Lewis & Clark Holds Off Bearcats for 65-59 NWC Win

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Lewis & Clark built a 29-20 halftime lead and owned a 15-point advantage with 12:42 to go, but had to hold off a rally by Willamette University before defeating the Bearcats, 65-59, on Saturday, Feb. 16 at Cone Field House. L&C moved to 14-9 overall, including 10-4 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette fell to 5-18 overall, 3-11 in the NWC.

Willamette transfer student Jenny Fillion (Jr., G, Silverton, OR/Silverton HS/Linn-Benton CC) scored a WU career high 22 points on 8 of 17 field goals, including 5 of 6 three-point shots. She also hauled down six rebounds and provided the Bearcats with three assists and a steal.

The Pioneers were led by Allison Farr, who scored 18 points and grabbed six rebounds. She was 5 of 8 from the field and 8 for 8 at the line.

Lewis & Clark scored the first 13 points of the game. Willamette got on the scoreboard at the 10:08 mark, when Victoria Swigart (Sr., G, Newport Beach, CA/Newport Harbor HS) hit a jumper. Willamette added a basket by Alex Zennan (Fr., G, Sammamish, WA/Eastlake HS) to cut the Pioneers' lead to 13-4.

L&C still led by nine points, 17-8, with 8:35 remaining in the opening half. The Pioneers tallied the next six points to start a 10-3 run, as they claimed a 27-11 advantage with 4:23 on the clock. The run included three baskets by Crystal Castle.

Willamette concluded the half with a 9-2 run to reduce Lewis & Clark's lead to single digits, 29-20. WU's offensive surge ended with a 3-pointer by Jenny Fillion for the final points of the period with 32 seconds remaining.

Molly Fillion (Jr., G, Silverton, OR/Silverton HS/Linn-Benton HS) of Willamette registered the first basket of the second half, but L&C responded with a 10-0 run for a 39-22 lead with 15:02 left.

A layup by Molly Fillion and a 3-pointer from Jenny Fillion pulled Willamette within 39-27 at the 13:41 mark. The Pioneers scored the next three points at the foul line, on a free throw by Kelly Vega and two charity shots by Farr, but Willamette countered with a 15-5 run. The 'Cats trailed by just five points, 47-42, after Jenny Fillion sank her fifth 3-pointer of the game with 7:52 remaining.

L&C used a jumper by Castle at the 7:08 mark to stop WU's run. The Pioneers managed to return the lead to double-digits, 56-45, when Farr made a layup with 4:55 left. Willamette never got closer than eight points the rest of the way until Zennan scored the game's final basket on a 3-pointer with three seconds on the clock.

Willamette shot just 29.2% in the first half (7 of 24), but improved to 52.0% (13 of 25) over the final 20 minutes. The Bearcats hit 8 of 14 three-pointers (57.1%) and made 11 of 17 free throws.

Lewis & Clark hit 41.9% of its field goals in the opening half, before falling off to 34.6% (9 of 26) in the second half.
The Pioneers were just 1 of 9 on 3-pointers during the game, but converted 20 of 23 free throws (87.0%). L&C also achieved a 40-29 rebounding margin and forced Willamette into 23 turnovers (three more than the Pioneers).

It was the final home game of the season for Willamette. Seniors Laura Payne (G, Sammamish, WA/Skyline HS), Tracie Nygaard (F, Knappa, OR/Knappa HS) and Swigart were honored prior to the game.

Willamette will finish the season with NWC road games at Pacific University on Friday, Feb. 22 and at the University of Puget Sound on Saturday, Feb. 23. Both games are scheduled to get underway at 6 p.m. (PST).

BOX SCORE
Lewis & Clark College 65, Willamette University 59
Jenny Fillion set her Willamette career high with 22 points against Lewis & Clark.

Jenny Fillion set her Willamette career high with 22 points against Lewis & Clark.