Pirates Defeat Willamette, 86-77, in Northwest Conference Game

By Neil Patel, Assistant Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6804

SALEM, ORE. -- Whitworth University beat the Willamette University Bearcats, 86-77, in Northwest Conference action on Saturday, Jan. 5. The Pirates used a strong first-half performance to build an 11-point lead (44-33), which proved decisive as the Bearcats outscored Whitworth 44-42 in the second half. Whitworth improved to 7-4 overall, 2-0 in the NWC, while Willamette dropped to 2-9 overall, 0-2 in the NWC.

Whitworth opened up the first half on a 22-5 run, led by junior guard Alida Bower, who scored four consecutive three-pointers. The Bearcats fought back with a 9-3 run to trim the lead to eleven, led by Tracie Nygaard (Sr., F, Knappa, Ore./Knappa HS) and junior guard Molly Fillion (Silverton, Ore./Silverton HS/Linn-Benton CC). However, both teams played even the rest of the way, as the Pirates went into halftime with an eleven point lead.

Willamette showed great teamwork during the opening of the second half, recording three assists while going on a 10-6 run to trim the lead to seven. However, Whitworth responded with a 9-0 run and Willamette never threatened after that. The Pirates shot 53.8% for the game, 54.2% in the second half and held the Bearcats to 47.4% shooting for the game, 45.2% in the second half.

Alida Bower led all scorers with 26 points and six rebounds, while Natalie Orrell contributed 15 points and seven total rebounds, four offensive. Cassie Snyder chipped in 14 points, five assists, and four rebounds for the Pirates.

Laura Payne (Sr., G, Sammamish, Wash./Skyline HS) led the Bearcats with 22 points and four assists, while junior guard Molly Fillion had 21 points and eight total rebounds, two offensive. Senior Tracie Nygaard led all players with eleven total rebounds, seven offensive, while adding ten points and one assist.

The Bearcats remain at home to take on George Fox University on Saturday, Jan. 11. Game time is scheduled for 6 p.m. (PST) at Cone Field House.

Whitworth University 86, Willamette University 77
Laura Payne scored 22 points and made 8 of 14 field goals against Whitworth.

Laura Payne scored 22 points and made 8 of 14 field goals against Whitworth.