Mitchell's Double-Double Leads Bearcats to Win over Whitman, 84-70

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Cameron Mitchell (Jr., Post, Portland, OR/Grant HS) scored 22 points and hauled down 10 rebounds to lead Willamette University to an 84-70 victory over visiting Whitman College in a Northwest Conference game at Cone Field House on Saturday, Jan. 10. It was Michell's eighth double-double in 11 games this season.

Willamette, which has won six of its last seven games, moved to 7-4, including 3-1 in the NWC. Whitman dropped to 6-7 overall, 2-2 in the NWC.

Mitchell hit 5 of 10 field goals and converted 12 of 16 free throws. He was joined in double figures by senior wing Nick Babij (Ontario, OR/Ontario HS), who scored 17 points on 5 of 6 field goals and 6 of 9 free throws.

Willamette also received solid play from the point guard position. Robbie Kunke (So., PG, Clackamas, OR/Clackamas HS) was credited with 10 assists, while Josh Erickson (Sr., PG, Keizer, OR/McNary HS) earned six assists.

Corey Costantino (Sr., Wing, Ashland, OR/Ashland HS), Marcus Holmes (So., G/PG, Seattle, WA/Garfield HS) and Scott Schoettgen (Fr., Wing, Columbia, CA/Sonora HS) tallied eight points apiece for the Bearcats. Kyler McClary (Sr., Post, Hillsboro, OR/Glencoe HS) grabbed seven rebounds and Holmes achieved six boards.

Senior guard Chris Faidley of Whitman led the Missionaries with 30 points. In the process, he became the sixth Whitman player to score 1,500 career points. Against WU, he made 12 of 24 field goals, but hit just 3 of 11 three-pointers. He topped Whitman with six rebounds and went 3 for 3 at the line.

Brandon Shaw finished with 12 points, four assists and two steals for the Missionaries. Steve Campbell registered 10 points and five boards.

The Bearcats surged out to a 20-7 advantage by scoring on eight layups and sinking 4 of 4 free throws over the first 6:30 of the game. Willamette increased its lead to 45-23 with 4:36 remaining in the half. The 'Cats were in front 50-30 at the intermission.

The Missionaries trailed by as many as 22 points early in the second half, but closed the gap to 65-52 with 10:26 remaining. Whitman was unable to get closer until the 2:22 mark,when a jumper by Shaw cut the lead to 76-64.

Whitman reduced the margin to 10 points at 78-68 on a jumper by Graham Brewer with 1:32 to go, but Willamette scored the next four points at the free throw line to seal the win. Babij was 2 for 2 with 1:20 remaining and Mitchell added two more free throws with 1:01 left.

The Bearcats finished the night 28 of 37 on free throws (75.7%), while Whitman made 17 of 32 (53.1%). Willamette shot 47.2% from the field (25 of 53) and sank 6 of 17 three-pointers. The Bearcats attained a 40-36 rebounding edge.

After shooting just 28.1% in the first half (9 of 32), the Missionaries shot 48.4% (15 of 31) over the final 20 minutes and outscored Willamette 40-34 in the second half. Whitman connected on just 5 of 21 three-pointers (23.8%) during the game.

Willamette's next action is set for Friday, Jan. 16 at Pacific University. Game time in Forest Grove, Ore., is scheduled for 8 p.m. (PST).

BOX SCORE
Willamette University 84
Whitman College 70
Cameron Mitchell hit the nets for 22 points against Whitman.

Cameron Mitchell hit the nets for 22 points against Whitman.

Nick Babij made 6 of 9 free throws against the Missionaries.

Nick Babij made 6 of 9 free throws against the Missionaries.