Linfield Wildcats Defeat Willamette Women, 81-59

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Linfield College defeated Willamette University, 81-59, in a Northwest Conference game on Tuesday, Feb. 12 at Cone Field House. The Wildcats upped their record to 9-12 overall and to 2-10 in the NWC. Willamette fell to 5-16 on the season, 3-9 in the NWC.

Willamette was led by Molly Fillion (Jr., Silverton, OR/Silverton HS/Linn-Benton HS) who had 22 points, four steals, two assists, and eight total rebounds. Jenny Fillion (Jr., Silverton, OR/Silverton HS/Linn-Benton HS) contributed 12 points and three steals, while senior guard Laura Payne (Sammamish, WA/Skyline HS) had a strong game with 12 points, four assists, and one steal.

The Wildcats were led by Casey Stepan with 24 points. Brihtani Lassiter contributed 16 points, three steals, and three assists while Kate Stadeli had 12 points and five rebounds. Brianna Reichelt also added 14 points and four rebounds.

The Wildcats opened the game strongly on an 8-2 run, powered by baskets from Stadeli and Lassiter. However, the Bearcats played strong team defense and were able to take the lead as they scored the next nine points. Jenny and Molly Fillion combined for six points and two steals during this run.

The game remained a close contest as neither team could take a large lead for the next several minutes. With 4:36 remaining in the first half, Linfield went on a 13-0 run, powered by three 3-pointers from Lassiter and Reichelt. The Bearcats were able to close the half on a 4-0 run to go into halftime down by ten points at 40-30.

Linfield started the second half strongly as opened with a 7-0 run. The Wildcats scored the next 20 of 31 points to open up their largest lead of the contest at 26. Linfield was led by Lassiter and Stepan, who combined for 11 points, two steals, and three assists.

The Bearcats mounted a strong run with 7:31 remaining in the second half. Led by strong team defense that produced three steals within 3:31, the Bearcats outscored the Wildcats 14-3. Molly Fillion had 10 points and two steals during this run, while Vic Swigart (G, Sr., Newport Beach, CA/Newport Harbor HS) added strong defense by drawing two offensive fouls and adding one steal.

Linfield closed the game on a 14-6 run, and maintained a double-digit margin through the entire second half. The Wildcats shot 49.1% for the game (26 of 53) and made 10-17 from three-point range (58.8%).

Willamette was 18 of 44 on field goals (40.9%), while hitting 21 of 27 free throws (77.8%). The Bearcats were outrebounded by the Wildcats, 31-30.

WU plays again on Saturday, Feb. 16 at home against Lewis & Clark College. Game time in Salem, Ore., is scheduled for 6 p.m. (PST).

Linfield College 81, Willamette University 59
Molly Fillion scored 22 points against Linfield

Molly Fillion scored 22 points against Linfield