Concordia Defeats Willamette, 76-59, as Clauson Scores 18 Points

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Concordia University (Ore.), ranked #24 in NAIA Division II, built a 51-35 halftime lead on its way to a 76-59 victory over Willamette University on Monday, Dec. 28 at Cone Field House. The Cavaliers improved to 8-4 on the season. Willamette, which competes in NCAA Division III, dropped to 2-7.

Kaileigh Westermann (So., F, Belfair, WA/South Kitsap HS) was the Bearcats' leading scorer and rebounder during the game, as she achieved 17 points to go with 13 rebounds. Westermann connected on 7 of 11 field goals and 3 of 4 free throws. Her scoring and rebounding totals were career highs.

Danielle Clauson topped Concordia's scoring chart with 18 points, while hitting 8 of 12 field goals. She also earned four assists and three rebounds for the Cavaliers.

Concordia took a 5-0 lead, but Willamette pulled within two points three times during the game's first six minutes. Westermann scored on a jumper at the 14:10 mark to cut the lead to two points at 13-11.

Clauson put in a layup for the Cavaliers with 13:44 on the clock, Rachel Bristow tacked on a 3-pointer at 13:09 and Megan Padilla added another 3-pointer at 12:38, as Concordia increased its lead to 23-11. The Cavaliers led 43-26 with 3:56 remaining in the half.

Willamette tallied the next five points on a layup and foul shot by Keilyn Fujioka (Jr., Post, Kailua, HI/Iolani School) and a layup by Westermann, as the Bearcats pulled within 43-31 at the 2:52 mark. Concordia responded with an 8-0 run that built the lead to 51-31 with 55 seconds left in the half.

WU scored the final four points of the period on two free throws by Maya McFaddin (So., G, McMinnville, OR/McMinnville HS) and a layup by Alex Zennan (Jr., G, Sammamish, WA/Eastlake HS). Westermann had 12 points and seven boards for Willamette at the break.

Concordia took control of the game with a 12-1 run during the first 6:44 of the second half. Clauson opened the run with six consecutive points before Westermann sank a free throw for Willamette at the 16:50 mark. Rachel Scarpelli tacked on two free throws for CU, then Ann Snodderly and Mariah Ladd each contributed a jumper, as the lead went to 63-36.

The Bearcats countered with an 11-0 run, but couldn't get closer than 16 points. Fujioka scored four points during the run, while Zennan provided a 3-point basket and Erin Barclay (Jr., PG, Snohomish, WA/Bothell HS) and Westermann each added a layup.

Concordia claimed only a slim 25-24 scoring edge in the second half, as both teams played well on defense. Willamette shot 30.3% (10 of 33) in the second half, while Concordia connected on 33.3% from the field (8 of 24) over the final 20 minutes.

Clauson was joined in double figures by Padilla, who scored 12 points for the Cavaliers, but hit just 4 of 12 field goals, including 1 of 8 on three-pointers. Padilla also earned seven rebounds, six assists and four steals. Snodderly produced eight points and six boards.

Westermann was one of three Bearcats with double-digit scoring. Zennan finished with 12 points, six assists and five steals. Fujioka contributed 11 points, six rebounds and two assists.

For the game, CU shot 47.5% (28 of 59), as the Cavaliers benefited from 57.1% accuracy (20 of 35) in the first half. Concordia was 4 of 18 on three-pointers (22.2%) and converted 16 of 22 free throws (72.7%).

Willamette finished the game with 35.4% overall field goal shooting (23 of 65). WU made 5 of 16 three-pointers (31.3%) and hit 8 of 9 free throws (88.9%).

The Bearcats will return to action on Saturday, Jan. 2, when they will host Whitworth University in the first Northwest Conference game of the season for both teams. Tip-off at Cone Field House is set for 3 p.m. (PDT).
Willamette will host Whitman College on Sunday, Jan. 3, also at 3 p.m. (PDT).

BOX SCORE
Concordia University (Ore.) 76
Willamette University 59
Kaileigh Westermann earned career highs with 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Bearcats.

Kaileigh Westermann earned career highs with 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Bearcats.