Olinger Leads Balanced Bearcat Attack Past Linfield, 78-62

SALEM, OR — John Olinger scored 25 points and freshman David Fife added 13 points and four blocked shots as the Willamette University men’s basketball team used an 11-2 second half run to defeat the Linfield Wildcats 78-62 in a Northwest Conference game Saturday night at the Cone Field House.

The Bearcats (9-5, 5-1 NWC) shot 61% in the second half to break open a close game. Willamette led 34-31 at half time behind Olinger’s 14 points and seven from CJ Stuvland.

Drew Miller, who scored all 12 of his points in the second half, started the decisive run with a jumper to put Willamette ahead 41-38 at the 16:48 mark.

Olinger hit a pair of free throws and an NBA 3-pointer sandwiched around an Ian Mansfield lay-up. Then Fife (pictured above) finished the run with a spin move in the lane to put Willamette ahead 50-40 with 13:25 left to play.

Linfield (5-10, 2-4 NWC) pulled within five at 58-53, but the Bearcats went on another 12-2 run. Stuvland capped that run with a lay-up, then an old-fashioned 3-point play to put the Bearcats ahead 68-55 and Willamette coasted from there.

Along with his 25 points, Olinger collected three assists, a team-high six rebounds, three assists and a pair of acrobatic blocked shots. Stuvland finished with 14 points.

Fife had four boards to go along with his 13 points. Mansfield added nine points and five boards. Jacob Barans had another solid game, grabbing five boards and dishing off three assists to go along with three points.

Ryan Monagle and Michael Van Loon each had 12 points to pace Linfield. Khaatim Smith added ten points and five rebounds.

Willamette finished the game shooting 57%, including 7-14 beyond the arc. Linfield won the rebounding battle 34-32. For the second straight night the Bearcats took great care of the basketball, committing only five turnovers to 12 for Linfield.

David Fife

David Fife