Bearcats Battle George Fox, Before Falling to #2-Ranked Bruins, 67-55

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

NEWBERG, ORE. -- Willamette University gave #2-ranked George Fox University a strong battle on Friday, Feb. 20, before falling to the Bruins, 67-55, in a Northwest Conference game at the Wheeler Sports Center. George Fox remained undefeated at 24-0 overall, 15-0 in the NWC. Willamette moved to 4-17 overall, 3-12 in the conference.

George Fox is tied for #2 in this week's NCAA Division III Poll released by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). The Bruins are #3 in this week's Poll.

Alex Zennan (So., G/PG, Sammamish, WA/Eastlake HS) led the Bearcats with 12 points. Post players Keilyn Fujioka (So., Kailua, HI/Iolani School) and Nicki Clowdsley (So., Sammamish, WA/Skyline HS) scored 10 points each. Molly Fillion (Sr., G, Silverton, OR/Silverton HS/Linn-Benton CC) added eight points, nine rebounds and five assists.

Sage Indendi topped George Fox with 19 points. Kristen Shielee scored 16 points and grabbed a game-high 17 rebounds for the Bruins.

Willamette hit two more field goals than the Bruins, 23-21, but GFU went 23 of 34 at the free throw line. The Bearcats were 4 of 7 on free throws. Willamette made 5 of 18 three-point shots, while George Fox made just 2 of 17 long-range attempts.

The 'Cats held a 10-5 lead at the 14:25 mark of the first half and also led 17-13 after a layup by Fillion with 9:00 on the clock. George Fox took a 21-20 advantage on two free throws by Indendi at the 5:00 mark and earned a 34-24 margin at the break.

George Fox led throughout the second half, but Willamette was within four points, 49-45, following a 3-point basket by Zennan with 7:43 remaining. The Bruins scored the next six points to build a 54-49 edge.

WU got within 55-49 on a jumper by Zennan with 3:33 to go. George Fox answered with a 6-0 run for a 61-49 lead with 1:57 left. Keisha Gordon tallied four points and Shielee chipped in a layup during the run.

Defense was solid for both teams, as GFU limited Willamette to 35.4% shooting (23 of 65) and the Bearcats held the Bruins to 38.2% (21 of 55). Willamette committed 24 turnovers and George Fox lost the ball 17 times.

Willamette will close out the season at home on Saturday, Feb. 21 against the University of Puget Sound. Game time is set for 6 p.m. (PST). at Cone Field House. WU will honor its two seniors, Molly Fillion and Jenny Fillion (Sr., G, Silverton, OR/Silverton HS/Linn-Benton HS), prior to the game.

George Fox University 67
Willamette University 55