Lewis & Clark Holds On for 60-55 Win over Bearcats

PORTLAND, ORE. -- Lewis and Clark College players David Berggren and Joey Toboni scored 17 points apiece, and the Pioneers held off a late Willamette University rally, to hold on for a 60-55 win in Northwest Conference men’s basketball action on Saturday, Feb. 3. With the win, Lewis and Clark improved to 14-6 overall and to 9-3 in the NWC. Willamette fell to 9-12 overall and to 5-7 in NWC play. The Pioneers remain tied with the University of Puget Sound for second place in the conference standings. Whitworth is in first place with a 10-2 NWC record.

The Pioneers led 27-24 at the intermission, as Berggren scored six first-half points, all on 3-pointers. Willamette pulled to within one point at 27-26 in the opening seconds of the second half, but Lewis and Clark gradually pulled away for a 56-44 lead with 5:51 left in the game.

From there, Willamette went on a late charge to make things interesting. Rob Andrus (Sr., Wing, Chimacum, WA/Chimacum HS) and C.J. Stuvland (Sr., Point Guard/Wing, Portland, OR/Sunset HS) hit back-to-back 3-pointers for the Bearcats, and Kyler McClary (So., P, Hillsboro, OR/Glencoe HS) made a layup, to cut the Pioneers’ lead to four, 56-52, with 1:38 to go.

After Toboni slammed home a dunk with 19 seconds left, Andrus countered with another 3-pointer to make it 58-55 with 12 seconds remaining. The Bearcats were forced to foul immediately, and the Pioneers’ Mark Robinowitz made two free throws with nine second left to put the score at 60-55. Simon Currie (So., Wing/Post, Bend, OR/Mountain View HS) of Willamette missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer and Lewis & Clark escaped with the win.

Andrus, who has become perhaps the NWC’s top off-the-bench player, led all scorers with 20 points, including 4-of-6 shooting from 3-point range. McClary added 12 points for WU, while Dan Nugent (Fr., Wing/Post, Portland, OR/Jesuit HS) added 11 points. McClary and Nugent had six rebounds each for the Bearcats.

The 20-point performance by Andrus was his top scoring effort of the season. He has reached double digits in scoring in eight of Willamette’s last 10 games.

Both teams struggled to score in the opening minutes of the game. Nugent scored the first points for either team on a 3-pointer for the Bearcats with 17:04 remaining in the half. Willamette also led 7-2 six minutes into the game, before Lewis & Clark used a 21-5 run to take a 23-12 lead at the 6:41 mark. The Bearcats climbed back with a 12-4 run of their own to cut the lead to three points at the break.

Neither team shot well in the first half, as Willamette hit 30.8% from the floor (8 of 26) and Lewis & Clark connected on 29.4% of its field goals (10 of 34). The Bearcats outrebounded Lewis & Clark 25-19 during the first 20 minutes, but the Pioneers ended the game with a 38-35 rebounding edge.

Willamette returns home to host George Fox University on Friday, Feb. 9 at 8 p.m. (PST). The NWC game against the Bruins will be Willamette’s final home game of the season.