Puget Sound Defeats Pesky Bearcats, 70-57

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

TACOMA, WASH. -- Claire Ely scored 17 points and Natasha Ludwig led all players with 17 rebounds, leading the University of Puget Sound past Willamette University, 71-57, in Northwest Conference action on Saturday, Jan. 24. The Loggers upped their record to 11-6 overall, 5-3 in the NWC. Willamette fell to 1-13 on the season, 0-8 in the NWC.

For the third straight game, Willamette put together a solid performance into the second half.

Willamette lost an NWC contest decided in the final minute at Lewis & Clark College last Saturday, 54-49. The 'Cats held a 26-25 lead on 10th-ranked George Fox University on Friday, Jan. 23, before falling to the Bruins, 70-55. Against Puget Sound, the Bearcats trailed by seven points at halftime and pulled within 33-30 on a jumper by Nicki Clowdsley (So., Post, Sammamish, WA/Skyline HS) with 18:21 remaining.

Puget Sound countered with a 9-0 run and held a double-digit lead the rest of the way. Ely's 17 points topped UPS, while Karen Chase added 13 points. Ludwig contributed seven points to go with her 17 rebounds.

Alex Zennan (So., G/PG, Sammamish, WA/Eastlake HS) was Willamette's scoring leader, as she earned 18 points, including four 3-point baskets. Molly Fillion (Sr., G, Silverton, OR/Silverton HS/Linn-Benton CC) provided the 'Cats with 16 points and 11 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the year.

Kaileigh Westermann (Fr., Post, Belfair, WA/South Kitsap HS) had a strong night on the glass, as she supplied the Bearcats with seven rebounds. She also scored five points.

In the first half, Puget Sound built a 25-13 lead with 8:19 left in the period, but Willamette rallied prior to the intermission. The 'Cats recorded 13 of the next 16 points to pull within 28-26 at the 2:06 mark.

Zennan scored five points during the run, while Molly Fillion and Maya McFaddin (Fr., Wing, McMinnville, OR/McMinnville HS) each supplied four points. UPS tallied the final five points of the half.

Both teams shot less than 40% during the game. Willamette hit 34.5% of its field goals (20 of 58) and UPS converted 37.3% from the field (22 of 59). Puget Sound also sank 22 of 33 free throws (66.7%), while the Bearcats made 73.3% at the line (11 of 15).

WU returns to action on Tuesday, Jan. 27, when the Bearcats will host rival Linfield College. Game time at Cone Field House is set for 6 p.m. (PST).

University of Puget Sound 71
Willamette University 57
Alex Zennan scored 18 points, including four 3-pointers, in Willamette's game at Puget Sound.

Alex Zennan scored 18 points, including four 3-pointers, in Willamette's game at Puget Sound.