Pacific Uses Big First Half and 15 Offensive Boards to Defeat Visiting Bearcats, 69-60

FOREST GROVE, ORE. -- Donn Harrison-Davis scored 21 points, hit 4 of 5 three-point shots and grabbed seven rebounds, as Pacific University built 17-point halftime lead, then held off Willamette University in the second half for a 69-60 win over the Bearcats on Friday, Feb. 2 at the Pacific Athletic Center. The win lifted Pacific to 10-9 on the season 6-5 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette slipped to 9-11 overall, 5-6 in the NWC.

Harrison-Davis, who scored just nine points on 3 of 13 shooting (1 of 5 three’s) in Willamette’s 66-62 win over the Boxers on Jan. 5, scored 14 points against the Bearcats in the first half of the rematch. He finished the game 6 of 11 from the field. He was one of three Boxers in double figures, as Ross Bartlett chipped in 15 points and Joe Van Domelen added 11 points.

Pacific built a 37-20 lead in the first half, as the Boxers shot 51.7% from the field (15 of 29) and the Bearcats made just 26.1% of their field goal attempts (6 of 23). The Boxers connected on 3 of 6 three-pointers during the half, while Willamette went 0 for 8 from long-range in the first 20 minutes. Harrison-Davis recorded all three of PU’s 3-pointers in the first half, as he went 3 for 3 from behind the arc.

The big first half by Pacific allowed the Boxers to withstand a solid second half by the Bearcats. Willamette hit 55.6% of its field goal attempts in the second half (15 of 27), including 5 of 12 three-pointers (41.7%). Dan Nugent (Fr., Wing/Post, Portland, OR/Jesuit HS), who scored just four points for the Bearcats in the first half, excelled in the second half, as he hit 8 of 10 shots and scored 20 of his game-high 24 points. Nugent has scored in double figures in 14 of Willamette’s 20 games and has produced 20 or more points eight times.

Willamette never established any offensive rhythm in the first half and fell behind 20-10 just over seven minutes into the game. The Boxers led by as many as 18 points during the opening stanza, when a jumper by Kyle Motta created a 35-17 advantage with 3:51 on the clock.

In the second half, Willamette more than doubled its shooting percentage and created five three-pointers and a series of easy baskets. On defense, the ‘Cats limited Pacific to 32.0% shooting (8 of 25) over the final 20 minutes, but the Boxers earned 11 offensive rebounds and gave up just seven defensive boards in the second half. Pacific generated a total of 15 offensive rebounds during the game, while Willamette achieved eight offensive boards.

Even with PU getting second and third chances on offense, the Bearcats eventually pulled within striking distance. Willamette reduced the lead to single digits, 45-36, on a layup by Nugent with 14:04 to play, and the Bearcats cut the margin to four points, 52-48, on another layup by Nugent with 6:21 remaining.

The ‘Cats also trailed by just four points less than minute later at 54-50. Pacific registered the next five points on a basket and foul shot by Harrison-Davis with 4:59 to go, followed by a pair of free throws by Bartlett at the 4:11 mark.

Willamette sliced the deficit to 59-53 on a 3-pointer by Ian Mansfield (Jr., Post, Hillsboro, OR/Hillsboro HS) with 3:42 left. WU also trailed by six points at 61-55 with 2:39 remaining and at 64-58 after a 3-pointer by Kyler McClary (So., Post, Hillsboro, OR/Glencoe HS) with 1:02 on the clock. In between, Ryan Eoff of Pacific hit a 3-pointer to give the Boxers a nine-point lead. The Boxers sealed the win by hitting 5 of 6 free throws in the final minute.

Nugent finished the game 10 of 14 on field goals, as his 24 points led all scorers. He was joined by two other Bearcats in double figures, with Mansfield tallying 11 points and McClary adding 10. McClary also contributed a team-high seven boards, plus three assists and one steal. C.J. Stuvland (Sr., Point Guard, Portland, OR/University of Oregon) led WU with four assists.

Van Domelen was Pacific’s leader on the glass, with a game-high nine rebounds. Harrison-Davis was joined by Bartlett and Motta with seven boards apiece. Ryan Turcott led the Boxers with five assists, helping the home team register 18 assists on 23 baskets.

Pacific ended the night 6 of 20 on three-pointers, but hit just 3 of 14 long-range shots in the second half. Both teams shot well at the free throw line, as WU made 13 of 17 charity shots (76.5%) and Pacific nailed 17 of 20 attempts (85.0%)

The Bearcats will play their second road game in as many nights when they take on Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore., on Saturday, Feb. 3. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. (PST).