Bearcats Fall to George Fox, 58-57, after Satern Scores Game's Final 11 Points

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

NEWBERG, ORE. -- George Fox University senior guard Brent Satern scored the game's final 11 points, as the Bruins erased a 10-point lead by Willamette University and defeated the Bearcats, 58-57, in a Northwest Conference game on Friday, Feb. 8. Willamette held a 57-47 advantage with 2:48 remaining, but Satern hit two 3-pointers in the next minute, added a layup with 41 seconds to go, and put in another basket and a foul shot with 26 seconds remaining.

George Fox improved to 7-13 overall, 3-8 in the NWC. The Bruins have a deceptive conference record, as they have held leads in the final 10 minutes of most games and have been close in nearly every loss. Willamette, which defeated the Bruins 73-71 in overtime on Jan. 11, dropped to 8-12 overall, 6-5 in the NWC.

In Friday's rematch, the Bearcats received 18 points from senior wing Mike Smith (Talent, OR/Phoenix HS). Smith was 6 of 12 from the field and 4 for 4 at the foul line. Kyler McClary (Jr., Post, Hillsboro, OR/Glencoe HS) provided WU with a double-double, as he scored 10 points and hauled down 12 rebounds. Tain Cantrell (Jr., Post, Beaverton, OR/Westview HS) recorded nine points and eight rebounds.

Satern, who the Bearcats held to just nine points prior to his late-game heroics, finished with 20 points for GFU. He connected on 8 of 12 field goals. He was 2 of 4 on three-pointers, with both baskets helping GFU's final run.

Evan Atwater tacked on nine points for the Bruins. Travis Toedtemeier scored six points and grabbed six rebounds.

Willamette surged out to a 19-11 lead in the game's first eight minutes and continued to hold an advantage during the remainder of the first half. The Bearcats owned a 28-22 advantage at the intermission.

In the second half, WU surged out to a 44-29 lead, following a layup by Corey Costantino (Jr., Wing, Ashland, OR/Ashland HS) with 13:41 left. GFU reduced the margin to eight points, but Willamette claimed a 10-point lead, 48-38, on a pair of free throws by Smith at the 9:23 mark.

George Fox cut the lead to five points at 52-47, on a free throw by Bryan O'Connell with 5:09 to go. The next five points were scored by Willamette, including a free throw by McClary with 2:28 left for a 57-47 advantage.

After Satern's back-to-back 3-pointers, the 'Cats owned a 57-53 lead with 1:52 remaining. The score stayed the same until the 45-second mark, when a lengthy pass by the Bearcats went out of bounds. Satern responded with a
layup four seconds later to pull the Bruins within two points.

WU lost another lengthy pass on a sideline in-bounds play with about 35 seconds left. Nine seconds later, Satern scored the game-tying basket, then added the go-ahead free throw. Smith missed a 3-pointer while being closely guarded in the final second.

Willamette shot 43.5% from the field (20 of 46), but made just 2 of 8 three-pointers. The Bearcats went 15 of 22 (68.2%) at the line.

George Fox connected on 23 of 58 field goals (39.7%). Although the Bruins made just 7 of 25 three-pointers (28.0%), the long-range shots kept GFU in the contest and were critical to the game-winning rally. The Bruins sank only 5 of 10 free throws, but three charity tosses completed traditional 3-point plays.

The Bearcats will play at home on Saturday, Feb. 9, when they will host Pacific Lutheran University. Game time at Cone Field House in Salem, Ore., is scheduled for 8 p.m. (PST).

George Fox University 58, Willamette University 57