Willamette Rallies Past Lewis & Clark, 82-71

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

PORTLAND, ORE. -- Kyler McClary (Jr., Post, Hillsboro, OR/Glencoe HS) scored a team-high 22 points and Cameron Mitchell (Jr., Post, Portland, OR/Grant HS/U. of Redlands) provided 20 points and 14 rebounds, as Willamette University rallied from a 50-37 deficit in the second half to defeat Lewis & Clark College, 82-71, on Saturday, Jan. 19. The win improved the Bearcats to 5-10 overall, 3-3 in the Northwest Conference. Lewis & Clark dropped to 9-5 overall, 3-3 in the NWC.

Mitchell tallied 16 points and eight rebounds in the second half to lead Willamette's comeback. The Bearcats trailed by 13 points with 15:57 left, but outscored the Pioneers, 45-21, over the duration of the game. WU shot 69.6% (16 of 23) in the second half, when the 'Cats also converted 19 of 22 free throws (86.4%).

Willamette cut the lead to seven points, 53-46, with 11:51 left in the game, after McClary grabbed an offensive rebound and scored on a layup. McClary's basket was part of a 13-2 run that brought the Bearcats within 55-54 at the 8:09 mark. Mitchell completed the run with a turn-around two-footer.

Willamette tied Lewis & Clark on the scoreboard at 57-57 with 6:45 left, on a 3-pointer from the right side by Corey Costantino (Jr., Wing, Ashland, OR/Ashland HS). Costantino added two free throws with 5:53 on the clock to give Willamette its first lead of the second half. The 'Cats increased the advantage to six points, 69-63, on a layup by McClary with 3:29 to go.

L&C scored the next two points on a pair of free throws by Gene Rivera at the 2:18 mark. The Pioneers were unable to get closer, as the Bearcats went on a 8-0 run for a 77-65 margin with 57 seconds remaining.

Mike Smith (Sr., Wing, Talent, OR/Phoenix HS) supplied seven of the eight points during the run, including the first five points on two free throws and a 3-pointer. Robbie Kunke (Fr., PG, Clackamas, OR/Clackamas HS) tacked on a free throw, then Smith added two more charity shots to finish the offensive surge.

McClary and Mitchell were joined in double figures by Smith, who registered 18 points, and by Costantino, who added 10. Smith was 3 of 6 from the field and 11 of 12 at the free throw line. Willamette converted 24 of 29 free throws for 82.8% on the night. L&C was 8 of 15 (53.3%) at the line.

Thomas Tillery provided 24 points for the Pioneers. David Berggren tacked on 12 points, while Josh Kollasch supplied 10 points.

Willamette outrebounded L&C, 40-27, led by Mitchell's game-high 14 rebounds. Costantino and McClary hauled down six boards apiece. The Pioneers' top rebounder was Thomas with six.

For the game, the Bearcats were 28 of 51 (54.9%) on field goals and 2 of 8 on 3-pointers. Lewis & Clark shot 44.8% from the field (26 of 58), but Willamette held L&C to 34.5% shooting (10 of 29) over the final 20 minutes. The Pioneers finished the contest 11 of 31 on 3-point shots.

In the first half, the Bearcats surged out to an 8-0 lead on their way to a 12-6 advantage. Lewis & Clark countered with a 15-0 run to take a 21-12 lead.

Willamette ended the run with a basket by McClary at the 9:26 mark. McClary, who was fouled on the play, also converted a free throw, as WU cut the lead to six points.

The Pioneers added an 8-0 run to expand the margin to 14 points at 29-15. WU reduced the deficit to nine points, 31-22, when Kunke sank a long two-pointer with 4:13 on the clock.

L&C went up 35-22, before the 'Cats rallied again. McClary provided another three-point play on a basket and foul shot to get WU within nine points at 36-27. He also ended the half by driving for a short basket with five seconds remaining, to pull the Bearcats within 38-29.

Three players scored in double figures in the first half. Tillery of L&C recorded 14 points, McClary tallied 12 points for Willamette and Berggren supplied 10 points for the Pioneers.

Willamette will play again on Friday, Jan. 25, when the Bearcats host Pacific University at Cone Field House in Salem, Ore. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. (PST).

Willamette University 82, Lewis & Clark College 71
Kyler McClary hit 9 of 15 field goals and 4 of 4 free throws on his way to a team-high 22 points against Lewis & Clark.

Kyler McClary hit 9 of 15 field goals and 4 of 4 free throws on his way to a team-high 22 points against Lewis & Clark.