Bearcats Hold Off Cavaliers for 72-66 Win at Cone Field House

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University led by just a single point with 3:27 remaining, but the Bearcats outscored Concordia University (Ore.), 9-4 the rest of the way, as WU held off the Cavaliers for a 72-66 win, Saturday, Nov. 24 at Cone Field House. Willamette evened its season record at 2-2 with the win, while CU fell to 2-4 with the loss.

The Bearcats were in front 63-62 after Maryam Razavi made a free throw for Concordia with 3:27 to go. Erin Barclay (Fr., G, Snohomish, WA/Bothell Senior HS) countered with a free throw 13 seconds later and Alex Zennan (Fr., G, Sammamish, WA/Eastlake HS) added a 14-foot jump shot at the 49-second mark, as WU extended the lead to 66-62.

Neither team scored for more than two minutes between Barclay's free throw and the basket by Zennan. Concordia pulled within two points, 66-64, on a jumper by Danielle Clauson with 36 seconds to go.

The Bearcats called time-out seven seconds later, and the Cavaliers applied significant pressure on the ensuing in-bounds play. WU Head Coach Bruce Henderson used another time-out just before a five-second violation occurred.

The second time-out proved useful, as the Bearcats successfully brought the ball into play and Zennan was fouled by Kelsey Schaeffer of Concordia with 22 seconds left. Zennan sank both free throws.

Danielle Clauson was fouled while shooting for Concordia with nine seconds left. She made both free throws to cut the lead to 68-66.

Jenny Fillion (Jr., G, Silverton, OR/Silverton HS/Linn-Benton HS) of Willamette was fouled with four seconds on the clock. She faced a one-and-one situation, but canned both free throws for a 70-66 lead. Zennan stole the ensuing in-bounds pass near mid-court and was fouled with 1.6 seconds remaining. She made both free throws to achieve the final score.

Zennan led Willamette with 19 points, while Tracie Nygaard (Sr., F, Knappa, OR/Knappa HS) added 16 points. Zennan was 6 of 11 on field goals and 5 of 5 at the line. Nygaard hit 5 of 10 field goals and made 6 of 7 free throws.

Laura Payne (Sr., G, Sammamish, WA/Skyline HS) contributed 12 points and supplied five assists for the Bearcats. Barclay contributed six points, five assists and two steals.

The Bearcats scored the first seven points of the game and led 13-4 at the 14:53 mark of the first half, after Zennan put in a layup and converted a foul shot. WU eventually led 18-8, but Concordia gradually reduced the lead. The Cavaliers trailed 21-17 with 8:51 on the clock, then went on an 8-0 run for a 25-21 lead with 5:25 left before the halftime break.

WU forced two more ties and also led 30-27 on a jumper by Nicki Clowdsley (Fr., C, Sammamish, WA/Skyline HS) at the 1:58 mark. The Cavaliers registered the final five points of the half for a 32-30 halftime advantage.

Barclay tied the score at 32-32, on a jumper with 18:53 left and Willamette never trailed again. The Bearcats owned a 55-48 lead after Selena Levy (So., G, San Anselmo, CA/Sir Francis Drake HS) sank a 3-pointer with 10:41 to go.

CU answered with a 9-2 run to tie the game, 57-57, with 7:24 left. Barclay nailed a 3-pointer for Willamette at the 4:48 mark, as WU pulled in front for the final time at 60-57.

Willamette shot 39.7% for the game (23 of 58) and made 8 of 24 three-pointers (33.3%). WU sank 6 of 14 trifectas (42.9%) during the second half. The Bearcats made 18 of 23 free throws (78.3%).

Concordia was led by Clauson, who recorded 20 points and seven rebounds. Schaefer tacked on 18 points and had five assists. The Cavaliers shot 46.4% from the field (26 of 56), but went 0 for 4 on three-pointers. CU shot 77.8% at the line, hitting 14 of 18 attempts.

The Bearcats will travel across town on Tuesday, Nov. 27 to take on Corban College. Game time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. (PST). Last year, Corban defeated Willamette, 71-62. The Warriors are 1-3 so far this season.

BOX SCORE
Willamette University 72, Concordia University (Ore.) 66
Freshman guard Alex Zennan scored six points in the final 0:49 against Concordia on a jump shot and four free throws.

Freshman guard Alex Zennan scored six points in the final 0:49 against Concordia on a jump shot and four free throws.