Bearcats Give Eastern Oregon First Loss of Season in 84-81 Win at Duane Wolfe Golden Rule Shoot-Out

CALDWELL, IDAHO Willamette University shot 59.6% for the game and placed four starters in double figures, as the Bearcats defeated Eastern Oregon University, 84-81, on the second day of the 20th Annual Duane Wolfe Golden Rule Shoot-Out, Saturday, Nov. 18 at Albertson College. Willamette became the first team to defeat Eastern Oregon this season, as the Mountaineers, who compete in the NAIA, fell to 7-1. The Bearcats, who compete in NCAA Division III, evened their record at 1-1.

The game reached halftime with the teams tied at 28-28. In the second half, both teams were successful on offense, with Willamette outscoring EOU, 56-53, over the final 20 minutes. The Bearcats shot 63.0% in the second half (17 of 27), while making 18 of 25 free throws (72.0%). Eastern Oregon connected on 50.0% of his field goals in the second half (20 of 4), but made just 9 of 17 free throws after hitting 4 of 5 charity shots in the first half.

Overall, Willamette made 28 of 47 field goals and converted 21 of 33 free throws (63.6%). The Bearcats limited EOU to 42.5% shooting overall (31 of 73), including a modest 33.3% (11 of 33) in the first half.

Willamette’s top scorer was freshman Dan Nugent (Wing/Post,, Portland, OR/Jesuit HS), who scored 20 points on 5 of 7 field goals and 9 of 13 free throws. He also contributed five rebounds, four assists, four blocked shots and one steal.

Nugent, who scored a team-high 23 points in his first collegiate game against Albertson on Friday, Nov. 17, was one of five players named to the All-Tournament Team. In two games, Nugent averaged 21.5 points and 6.5 rebounds. Other All-Tournament selections were Neil Fryer of Eastern Oregon, Ike Stafford of Albertson and Danny Reeder and Nick Booth from Westminster College (Utah).

Also scoring in double figures for the Bearcats were Kyler McClary (So., Post, Hillsboro, OR/Glencoe HS), Ian Mansfield (Jr., Post, Hillsboro, OR/Century HS) and Corey Costantino (So., Wing, Ashland, OR/Ashland HS). McClary scored 19 points and was 8 of 11 from the field. He also grabbed five boards and supplied four assists. Mansfield chipped in 17 points and led the Bearcats with nine rebounds. Costantino tallied 14 points to go with five rebounds, five assists and four steals.

Eastern Oregon launched 73 shots, 26 more than the Bearcats. The Mountaineers hauled down 16 offensive boards, but Willamette grabbed 32 defensive rebounds to limit EOU’s second-chance opportunities. At the other end of the court, the Bearcats recorded just two offensive boards and EOU earned 26 defensive rebounds, but WU’s high shooting percentage and work at the free throw line contributed to the win.

Fryer was EOU’s leading scorer with 24 points. Tanner McIntosh provided the Mountaineers with 17 points and 10 rebounds. He also made 4 of 7 three-point shots. Paul Carollo was credited with 12 points and Jeremy Templeton earned 11 points. Mark Carollo produced eight points, six rebounds and three steals. The Mountaineers committed just 12 turnovers, while forcing the Bearcats into 20 turnovers.

Willamette will return to action on Friday, Nov. 24, when the Bearcats take on Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at the David Wells Classic, hosted by CMS. Game time between the Bearcats and the Stags is set for 7:30 p.m. (PST). CMS is the defending champion for the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC), while Willamette tied for second place in the Northwest Conference (NWC) during the regular season last year.