Baran's Big Three Gives Bearcats Big Win Over Boxers

FOREST GROVE, OR — Jacob Baran’s first 3-point shot of the season went in, giving the Bearcats the lead for good with 2:45 to play, as the Willamette University men’s basketball team won 73-69 win over Pacific in a Northwest Conference game Friday night.

Baran was a perfect 3-3 shooting, including his heroic 3-pointer. He was 4-4 from the foul line for 11 points.

Three other Bearcats were in double figures led by John Olinger’s 16 points. Drew Miller scored 15 points and Ian Mansfield shook off a late technical foul to record 13 points and a team-high five rebounds. Josh Erickson had eight assists.

Willamette (8-5, 4-1 NWC) takes sole possession of second place in the NWC with the win as league-leading UPS defeated Whitworth 106-105. UPS is 5-0 in Conference. Whitworth is now 3-2. Pacific falls to 6-7 overall, 1-4 NWC.

The Bearcats trailed at half-time 34-31 and fell behind seven early in the second half. Pacific was still up 53-49 when Olinger hit a pair of free throws. Miller stole the ensuing inbounds pass and scored on a lay-up and free throw to tie the game at 53-all.

Pacific responded with a bucket before Mansfield nailed a 3-pointer to give Willamette its first lead of the second half. Then Mansfield was called for a technical following a blocked shot with the score tied at 58-58. Luckily, Pacific missed the free throw.

Olinger put the Bearcats up 60-58 with two free throws, but again Pacific responded with four straight to take the lead, setting the stage for Baran’s big 3-ball..

Olinger followed with another 3-pointer, Mansfield redeemed himself with a blocked shot and a key jumper, and the Bearcats hit their free throws (8-8 from Olinger in the second half) to post their fourth conference win of the season.

Pacific, led by Brandon Kawazoe’s 22 points, and 14 points, eight rebounds from 6-11 Kyle Motta, shot 52% from the floor.

Willamette, was 8-17 from beyond the arc and shot 49% overall.

Pacific out-rebounded the Bearcats 32-24. Willamette had only nine turnovers and had 17 assists on 23 baskets.