Two Days after Tipoff, Bearcats Rally to Defeat Pioneers, 75-73

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

PORTLAND, ORE. -- When Willamette University and Lewis & Clark College began playing on Saturday, Jan. 17, the Bearcats opened the game with an 18-6 run. It took two extra days due to a power outage at halftime, but Willamette also ended the contest on a roll, outscoring L&C 25-16 in the final 11:01 to take a 75-73 victory at the Pamplin Sports Center.

WU trailed 35-32 at halftime when the game was stopped after an electrical power outage during the intermission. The second half was played on Monday, Jan. 19.

The win pulled the Bearcats into a three-way tie with Lewis & Clark and Whitworth University for second place in the Northwest Conference at 4-2. The University of Puget Sound holds first place with a 6-0 record in conference play.

Willamette also improved to 8-5 on the season. The Pioneers fell to 10-5.

Kyler McClary (Sr., Post, Hillsboro, OR/Glencoe HS) scored 19 points for the Bearcats to lead four WU players in double figures. Corey Costantino (Sr., Wing, Ashland, OR/Ashland HS) added 13 points for the 'Cats. Josh Kollasch topped Lewis & Clark with a game-high 22 points, plus six rebounds, five assists and five steals.

Joining McClary and Costantino in double digits for Willamette were Nick Babij (Sr., G, Ontario, OR/Ontario HS) and Robbie Kunke (So., PG, Clackamas, OR/Clackamas HS). Babij finished with 12 points, while Kunke supplied 10 points and seven assists.

Tyson Papenfuss provided the Pioneers with 17 points. James Hollins contributed 13 points to the L&C offense.

The Pioneers began the second half with a 7-2 run, as L&C increased the lead to 42-34. Lewis & Clark held its largest margin at 47-38, following a 3-pointer by Kollasch at the 16:12 mark. A few minutes later, Papenfuss earned an offensive rebound and a layup to create a 57-50 lead for the Pios with 12:08 remaining.

Willamette began its comeback and eventually tied the game, 59-59, on a 3-pointer by Scott Schoettgen (Fr., Wing, Columbia, CA/Sonora HS) with 9:27 to go. The 'Cats also achieved a 68-68 tie on a free throw by Costantino at the 2:57 mark.

WU took the lead for good, 70-68, on a layup by Costantino, assisted by Kunke, with 2:29 left. Later, with the Bearcats holding a 72-70 lead, Costantino saw an opening in the defense and scored on a driving layup with 54.2 seconds remaining.

L&C cut the margin to 74-73 on a basket by James Edwards with 29 seconds left and a free throw by Kollasch with 25.3 seconds to go. Schoettgen made the second of two free throws with 4.9 seconds on the clock to give WU a 75-73 lead.

Kollasch turned the ball over near L&C's free throw line with less than two seconds left. Babij recorded a steal on the play.

The Bearcats scored six of the game's first eight points to build their early lead in the opening 7:46 of the first half on Saturday. Cameron Mitchell (Jr., Post, Portland, OR/Grant HS/U. of Redlands) recorded six points and Babij tallied four points during the run.

Lewis & Clark registered the next seven points to start a 21-5 offensive surge. The Pioneers were in front 27-23 with 6:00 left in the half. McClary hit two free throws for Willamette at the 5:27 mark, but L&C scored the next six points to claim a 33-25 lead.

Willamette closed the half with a 7-2 run to pull within three points. Marcus Holmes (So., PG, Seattle, WA/Garfield HS) opened the run with a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 3:32 left in the period.

Kollasch sank one of two charity shots with 56 seconds remaining in the half to give L&C a 35-30 advantage. McClary provided the final points of the period on a layup with 36 seconds to go.

Kollasch was the only player for either team in double figures when the game was postponed, as he had 11 points for the Pios. Mitchell and McClary each scored eight points for WU in the first half. Mitchell also grabbed five rebounds and was whistled for three fouls in the opening stanza.

With foul trouble, Mitchell played sparingly in the second half. As a result, Schoettgen and Tain Cantrell (Sr., Post, Beaverton, OR/Westview HS) filled in. Schoettgen tallied six of his eight points in the second half. Cantrell provided exceptional defense and grabbed five rebounds during the period.

Willamette shot 60.9% for the game (28 of 46), including 65.2% (15 of 23) in the second half. The 'Cats hit 5 of 8 free throws on Monday to finish the contest 6 of 14 from behind the arc.

L&C hit just 31.0% on field goals (9 of 29) during the first 20 minutes. The Pioneers made 16 of 34 shots (47.1%) in the second half. L&C matched WU with six 3-pointers, but shot only 25.0% from behind the line (6 of 28).

After connecting on 14 of 18 free throws on Saturday, the Pioneers made just 3 of 6 charity shots when the game continued. Willamette, which made 5 of 7 free throws in the first half, went to the line a bit more in the final period and hit 8 of 11 charity shots. For the game, WU was 13 of 18 and L&C was 17 of 24.

The Bearcats will host NWC rival George Fox University on Friday, Jan. 23 at Cone Field House. Game time is slated for 8 p.m. (PST), following the Willamette versus George Fox women's game (6 p.m.).

BOX SCORE
Willamette University 75
Lewis & Clark College 73
Kyler McClary scored 19 points against Lewis & Clark. He was 6 of 9 from the field and went 6 for 6 at the line.

Kyler McClary scored 19 points against Lewis & Clark. He was 6 of 9 from the field and went 6 for 6 at the line.

Robbie Kunke earned seven assists versus the Pioneers.

Robbie Kunke earned seven assists versus the Pioneers.

Tain Cantrell played solid defense and earned five rebounds in the second half.

Tain Cantrell played solid defense and earned five rebounds in the second half.