Bearcats Fall in Northwest Conference Game at George Fox, 72-52

NEWBERG, ORE. -- George Fox University shot 50.0 percent from the field in the first half and went 9 of 15 (60.0%) from three-point range during the game, as the Bruins defeated Willamette University, 72-52, in a Northwest Conference game on Friday, Jan. 12. George Fox improved to 7-6 overall, 3-2 in the NWC. The Bruins were led Brent Satern, who scored 18 points and went 3-for-4 from 3-point range. Willamette fell to 5-9 overall, 1-4 in the NWC.

Early in the game, George Fox used three-point shooting success to build a 17-6 lead. Later in the half, Matt Noble provided GFU with a basket and a foul shot at the 7:20 mark for a 25-13 lead, then added two free throws with 6:28 on the clock for a 27-13 advantage for the Bruins.

Even so, after achieving their early 11-point lead, the Bruins outscored the Bearcats by a slim 16-14 margin the rest of the half. Willamette recorded the final basket of the first period on a driving three-footer by Michael Smith (Jr., Wing, Talent, OR/Phoenix HS) with two seconds left.

Willamette shot only 30.8% in the first half (8 of 26), including 2 of 9 on 3-point attempts. George Fox hit 50.0% from the field (11 of 22) in the first 20 minutes. The Bruins, bolstered by three 3-pointers in the first 10 minutes, went 3 for 5 from behind the arc.

Dan Nugent (Fr., Wing/Post, Portland, OR/Jesuit HS) scored the first four points of the second half by driving toward the hoop for Willamette to cut the lead to 33-24. The Bearcats were unable to continue the rally, as GFU hit 6 of 10 three-point shots in the second half, while sinking 9 of 11 free throws.

Smith led Willamette with 13 points on 5 of 8 shooting. He scored 10 points in the first half. Smith also achieved a team-high four assists during the game.

Rob Andrus (Sr., Wing, Chimacum, WA/Chimacum HS) provided solid play for the ‘Cats off the bench. He scored 11 points and frequently drew double and triple coverage when he drove into the lane in the second half. Ian Mansfield (Jr., Post, Hillsboro, OR/Century HS) and Train Cantrell (So., Post, Beaverton, OR/Westview HS) each hauled down six boards for the Bearcats. Nugent and Kyler McClary (So., Post, Hillsboro, OR/Glencoe HS) provided eight points apiece.

Satern’s 18 points led three Bruins in double figures. Chris Parker contributed 13 points and Phil Heu-Weller scored 11 points. Taylor Martin supplied GFU with eight points and eight rebounds. Satern provided an all-around effort, with five rebounds, six assists and two steals to go with his game-high scoring output. Brady Strutz added seven rebounds.

The Bearcats are back in action on Saturday, Jan. 13, with another Northwest Conference game, as WU hosts Linfield College in Salem, Ore. Game time at Cone Field House is scheduled for 8 p.m. (PST).