Willamette Edges Pacific, 71-66, in Overtime

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University senior forward Kari Woody (Boise, ID/Timberline HS) forced overtime with a 10-foot jump shot with four seconds left, then the Bearcats outscored Pacific University, 12-7, in overtime, as WU defeated the Boxers, 71-66, in a Northwest Conference game at Cone Field House. Willamette, which recorded its third win in four games after starting the season 0-8, improved to 3-9 overall. The Bearcats moved to 1-2 in the NWC. Pacific dropped to 4-6 overall, 0-3 in the NWC.

Willamette led 32-31 at halftime and opened the second half with a 4-0 run on a pair of jumpers by Maggie Wilkens (So., G, Seattle, WA/Lakeside HS). The Boxers eventually battled back for a 45-44 lead with 11:41 remaining, on a 3-pointer by Kami Shigematsu.

Pacific held a five-point lead, 57-52, after Shigematsu hit another 3-pointer with 4:10 on the clock. Woody nailed a jumper with 3:55 to go, then made the second of two free throws at the 3:23 mark, as WU pulled within 57-55. Laura Payne (Jr., G, Sammamish, WA/Skyline HS) put in a layup with 1:54 remaining to tie the game.

The Boxers took a 59-57 lead, when Mallory Goldammer sank two free throws with 29 seconds left. Willamette kept the ball until Woody’s tying field goal in the closing seconds.

Rebekah Wells (Jr., G, Lynnwood, WA/Edmonds-Woodway HS) scored the first points of the extra session on a 3-pointer for the Bearcats. Pacific answered with a jumper by Kristina Stevens, but Sara Brooks (Sr., G, Rainier, OR/Rainier HS) hit another 3-pointer for Willamette, giving WU a 65-61 lead.

Pacific scored the next four points. Stevens recorded the final two points in the 4-0 run on a jumper at the 2:42 mark to tie the game. Willamette moved in front for good on a layup by Keilyn Fujioka (Fr., F, Kailua, HI/Iolani HS), assisted by Woody, with 2:24 left.

Brooks went 1 for 2 at the line with 29 seconds on the clock, and Payne made one of two charity shots with 25 seconds remaining, to extend WU’s lead to 69-65. Trisha Terhar made the second of two free throws for Pacific with 18 seconds left. Wells from Willamette finished the scoring by grabbing her own offensive rebound and recording a layup with eight seconds to go.

Wilkens led four Willamette players in double figures, as she scored 13 points and was 6 of 9 from the field. Wilkens also grabbed five rebounds. Payne added 12 points and a team-high seven boards, while Fujioka finished with 11 points and Tracie Nygaard (Jr., F, Knappa, OR/Knappa HS) earned 10 points. Brooks finished with eight assists for the Bearcats, while Payne added seven assists and two steals. The ‘Cats shot 42.5% from the field (31 of 73), but made just 5 of 17 three-pointers (29.4%) and 4 of 11 free throws (36.4%).

The Boxers were paced by Stevens, who recorded game highs with 14 points and 13 rebounds. She helped Pacific achieve a 54-40 rebounding edge. Shigematsu, who made 4 of 6 three-point attempts, scored 12 points. Terhar also netted 12 points for the Boxers.

Pacific was 26 of 69 on field goals (37.7%) and 6 of 20 on 3-pointers (30.0%). The visitors were successful on just 8 of 15 free throws (53.3%). In addition to 13 boards from Stevens, the Boxers also benefited from eight boards each by Terhar and Amy Pedersen.

Willamette remains at home on Saturday, Jan. 6, when the Bearcats will host Lewis & Clark College in another NWC contest. Tip-off at Cone Field House is slated for 6 p.m. (PST).