George Fox Builds Big Lead in First Half, as Bruins Defeat Visiting Bearcats, 72-35

NEWBERG, ORE. -- George Fox University ended the first half with a 34-6 run, as the Bruins built a 40-12 halftime lead on their way to a 72-35 victory over Willamette University, in a Northwest Conference game on Friday, Jan. 12. George Fox improved to 8-4 on the season, while the Bearcats dropped to 3-11. GFU also moved to 4-1 in the NWC, with Willamette falling to 1-4 in conference play.

The Bearcats led the Bruins 6-4 early in the game, but the next 23 points were recorded by GFU. The offensive outburst started George Fox on a 36-6 run to end the first half. The Bruins shot 48.4% (15 of 31) during the first period, including 6 of 12 on three-point shots. WU was just 5 of 22 from the floor (22.7%) and 0 of 7 on three-pointers in the first half.

Willamette freshman forward Keilyn Fujioka (Kailua, HI/Iolani HS) was 2 for 3 in the first half, as she scored four points and grabbed six rebounds. She finished the game with nine points and tied for the team lead with seven rebounds.

Kari Woody (Sr., F, Boise, ID/Timberline HS) also grabbed seven boards to go with four points. Tracie Nygaard (Jr., F, Knappa, Ore./Knappa HS) scored five points for the Bearcats.

Tiffany Behary of GFU led all players with nine points in the first half -- all on 3-point shots. She finished the game with 12 points for the Bruins. Melissa Marek-Farris, who started at center, earned 10 points, three assists and two steals for George Fox. Robin Taylor added eight points, while Katy Campbell hauled down a game-high 10 rebounds.

Willamette played better in the second half, as the ‘Cats improved to 30.8% from the floor (8 of 26) and committed just seven turnovers. WU also reduced the shooting success of George Fox, which dropped to 43.5% (10 of 23) on field goals in the second half.

George Fox ended the night 10 of 21 on 3-pointers. Behary led the way for the Bruins from long-range, as she connected on 4 of 7 three-point attempts. The Bruins also forced a total of 21 turnovers and lost the ball just 11 times. They held Willamette to 1 for 12 shooting from 3-point range.

Both teams had trouble at the foul line, as GFU hit 12 of 24 shots and Willamette made 8 of 12 attempts. George Fox achieved a slim 38-37 advantage on the boards.

The Bearcats will look to get back in the win column tomorrow (Sat., Jan. 13), when WU hosts Linfield College in another Northwest Conference game. Tip-off at Cone Field House in Salem, Ore., is set for 6 p.m. (PST).