Bearcats Win Crosstown Rivalry with Corban, 78-74

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Cameron Mitchell (Sr., Post, Portland, OR/Grant HS/U. of Redlands) scored 24 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, and the Bearcats held off a late charge by Corban College, as Willamette University defeated the Warriors, 78-74, on Friday, Dec. 11 at the Jeffers Sports Center.

Willamette improved to 3-5 on the season with its second consecutive win. Corban fell to 5-6, as the Warriors dropped to 1-4 at home.

Marcus Holmes (Jr., G, Seattle, WA/Garfield HS) added 20 points for the Bearcats, including Willamette's final six points in the last minute of play.

Taylor Mounts (So., Post, Kailua, HI/Iolani School) tacked on 14 points and Ryan Meehan (So., G, Beaverton, OR/Beaverton HS/MSU-Billings) provided nine points. Robbie Kunke (Jr., Wing, Clackamas, OR/Clackamas HS) tallied seven points and earned eight assists.

Corban was paced by Ian Logan and Nash Keene. Logan scored 19 points, went 3 for 4 on 3-pointers and grabbed nine rebounds. Keene also tallied 19 points, as he hit 6 of 8 field goals, including 4 of 5 from 3-point range. Erik Cronrath scored 14 points and matched Logan with nine rebounds.

WU led by a single point, 72-71, after Logan scored on a layup for Corban with 53 seconds left. Holmes countered with a running jumper at the 38-second mark to increase Willamette's advantage to 74-71.

Brelin Powell hit one of two free throws for the Warriors with 29 seconds remaining. Powell also fouled Holmes with 19.5 seconds left.

Holmes, shooting a one-and-one, sank both free throws, as WU took a 76-72 lead. Powell tacked on a quick layup at the other end of the court with 12.4 seconds remaining. Holmes was fouled again with 11.7 seconds on the clock. He repeated his performance at the line by making two free throws in another one-and-one situation.

Ben Potloff missed a 3-pointer from the top of the key for Corban with about three seconds left. The rebound went off several players before Mitchell was credited with the rebound as time expired.

In the first half, Mitchell scored 12 points on 6 of 12 shooting. He also grabbed nine boards and blocked two shots during the first 20 minutes, leading the Bearcats to a 34-28 halftime advantage.

WU shot out to a 13-6 lead in the first five minutes. The Warriors pulled within 17-16 on a 3-pointer by Ian Logan at the 10:40 mark and took a 19-17 lead when Logan nailed another 3-pointer with 9:43 on the clock.

The Bearcats tallied the next four points for a two-point lead, but trailed 24-21 and 26-25 later in the half. Willamette closed the period with a 9-2 run. Kunke provided five of the nine points with a tip-in and a 3-pointer.

Willamette and Corban exchanged offensive runs for most of the second half. Even so, the Warriors never took the lead.

Corban scored the first four points of the half to pull within 34-32, only to see Willamette score nine unanswered points, as the lead surged to 43-32. Holmes completed the run with two free throws at the 17:41 mark and a 3-pointer with 17:15 to go.

The Bearcats led by 11 points three more times, with the final double-digit lead occurring at 54-43 following a layup by Mitchell with 11:55 left.

Willamette's advantage was just 61-60 at the 4:31 mark. A key 9-4 run for the Bearcats followed, providing WU with momentum as the game entered the final few minutes.

The run included several solid offensive plays from Meehan and a layup by Mounts, as WU extend the lead to 70-64 with 2:14 on the clock. Meehan started the run with a 3-pointer after a Willamette timeout. Kunke drove into the lane before earning an assist on the play.

Meehan also contributed back-to-back layups with 2:36 and 2:14 remaining to complete the run. His second layup followed his own steal in the backcourt several seconds earlier.

Despite the run by Willamette, Corban cut the lead to 70-69 with 1:20 remaining. Mitchell put in a layup for WU with 1:10 left to give the Bearcats a three-point edge entering the final minute.

Willamette shot 45.2% for the game (33 of 73), including 58.6% in the second half (17 of 29). Corban connected on 64.5% of its field goals (20 of 31) in the second half to finish the game 30 of 57 (52.6%).

The Bearcats forced the Warriors into 26 turnovers, while Willamette lost the ball 20 times. WU used its edge in takeaways, plus 18 offensive rebounds to finish with 16 more field goals than Corban. The 'Cats achieved an overall rebounding margin of 38-33.

Willamette's does not play again until the Holiday Break. The Bearcats' next game is on Dec. 29 at Portland State University at 5:05 p.m. (PST).

BOX SCORE
Willamette University 78
Corban College 74
Marcus Holmes scored 20 points, earned three assists and recorded three steals against Corban.

Marcus Holmes scored 20 points, earned three assists and recorded three steals against Corban.