Bearcats Down Lutes, 64-49, for First NWC Win

By Sara Brooks, Assistant Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University women's basketball team picked up its first Northwest Conference win of the season by defeating Pacific Lutheran University, 64-49, at Cone Field House on Friday, Jan. 22. The Bearcats improved to 3-13 on the season, 1-6 in the NWC. Pacific Lutheran dropped to 5-11 overall, 3-4 in the NWC.

Junior guard Alex Zennan (Sammamish, WA/Eastlake HS) scored a game-high 18 points for Willamette before fouling out with about four minutes remaining. Keilyn Fujioka (Jr., Post, Kailua, HI/Iolani School) provided the Bearcats with 11 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.

Willamette grabbed a 22-21 advantage when Zennan hit a 3-point shot with 3:40 remaining in the first half and maintained the lead for the rest of the game. WU's biggest margin was 16 points with 2:44 left in the second half.

It was the first game in NWC action that the Bearcats didn't give up a big run to the opposing team. Each time the Lutes managed to start a small run, Willamette found a way to respond. WU shot 50% (25 of 50) from the field and held the Lutes to just 22.4% shooting (15 of 67).

Willamette received solid play from junior point guard Erin Barclay (Snohomish, WA/Bothell HS). Barclay picked apart the Pacific Lutheran defense for 13 points and six assists. More importantly, Barclay helped the Bearcats control the tempo of the game and maintain offensive composure.

The sophomore duo of Maya McFadden (G, McMinnville, OR/McMinnville HS) and Kaileigh Westermann (P, Belfair, WA/North Kitsap HS) each contributed eight points and six rebounds.

Pacific Lutheran, which played without its leading scorer, Shelly Kilcup, was led by Melissa Pixler and Tracy Goehri with 12 points apiece. Kilcup has averaged 13.6 points per game this season, but has not played since Dec. 11.

Willamette will look to use momentum from the victory when they travel to Forest Grove, Ore., on Saturday, Jan. 23, to face Pacific University. Pacific is currently 5-9 overall and 2-5 in the NWC. Game time is set for 6 p.m. (PDT).

BOX SCORE
Willamette University 64
Pacific Lutheran University 49
Alex Zennan led all players with 18 points, including four 3-point baskets.

Alex Zennan led all players with 18 points, including four 3-point baskets.

Keilyn Fujioka scored 11 points, grabbed 14 boards, blocked three shots and earned two steals.

Keilyn Fujioka scored 11 points, grabbed 14 boards, blocked three shots and earned two steals.