Mansfield Earns 23 Points and Nine Rebounds, as Willamette Downs Whitman, 86-71

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Senior post Ian Mansfield (Hillsboro, OR/Century HS) scored 23 points, grabbed nine rebounds and earned six assists to lead Willamette University to an 86-71 victory over Whitman College on Friday, Jan. 4, as the Bearcats won their home opener and Northwest Conference opener on the same night. The Bearcats improved to 3-7 on the season, 1-0 in the NWC. Whitman fell to 3-5, 0-1 in the NWC.

Willamette, which opened the season with nine consecutive games away from home, finally had a chance to play at Cone Field House on the WU campus. The Bearcats used the home court advantage to end a six-game losing streak. WU held Whitman to just 29.2% shooting in the first half (7 of 24) to build a 41-29 lead at the break.

The Missionaries opened the second half with a three-pointer by Chris Faidley to pull within nine points, but Willamette tallied the next four points and Whitman never cut the lead to single digits again. Even so, Whitman pulled within 11 points at 74-63 with 4:56 remaining.

Whitman cut the lead to 11 points again at 76-65 with 3:41 on the clock, but the Bearcats countered with a 6-0 run that included four points from Mansfield and two from Robbie Kunke (Fr., PG, Clackamas, OR/Clackamas HS). The 'Cats held an 82-65 advantage with 2:49 left.

Mansfield's career-high 23 points led four Bearcats in double figures. Mike Smith (Sr., Wing, Talent, OR/Phoenix HS) tacked on 18 points on 6 of 9 shooting (3 of 4 three-pointers). Cameron Mitchell (So., Post, Portland, OR/Grant HS/U. of Redlands) provided 14 points and six rebounds, while Kyler McClary (Jr., Post, Hillsboro, OR/Glencoe HS) contributed 13 points, five boards and two assists.

Willamette shot 48.5% for the game (33 of 68), including 7 of 14 on three-pointers. Mansfield was 8 of 17 from the floor, while Mitchell went 7 of 13.

The Bearcats achieved a 44-36 rebounding edge. Mansfield's nine boards led all players. Kunke grabbed seven boards from his point guard position.

For Whitman, Chris Faidley hit for 21 points, including three 3-pointers. He also grabbed six rebounds and had two assists. Graham Brewer chipped in 19 points and Garth Brandal added 10. The Missionaries connected on 50% of their field goals in the second half (17 of 34) to finish at 41.4% on the night (24 of 58). Whitman sank 7 of 16 three-point shots.

Both teams kept turnovers to a minimum. Willamette lost the ball just seven times and Whitman gave up possession only 11 times.

The Bearcats play at home again on Saturday, Jan. 5, when they will host Whitworth University. Game time is slated for 6 p.m. (PST).

Willamette University 86, Whitman College 71
Ian Mansfield scored a career-high 23 points in WU's victory over Whitman.

Ian Mansfield scored a career-high 23 points in WU's victory over Whitman.