Bearcats Blast Past PLU With Second Half Surge

TACOMA, Wash. — John Olinger drained four 3-poiinters in the second half as the Bearcats continued to scorch the nets, shooting 54% from the field in taking an 80-65 victory over Pacific Lutheran in a Northwest Conference game Saturday at Olson Auditorium.

The Lutes (4-15, 3-7 NWC) jumped out to a 10-5 lead and led for much of the first half. PLU held a 34-33 advantage at halftime.

But the Bearcats (13-5, 9-1 NWC) maintained their hold on first place in the NWC, taking control early in the second half with a 15-2 run that put Willamette in front 47-36 with 14:55 remaining.

Olinger led the Bearcats with 20 points, a team-high seven assists and three rebounds. CJ Stuvland had 16 points and five rebounds. Jason Luchterhand hit 6-7 shots in his first game back as a starter, and also grabbed five rebounds.

After a close first half, Drew Miller immediately put the Bearcats in front as the second half began, draining a 3-pointer to give the bearcats a 36-34 lead. After PLU tied the game at 36-all, Stuvland and Josh Erickson each drained 3-pointers before Ian Mansfield tipped in Olinger’s missed jumper, then drained a 3-pointer of his own for a 47-36 Bearcat lead.

The Lutes got the difference down to seven points, 55-48, with 10:19 left. But four three-pointers by Josh Olinger keyed a 16-4 spurt that propelled the Bearcats to a 71-52 lead with 5:32 to go.

Olinger started the run with a pair of treys before Luchterhand hit a jumper and Jacob Baran tipped in a Stuvland miss. Olinger finished the run with two more from long-range and the Bearcats coasted from there.

Drew Cardwell had 17 points and seven rebounds to lead PLU. Josh Vanlandingham finished with 12 points.

The Bearcats shot 64% from the field in the second half, and 54% for the game. They hit 12-28 3-point shots, including 8-15 after the break.

Both teams had 30 rebounds. The Bearcats got five each from Stuvland, Fife and Luchterhand.

Baran had five points, three rebounds and three assists in 15 minutes of play.

The Bearcats return home next weekend to face Whitworth and Whitman in key NWC match-ups. Willamette is tied with UPS for first place in the conference. Whitworth is right behind at 7-3 in the NWC and delivered the Bearcats their only conference loss.