Kip's Corner: WILLAMETTE SPLITS WEEKEND; SENIOR NIGHT FRIDAY AT CONE FIELDHOUSE

After a poor shooting performance led to a disappointing 2nd loss to Whitworth College on Friday night, Willamette University’s Men’s Basketball team rebounded with a convincing come-from-behind win over Whitman College Saturday afternoon.

Despite the loss to the Pirates Friday, Willamette remains in 2nd place in the NWC at 14-6 (10-2). CJ Stuvland scored 25 points and John Olinger turned in 21 as WU went on a 15-0 run in the 2nd half to wipe out a three-point halftime deficit and defeat the Missionaries for the second time this season.

WU returns to action in its final regular season home game Friday night against the Boxers of Pacific University, followed by an 8 pm date with Linfield College in McMinnville Saturday.

BREAKING DOWN THE BEARCATS:

WU leads the NWC in FG and 3 pt. FG% defense, and allows the fewest points per game in the league (68.8). In addition, WU is 2nd in the league in Defensive Rebounding.

Offensively, WU is #1 in FG% and #2 from behind the 3-point line. The Bearcats are currently #3 in scoring margin and hand out the most assists in the NWC at 16.8 apg.

Individually, WU’s John Olinger leads the NWC in scoring, tied with Whitman’s Matt Kelly at 18.5 points per game. Olinger is ranked in the top 15 in all but two statistical categories including 1st in free throw percentage (.882), 3rd in steals (2.00 pg), third in assist to turnover ratio (1.88) and 14th in rebounding.

CJ Stuvland averages 16.0 (5th in the league) and is shooting 45% from 3, while Drew Miller leads the NWC in accuracy from behind the arc, hitting 56% of his attempts.

Both Ian Mansfield and Jason Luchterhand rank amongst the league leaders in rebounding, with Luchterhand shooting at a 61.6% clip. Freshman David Fife and sophomore Josh Erickson are among the league’s best in assists.

PROJECTED DEPTH CHART THIS WEEK

PG Drew Miller Josh Erickson
SG John Olinger Robbie Andrus
W CJ Stuvland David Fife
P Ian Mansfield Brennan Garrelts
P Jason Luchterhand Jacob Baran

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

Captain John Olinger averaged 19 points per game over the weekend.

CJ Stuvland poured in a game high 25 points Saturday vs. Whitman.

Co-Captain Josh Erickson had 11 points against Whitman.

Senior Jason Luchterhand pulled down 16 rebounds over the course of two games.

CONE CRAZIES

Willamette, while playing only 7 home games thus far this season, has put almost 8,000 Bearcat fans in the stands for those contests. WU leads the league in home attendance (over 1100 per game), and is 6-1 in Salem this season.


SENIOR NIGHT:

Friday’s home game with Pacific (8-13, 2-10) will be the final regular season home appearance for a number of Bearcat seniors. A more detailed breakdown of the their accomplishments will be provided at the game, but here is a quick look at the class of 2006:

JOHN OLINGER: 2-year captain; NWC scoring leader; final season worthy of POY consideration

JASON LUCHTERHAND: Starting post; #8 in rebounding in NWC; #3 in FG%

DREW MILLER: Starting PG; leads NWC in 3 pt shooting %

JACOB BARAN: Recently named team TRI-Captain; invaluable reserve

BRENNAN GARRELTS: 4-year-letterwinner; Energy role player