was rebounded by Julia Short and the Bearcats held on for the win.

The victory moves the Bearcats to 4-8 in the NWC and 7-14 overall. The Pioneers fall to 5-15 overall, 1-10 in the NWC. It was the Bearcats second win over the Pioneers this season.

In the first half, the Bearcats turned an eight point deficit into a 36-27 half-time edge. Wyffels extended the lead to 13 on a pair of free throws, but the Pioneers erased that lead in six minutes, setting the stage for the late comeback.

For Willamette, Bell led the way with 18 points. Wyffels scored 17 and had a game-high 7 rebounds. Laura Payne had ten points, three assists, and two rebounds. Kari Woody had eight points and five rebounds.

For the Pioneers, Sarah Moon had a game-high 20 points. She also had four assists and four rebounds. Laura Snider scored 11 points with a block and two steals.

Willamette shot 43% for the game, including 8-18 from three-point range. The Pioneers shot 41% in the contest. Willamette had a 30-28 edge on the boards. Willamette hit 19-26 from the free throw line to only 8-10 for the Pioneers.

The Bearcats host Linfield College on Tuesday. Tip-off is 6 p.m.