Andrus Scores 27 Points, Ties Record with 12 of 12 Free Throws, as Bearcats Defeat Bruins, 84-79

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University senior wing Rob Andrus (Chimacum, WA/Chimacum HS) scored a career-high 27 points and tied a school record by hitting 12 of 12 free throws, as he led the Bearcats to an 84-79 victory over George Fox University in his final game at Cone Field House on Friday, Feb. 9. Fellow senior C.J. Stuvland (Pt. Guard/Wing, Portland, OR/University of Oregon) added 18 points for the Bearcats, who improved to 10-12, 6-7 in the Northwest Conference. George Fox fell to 11-11, including 6-7 in the NWC.

The Bearcats and the Bruins each finished with 27 field goals and 10 three-pointers, but Willamette connected on 20 of 23 free throws (87.0%), while GFU made 15 of 23 charity shots (65.2%). Stuvland led the 3-point attack for Willamette by hitting 5 of 6 attempts from long-range, including three from about 30-feet.

Willamette also earned a 37-28 margin on the boards. Ian Mansfield (Sr., Post, Hillsboro, OR/Hillsboro HS) registered a game-high 11 rebounds for the Bearcats, while Tain Cantrell (So., Post, Beaverton, OR/Westview HS) grabbed eight boards.

Andrus, who scored 20 points at Lewis & Clark College last Saturday in a 60-55 loss, hit 6 of 11 shots, including 3 of 5 three-point attempts. His 12-for-12 performance at the free throw line tied the Willamette record, set by Russ Sovde against Pacific University on Jan. 16, 1990. Sovde and Andrus are the only Bearcats to go 12 for 12 in a single game. Two Willamette players have gone 11 for 11 at the line and five players have connected on 10 for 10 free throws.

Early in the game, GFU held leads of 5-0 and 7-3, before the teams were tied twice and exchanged the lead seven times. Later in the half, Willamette led by as many as 11 points, when two free throws by Andrus gave the ‘Cats a 35-24 margin with 3:47 on the clock. The Bruins cut the lead to seven points, 39-32, at the break. Willamette was 7 of 14 on three-pointers in the first half, while GFU hit 5 of 9 from long range.

The Bearcats remained in front for the first eight minutes of the second half, but George Fox took a 50-49 lead on a 3-pointer by Brent Satern with 11:31 remaining. Stuvland countered with a 3-pointer for Willamette 18 seconds later, then Taylor Martin of GFU sank a jumper with 10:50 on the clock to tie the game at 52-52. Kyler McClary (So., Post, Hillsboro, OR/Glencoe HS) gave Willamette the lead for good, 54-52, with a jump shot at the 10:36 mark.

WU led 64-56 with 7:12 to go, following a pair of free throws by Dan Nugent (Fr., Wing/Post, Portland, OR/Jesuit HS). The Bearcats also led by eight points, 69-61, on a basket by Nugent with 4:26 remaining. The lead reached 11 points, 75-64, on another basket by Nugent at the 2:26 mark.

The Bruins scored nine of the next 11 points on a three-pointer by Brady Strutz and two trifectas from Phil Hue-Weller, as GFU cut the lead to 77-73 with 1:19 left. Andrus sank two free throws with 57 seconds remaining, and McClary added one charity shot with 38 seconds to go, as WU increased its advantage to 80-73. Satern made the second of two free throws for George Fox with 31 seconds left to cut the margin to six points, but Willamette made two more free throws and a layup the rest of the way to hold off the Bruins. Satern scored the game’s final basket on a 3-pointer for GFU with one second remaining.

George Fox was led by Satern, who scored 21 points on 7 of 12 shooting (3 of 4 three-pointers). Chris Parker contributed 18 points and was 8 for 11 at the line. Parker also grabbed a team-high five rebounds. Strutz tacked on 14 points, four rebounds and four assists for the Bruins, while Heu-Weller provided 11 points and was 3 for 7 on three-pointers.

Andrus and Stuvland were joined in double figures for Willamette by McClary and Nugent. McClary scored 14 points and was 6 of 9 from the floor. Nugent recorded 12 points and also contributed six rebounds, five assists and two blocked shots.

Overall, Willamette shot 50.0% during the game (27 of 54), including 60.% in the second half (14 of 23). The Bearcats were 10 of 18 on three-pointers. The Bruins hit 46.6% on field goals (27 of 58), but made 7 of 30 (56.7%) in the second half, after shooting 35.7% over the first 20 minutes. GFU was 10 of 22 on three-pointers.

Prior to the game, the Bearcats honored Andrus and Stuvland, as well as injured senior point guard Josh Erickson (Keizer, OR/McNary HS). Willamette concluded its home season with an 8-2 record. The Bearcats shot 51.1% in their 10 home games, while averaging 82.2 points per contest.

At halftime, WU football player Brandon Bennett (Jr., OT, 6’2”, 300 lbs., San Marcos, CA/La Costa Canyon HS) received his All-America plaque from the American Football Coaches Association. Also at halftime, the Willamette rowing teams, led by Head Coach Susan Parkman, christened WU’s new eight-man plus coxswain shell, which was donated by Lauren Dudley and her family.

Willamette plays another Northwest Conference game on Saturday, Feb. 10, at Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore. Game time is set for 8 p.m. (PST). Earlier this season, the Bearcats defeated the Wildcats, 80-68, at Cone Field House. Saturday’s game at Linfield begins a season-ending three-game road trip for the Bearcats, who will play at Whitworth College on Friday, Feb. 16 and at Whitman College on Saturday, Feb. 17.