Payne Leads Bearcats to 71-59 Win Over Concordia

SALEM, OR — Laura Payne scored 20 points and dished out six assists, and Tracie Nygaard added 12 points and five rebounds, as the Willamette University women’s basketball team pulled away from Concordia University in the second half for a 71-59 win Friday night at the Cone Field House.

Payne (pictured left) scored 12 of her 20 in the second half as Willamette raised its season record to 2-5 (0-2 NWC) and snapped a four-game losing streak. Concordia fell to 5-4 (1-1 Cascade Conference).

Concordia, behind 11 first half points from Nicole Jamieson, took a 28-25 lead into half time. But the Bearcats went on an 11-0 run in the first two minutes of the second half, led by a lay-up and 3-pointer by Caitlin Andrus, to pull ahead 35-28.

A 3-pointer by Jennifer Bell made it 39-30 before a three-point play by Darcy Madison and a pair of free throws from Jamieson pulled the Cavaliers within four at 39-35. Willamette responded with a jumper from Rebekah Wells and another 3-pointer from Bell to highlight another 11-0 run that pushed the lead to 14 at 55-41.

Payne’s free throw made it a 17-point lead at 67-50 and the Bearcats coasted to their second win of the season.

Willamette’s balanced scing attack was led by Payne’s 20. Nygaard had 12 and three Bearcats — Andrus, Bell and Wells — each had eight.

Willamette won the battle of the boards 51-44, led by Bell’s six caroms and five each from Nygaard and Maggie Wilkens. Victoria Swigart added seven points and five rebounds.

For Concordia, Madison led the way with 18 points. Jamieson had 16 and Kristin Gunderson had eight points and nine rebounds. Joyce Oniah had eight blocked shots and nine rebounds to go along with five points.

Willamette shot 31% for the game while Concordia hit 39% of their shots.

The Bearcats now take to the road, traveling to Occidental College for a pair of games on Dec. 20 and Dec. 21 before returning home to play Cascade on Jan. 3.

Laura Payne

Laura Payne