Whitworth Pulls Away Late against Bearcats, 77-65

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

SPOKANE, WASH. -- Senior post Kyler McClary (Hillsboro, OR/Glencoe HS) of Willamette University scored 23 points to pass the 1,000-point mark in his career, but Whitworth University ended the game with a 16-3 run, as the Pirates downed the Bearcats, 77-65, in a Northwest Conference game on Friday, Feb. 6. Whitworth improved to 16-4 overall, 8-3 in the NWC. Willamette dropped to 9-9 on the season, 5-6 in the NWC.

McClary has provided the Bearcats with 1,018 points over the past four seasons. This year, he has scored 286 points in 18 games and is averaging 15.9 points per contest.

Corey Costantino (Sr., Wing, Ashland, OR/Ashland HS) added 11 points for the Bearcats on Friday. Cameron Mitchell (Jr., Post, Portland, OR/Grant HS/U. of Redlands) scored seven points and grabbed three rebounds in just 10 minutes played, despite picking up two fouls in the first three minutes of both halves. Josh Erickson (Sr., PG, Keizer, OR/McNary HS) earned five points and five assists.

Whitworth trailed 62-61 following a layup by Mitchell with 3:30 remaining, but scored the next 11 points to start their 16-3 run to conclude the night. The 11-0 outburst started with a basket and foul shot by Calvin Jurich, followed by a pair of 3-pointers from Tim Sellereit with 2:45 and 2:11 remaining. Jurich completed the string of unanswered points with a layup at the 1:34 mark.

Jurich finished with 27 points and 13 rebounds. Sellereit added 19 points and seven boards. He was 5 of 11 on three-pointers.

The 'Cats opened the game with a 7-1 run. Nick Babij (Sr., Wing, Ontario, OR/Ontario HS) scored the first two points at the line, following a Whitworth foul on a 3-point attempt. After the Pirates scored their first point of the game, McClary put in a layup and Babij tacked on a 3-pointer at the 17:40 mark.

Whitworth scored the next five points and eventually held a 15-10 lead with 11:44 remaining in the half. Willamette scored five consecutive points to tie the game.

Later, the 'Cats overcame a 25-19 deficit with a 9-3 run for another tie at 28-28 with 2:33 on the clock. The Pirates tallied the final seven points of the half, and the Bearcats fell behind 35-28 at the intermission.

Willamette shot just 26.7% over the first 20 minutes (8 of 30). The Bearcats improved to 44.4% (12 of 27) in the second half and finished 20 of 57 overall (35.1%). Whitworth connected on 45.6% of its field goal attempts during the contest (26 of 57).

The Bearcats pulled even at 55-55 on two free throws by Costantino with 6:13 left in the game. Willamette took its first lead of the second half, 59-58, on a 3-pointer by Tain Cantrell (Sr., Post, Beaverton, OR/Westview HS) with 4:50 remaining. McClary added a free throw with 4:15 to go.

Ross Nakamura gave the Pirates a 61-60 edge by hitting a 3-point basket at the 4:08 mark. The 'Cats took their final lead on Mitchell's layup just over half a minute later.

Willamette will remain on the road to take on Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash., on Saturday, Feb. 7. Game time is scheduled for 8 p.m. (PST).

Whitworth University 77
Willamette University 65
Kyler McClary registered 23 points against Whitworth, as he improved his career scoring to 1,018 points.

Kyler McClary registered 23 points against Whitworth, as he improved his career scoring to 1,018 points.

Corey Costantino scored 11 points against the Pirates.

Corey Costantino scored 11 points against the Pirates.