Willamette Holds PLU to 26.7% Shooting in 67-53 Win over Lutes

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University limited Pacific Lutheran University to 26.7% shooting (20 of 75) and the Bearcats pulled away in the final six-and-a-half minutes, as WU downed the Lutes, 67-53, in a Northwest Conference game on Friday, Jan. 30 at Cone Field House. Willamette moved to 9-8 on the season, 5-5 in the Northwest Conference. Pacific Lutheran fell to 8-10 overall, 2-7 in the NWC.

Cameron Mitchell (Jr., Post, Portland, OR/Grant HS/U. of Redlands) led Willamette with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Kyler McClary (Sr., Post, Hillsboro, OR/Glencoe HS) and Corey Costantino (Sr., Wing, Ashland, OR/Ashland HS) each scored 18 points. McClary now has 995 career points and needs just five points to reach the 1,000 mark.

Pacific Lutheran was led by Victor Bull, who matched WU's Mitchell for game-high scoring with 19 points. Bull also hauled down a game-high 14 rebounds. Josh Dressler, who entered the game atop PLU's scoring chart with 18.8 points per contest, went 0 for 13 from the field and scored just two points. Dressler was the Lutes' second leading rebounder on the night with 10 boards. He also earned seven assists.

WU surged out to a 13-6 six lead at the 13:40 mark of the first half. The 'Cats also owned an 18-12 margin with 8:50 on the clock, following a jumper by McClary. Pacific Lutheran tallied the next seven points to move in front, 19-18 with 5:57 left before halftime. Bell opened the run with a basket, then added a layup and a foul shot, before Nick Stackhouse finished the run with a layup.

The Lutes also held a 21-20 advantage, but the Bearcats ended the period with a 7-2 run. A McClary jumper, plus layups by Mitchell and Costantino provided six of the points. McClary earned the final point of the half by going 1 for 2 at the charity stripe to give WU a 27-23 edge.

PLU shot just 24.3% (9 of 37) in the first half. The Bearcats continued to create problems for the Lutes in the second half, as Pacific Lutheran connected on only 11 of 38 field goals (28.9%). The Lutes did sink 5 of 12 three-pointers over the final 20 minutes, which helped keep PLU in the game for most of the period.

Willamette's lead was just six points, 49-43, following a 3-pointer by Stackhouse of PLU with 6:43 remaining. Mitchell scored inside for the 'Cats with 6:30 to go, and Costantino tacked on a layup and a foul shot with 5:32 left, as the margin increased to 54-43.

A 3-pointer by Tony Polis allowed Pacific Lutheran to get within 60-51 at the 2:59 mark. Two layups by Costantino, on assists from Mitchell and McClary, extended Willamette's lead to 13 points with 2:08 on the clock.

The Bearcats shot 46.4% overall (26 of 56), including 53.8% (14 of 26) in the second half. WU made just 1 of 12 three-pointers, but the 'Cats went to the line 21 times and hit 14 charity shots. PLU was 7 of 9 at the free throw stripe.

WU blocked a season-high six shots. Mitchell recorded four of the blocks and also earned three assists to go with his double-double in scoring and rebounding. Josh Erickson (Sr., PG, Keizer, OR/McNary HS) received his first start of the season and responded with a game-high eight assists.

Willamette's next game is at Whitworth University in Spokane, Wash., on Friday, Feb. 6. Game time is scheduled for 8 p.m. (PST).

BOX SCORE
Willamette University 67
Pacific Lutheran University 53
Cameron Mitchell put in 19 points, hauled down 12 boards, earned three assists and blocked four shots.

Cameron Mitchell put in 19 points, hauled down 12 boards, earned three assists and blocked four shots.

Kyler McClary scored 18 points against PLU. He has achieved 995 points during his Willamette career.

Kyler McClary scored 18 points against PLU. He has achieved 995 points during his Willamette career.