Bearcats Shoot 55.4%, as WU Outscores Menlo, 92-79

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

ATHERTON, CALIF. -- Willamette University shot a blistering 55.4% from the field and placed three players in double figures, as the Bearcats downed Menlo College, 92-79, at the Haynes-Prim Pavilion on Friday, Dec. 5. Kyler McClary (Sr., Post, Hillsboro, OR/Glencoe HS) led the way with 22 points, while Cameron Mitchell (Jr., Post, Portland, OR/Grant HS/University of Redlands) contributed 19 points and Marcus Holmes (So., PG, Seattle, WA/Garfield HS) tacked on 13 points.

Willamette improved to 2-3 overall, while winning its second game in a row. Menlo dropped to 0-5 on the season.

McClary and Mitchell each connected on 7 of 10 shots from the field to spearhead Willamette's offensive success.
Tain Cantrell (Sr., Post, Beaverton, OR/Westview HS) hit 4 of 6 field goals and Robert Wood (Jr., Wing, Keizer, OR/McNary HS/Clackamas CC) was 3 of 4 from the floor.

The 'Cats converted 51.6% (16 of 31) from the field in the first half, then shot 60.0% (15 of 25) over the final 20 minutes. Willamette was 6 of 14 on three-pointers (42.9%) and 24 of 32 at the line (75.0%).

Menlo held an 8-4 lead early in the game, but WU countered with a 9-0 run to surge in front, 13-8. McClary opened the run with a 3-pointer. Mitchell added a basket, before McClary hit two free throws. Mitchell completed the outburst with another field goal at the 15:32 mark.

Willamette never trailed the rest of the game. The Bearcats led by as many as 16 points, 38-22, in the first half, and went into the locker room at the intermission with a 44-32 advantage.

The Oaks cut the deficit to 48-39 early in the second half. Menlo also trailed by nine points at 56-47, following a basket by Tim Kees with 13:57 LEFT.

WU extended its margin with a 6-2 run during the next two-and-a-half minutes for a 62-49 lead. All six points were scored from behind the 3-point line, as McClary and sophomore point guard Robbie Kunke (Clackamas, OR/Clackamas HS) each hit a trifecta.

Menlo responded with its own burst of offense, as the Oaks scored 12 of the next 16 points to cut the margin to 66-61 with 7:42 on the clock. Menlo's run included two 3-pointers by Ari Goldman.

The Bearcats owned a 72-65 advantage with 6:07 to go. Willamette then took control with a 10-1 run. Holmes tallied six points during the decisive scoring spree, as he hit two field goals and sank a pair of free throws. WU was in front, 82-66, with 2:00 remaining.

For the game, Menlo shot 47.5% on field goals (29 of 61). The 'Cats limited the Oaks to 41.9% shooting (13 of 31) in the first half. Menlo connected on 53.3% (16 of 30) in the second half. The Oaks were 6 of 15 on 3-pointers and made 15 of 24 free throws.

WU won the battle on the board, 36-27, led by 10 rebounds from Mitchell. Cantrell added eight rebounds to go with eight points. McClary hauled down six boards. Kunke dished out eight assists, achieved two steals and blocked on shot.

Brandon Cochran topped Menlo with 17 points. Kees contributed 16 points, while Goldman earned 14 and Julian Harris provided 11. Kees led the Oaks with six rebounds.

Willamette will remain in California to play an exhibition game against the Bendigo Braves from Australia on Sunday, Dec. 7. Game time at Haynes-Prim Pavilion is scheduled for 4 p.m. (PST). WU will play its first home game of the regular season on Friday, Dec. 12, when the 'Cats host cross-town rival Corban College at 7:30 p.m.

Willamette University 92
Menlo College 79
Kyler McClary scored 22 points and was 7 of 10 from the field.

Kyler McClary scored 22 points and was 7 of 10 from the field.