Zennan and Fillion Lead Bearcats Past Whitworth, 73-64

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

SPOKANE, WASH. -- With Alex Zennan (So., G/PG, Sammamish, WA/Eastlake HS) and Molly Fillion (Sr., G, Silverton, OR/Silverton HS/Linn-Benton CC) leading the way, Willamette University defeated Whitworth University, 73-64, in a Northwest Conference game on Friday, Feb. 6. Zennan topped all scorers with 24 points, as she hit 9 of 14 field goals, including 6 of 10 three-pointers. Fillion tacked on a double-double with 20 points and 16 rebounds.

The Bearcats recorded their third consecutive win and improved to 4-13 overall, 3-8 in the NWC. Whitworth dropped to 11-9 overall, 5-6 in the NWC.

In the first half, Willamette shot 46.7% (14 of 30) and limited the Pirates to 31.3% shooting (10 of 32), as the Bearcats built a 36-26 advantage. The 'Cats ended the half with a 10-0 run that featured two 3-pointers by Zennan, plus to free throws and a layup by Fillion.

Whitworth battled back with a 15-7 run at the start of the second stanza. The Pirates pulled within 43-41 when Tiffany Corigliano completed the run with a 3-pointer as the clock reached the 14:55 mark.

Willamette responded with a run of its own to take control of the game. The Bearcats opened the run with four consecutive points to create some breathing room.

After Cassie Pilkinton hit one of two free throws for Whitworth to cut the lead to 47-42, the 'Cats tacked on 14 unanswered points. The overall run of 18-1 included 11 points by Zennan, who buried a layup and three 3-pointers. Willamette owned a 61-42 lead with 8:24 remaining.

The Pirates trailed 70-50 with 3:54 left, but used a 7-0 run to get within seven points at the 1:44 mark. Whitworth extended its run to nine straight points to cut the lead to 70-59 on a basket by Natalie Orrell with 1:05 to play.

Fillion scored on a layup with 41 seconds remaining to give Willamette a 13-point lead. The Pirates were unable to cut the margin to single digits until Orrell scored the game's final basket with 0:06 to go.

Willamette outrebounded Whitworth, 45-41. Fillion's 16 boards claimed individual rebounding honors, while Corigliano hauled down 15 rebounds for the Pirates. The Bearcats shot 42.1% for the game (24 of 57) and converted 16 of 22 free throws (72.7%). Whitworth was held to 33.8% field goal shooting (23 of 68) and shot just 56.0% at the line (14 of 25).

The 'Cats also gained an edge on 3-pointers. Zennan's six trifectas helped Willamette finish 9 of 20 from behind the arc. Whitworth sank only 4 of 18 three-point attempts (22.2%).

Zennan and Fillion were the only Bearcats in double figures. Jenny Fillion (Sr., G, Silverton, OR/Silverton HS/Linn-Benton CC) contributed eight points, four assists and four rebounds. Erin Barclay (So., PG, Snohomish, WA/Bothell HS) added six points. Zennan led all players with three steals.

Liz Horiatis led Whitworth with 18 points on 8 of 19 shooting. She also grabbed seven rebounds. Corigliano supplemented a solid rebounding effort by earning 10 points. Orrell put in 13 points for the Pirates, while Pilkinton finished with 11 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Up next for Willamette is a Northwest Conference game at Whitman College on Saturday, Feb. 7. Game time in Walla Walla, Wash., is set for 6 p.m. (PST).

BOX SCORE
Willamette University 73
Whitworth University 64
Alex Zennan was Willamette's top scorer with 24 points. She was 9 of 14 from the field.

Alex Zennan was Willamette's top scorer with 24 points. She was 9 of 14 from the field.

Molly Fillion scored 20 points and grabbed 16 rebounds for her ninth double-double of the season.

Molly Fillion scored 20 points and grabbed 16 rebounds for her ninth double-double of the season.