Bearcats Fall to 17th-Ranked UPS, 60-47

Willamette Outscores Loggers, 28-25, in Second Half

TACOMA, WASH. -- The University of Puget Sound, ranked #17 in NCAA Division III, built a 35-19 halftime lead on its way to a 60-47 victory over Willamette University on Friday, Dec. 1, in the Northwest Conference opener for both teams. UPS improved to 4-0 on the season, while Willamette dropped to 0-6.

Willamette outscored the Loggers, 28-25, in the second half. The Bearcats, however, were unable to significantly challenge the Loggers, who led by 15 points, 43-28, with 11:25 remaining, and held a 47-30 advantage at the 9:22 mark.

UPS led 51-30 with 6:22 to go. The Bearcats closed the lead to 11 points at 54-43 with 2:44 left, but the Loggers continued to maintain a double-digit lead the rest of the way. Willamette outscored UPS, 17-9 over the final 6:11.

Rebekah Wells (Jr., G, Bothel, WA/Edmonds-Woodway HS) led the Bearcats with 10 points. Kari Woody (Sr., F, Boise, ID/Timberline HS) added eight points for WU, while Tracie Nygaard (Jr., F, Knappa, OR/Knappa HS) and Selena Levy (Fr., G, San Anselmo, CA/Sir Francis Drake HS) each provided seven points. Laura Payne (Jr., G, Sammamish, WA/Skyline HS) led the Bearcats with six rebounds. She also supplied a team-high three assists.

Karen Chase was the only UPS player in double figures, as she put in 11 points for the Loggers. Laura Hirsch provided eight points. Morgan Harter supplied seven points and a game-high 10 rebounds. The Loggers achieved a 42-29 edge in rebounding.

Willamette, which has battled turnover problems while playing without starting point guard Sara Brooks (Sr., Rainier, OR/Rainier HS), lost the ball just 15 times during the game. The Bearcats also forced 15 turnovers by UPS.

Puget Sound shot 42.6% from the field (23 of 54), including 5 of 11 (45.5%) on three-point shots. The Loggers sank 9 of 14 free throws (64.3%).

WU converted 21 of 57 field goals (36.8%), including 12 of 27 (44.4%) in the second half. Willamette hit just 2 of 8 three-pointers (25.0%) and 3 of 7 free throws (42.9%).

The Bearcats will play again on Saturday, Dec. 2, when they take on NWC opponent Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma. Game time is scheduled for 8 p.m. (PST).