Bearcats Blow Past PLU With Big First Half

SALEM, OR — John Olinger scored 18 points, CJ Stuvland had 17 and the inside duo of Ian Mansfield and Jason Luchterhand controlled the boards as the Willamette University men’s basketball team opened up a 16-point halftime lead and coasted to an 82-65 win over Pacific Lutheran University in a Northwest Conference game
Saturday night at the Cone Field House.

The Bearcats (4-2 overall, 2-0 NWC) jumped out to a 16-3 advantage in the first half as every Bearcat starter scored in the first ten minutes of the game. Olinger (pictured left) scored nine of his game-high 18 in the first half, including 7-7 from the free throw line. The Bearcats were 11-12 from the stripe in the first half.

PLU, behind baskets by Drew Cardwell and Josh Dressler, cut the lead to 16-8, but hoops by Drew Miller and David Fife off the bench strecthced the lead back to 12 and PLU got no closer than nine the rest of the game.

In the second half, jumpers by Josh Erickson and Olinger stretched the lead to 51-28. PLU got within 12 at 77-65 on another 3-pointer from Dressler, but a free throw from Luchterhand and another driving lay-up by Erickson stretched the lead back to 15 and the Bearcats coasted to victory in their first home game of the season.

Luchterhand had 15 points for the Bearcats and grabbed eight rebounds. Ian Mansfield led the Bearcats with 11 caroms as Willamette enjoyed a 44-34 edge on the glass.

Erickson had nine points and four assists running the Bearcat offense. Miller chipped in nine points and three boards, and Olinger had five rebounds and five assists to go along with his 18 points.

For the game, Willamette shot 48% to 34% for PLU.

Dressler led the Lutes with 16 points. Bryon Decker added 11 and Josh Vanlandingham had ten.

The Bearcats play again next Wednesday against Northwest Nazarene and do not return home until January 14 when they host Linfield.

John Olinger

John Olinger