Eight Points in 24 Seconds Leads Bearcats to Win Over Whitman; Stuvland's 25 Keys Second Half Surge

SALEM, OR — The Willamette University men's basketball team erased a seven-point deficit in 24 seconds midway through the second half as CJ Stuvland scored 25 points and the Bearcats hit 19-19 free throws in an 84-78 win over Whitman Saturday afternoon in a Northwest Conference game at the Cone Field House.

Willamette took over the game midway through the second half, turning a 55-48 deficit into into a 63-55 edge — a 15-0 run — in a little more than four minutes. Spurred by a full-court press, the Bearcats used a Stuvland lay-up, Josh Erickson’s 3-pointer and an old-fashioned 3-point play by Stuvland to scored eight points in 24 seconds and take a 57-55 lead with 12:43 to play.

The run continued as Olinger and Erickson hit back-to-back lay-ups before another pair of Stuvland free throws made it 63-55 with 9:18 to play.

The Missionaries, who led at halftime 39-36, came back to trail by one at 76-75 on Chris Faidley’s 3-pointer with 1:45 to play. But Erickson fed Jason Luchterhand (pictured above) for a lay-up and Olinger hit a pair of free throws to get the lead back to five at 80-75.

David Fife and Stuvland each hit a pair of free throws in the final 30 seconds to ice the win.

The victory puts the Bearcats a half-game behind UPS for first place in conference with a 10-2 NWC record (14-6 overall). Whitman falls to 9-11, 5-7 NWC.

Stuvland hit 7-13 shots, including 4-7 from beyond the arc and made all seven of his free throws. John Olinger added 21 points as he hit 7-12 shots, including 3-6 3-pointers.

Luchterhand scored ten points to go along with team-highs in assists (6) and rebounds (7).

Erickson scored 11 points and Brennan Garrelts scored eight points (all in the first half) and added three assists and three rebounds.

Faidley hit six 3-pointers and finished with 20 points to lead Whitman. Matt Kelly scored 14 points and added five rebounds. Erik Kofler scored 12 points and Greg Ricker had six assists.

The Bearcats shot 51% for the game, including 9-20 from beyond the arc. Whitman shot 52% for the game, but was 6-17 from 3-point land.

Willamette made all 18 of its second half free throws. Both teams had 30 rebounds.

Jason Luchterhand