Puget Sound Shakes Pesky Bearcats in Final 10 Minutes, 76-49

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

TACOMA, WASH. -- The University of Puget Sound scored 13 consecutive points midway through the second half, helping the Loggers defeat Willamette University, 76-49, on Friday, Jan. 8. The Northwest Conference win improved UPS to 11-2 on the season, including 3-1 in the conference. Willamette moved to 2-10 overall, 0-3 in the NWC.

Puget Sound owned a 51-44 advantage with 11:49 left in the game, but used the 13-0 run to take a 64-44 lead with 7:32 remaining. Claire Ely finished the game with 24 points and six assists to lead the Loggers. Jocelyn Riordan added 19 points for UPS.

Willamette's leading scorer was Keilyn Fujioka (Jr., Post, Kailua, HI/Iolani School) with 17 points. She also hauled down nine rebounds, blocked three shots, earned two assists and recorded two steals. She hit 7 of 11 field goals.

Alex Zennan (Jr., G, Sammamish, WA/Eastlake HS) provided WU with 12 points, five boards and three assists. Erin Barclay (Jr., PG, Snohomish, WA/Bothell HS) tacked on nine points for the Bearcats.

UPS recorded the game's first two points on a pair of free throws by Riordan. The Loggers held a 6-4 advantage following a jumper in the key by Ely with 17:00 on the clock.

Willamette scored seven consecutive points to take an 11-6 lead. Barclay tallied the first five points on a turn-around jumper and a 3-point shot. Kaileigh Westermann (So., F, Belfair, WA/South Kitsap HS) completed the run with a 14-foot jumper with 15:25 remaining in the half.

The Loggers answered with a 6-0 run and moved in front 12-11 on a jumper by Ely with 13:03 left in the half. The teams exchanged the lead several times over the next few minutes. UPS trailed 15-14, but scored four points in a row to claim an 18-15 edge.

A bit later in the opening period, Willamette pulled within 23-21 when Fujioka grabbed an offensive rebound and scored on a layup.

The Loggers tallied the next five points and the Bearcats didn't score again until Maya McFaddin (So., G, McMinnville, OR/McMinnville HS) made a jumper in the lane with 2:39 on the clock. Despite going roughly four-and-a-half minutes without scoring, the Bearcats trailed by just five points, 28-23, following McFaddin's basket.

Puget Sound gained some breathing room with a 10-2 run to close the half and held a 38-25 advantage at the break. Riordan registered 14 points during the half, while Ely tacked on 12 points. Fujioka led WU with six points.

Zennan opened the second half with a pair of 3-pointers, as Willamette cut the lead to 38-31 with 17:40 remaining in the game. Fujioka added a jumper and Zennan put in a layup, as the run by the Bearcats reached 10 points, cutting the Logger's advantage to 38-35 at the 16:31 mark.

UPS scored six of the next seven points to build a 44-36 lead. Back-to-back layups by Fujioka, both assisted by Zennan, pulled WU within 44-40 with 13:47 to play.

The Loggers increased the margin to nine points, 49-40, with 12:38 left. Willamette cut the deficit to seven points on two occasions, but Puget Sound moved out to a 60-44 lead with 8:17 on the clock.

Puget Sound shot 43.1% for the game (25 of 58) and converted 19 of 22 free throws (86.4%). The Loggers made 7 of 22 three-point shots and achieved a 37-31 rebounding edge. WU was 20 of 49 from the field (40.8%), including 3 of 6 on 3-pointers. The Bearcats sank 6 of 14 free throws.

Willamette will host Linfield College in NWC action on Saturday, Jan. 9. Game time at Cone Field House is set for 6 p.m. (PST).

University of Puget Sound 76
Willamette University 49
Keilyn Fujioka led Willamette with 17 points. She scored 11 points in the second half.

Keilyn Fujioka led Willamette with 17 points. She scored 11 points in the second half.