Defending National Champion Bruins Win against Bearcats, 74-54

NEWBERG, ORE. -- George Fox University, which won the 2009-10 NCAA Division III National Championship, improved to 12-2 this season with a 74-54 victory over visiting Willamette University on Friday, Jan. 15 at the Wheeler Sports Center. The Bruins, who are the defending Northwest Conference champions, moved to 5-0 in the NWC. Willamette dropped to 2-13 overall, 0-6 in the NWC.

The Bruins are ranked #7 in NCAA Division III by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). George Fox is #10 in the Poll.

Keisha Gordon paced GFU with 21 points in just 17 minutes of play. She also earned four steals. Hanna Munger provided the Bruins with 14 points and six boards.

The Bearcats received 16 points and seven boards from Alex Zennan (Jr., G, Sammamish, WA/Eastlake HS). She also led the team with four 3-point baskets. Kaileigh Westermann (So., F, Belfair, WA/South Kitsap HS) contributed 12 points, four boards, four assists and two steals. Keilyn Fujioka (Jr., Post, Kailua, HI/Iolani School) led all players with 10 rebounds.

Willamette trailed 36-21 at halftime. The Bearcats led 15-13 before giving up a 23-6 run to close the first half.

The Bearcats shot a better percentage from the field (44.9%) during the game than the Bruins (31.9%). WU also shot a higher percentage from behind the 3-point line, 31.6% (6 of 19) compared to George Fox's 24.1% (7 of 29). Willamette made 22 field goals, while the Bruins made 23.

Offensive rebounds and free throw shooting opportunities for the Bruins and turnovers by the Bearcats proved to be the difference in the game. George Fox pulled down 25 offensive rebounds and snagged 20 steals on 29 Bearcats turnovers.

The offensive rebounds and steals resulted in 72 total field goal attempts for George Fox. Willamette attempted just 49 shots during the game.

The Bruins were 21 of 30 from the free throw line. Willamette shot just eight free throws the entire game and connected on half of them.

Willamette will face Pacific Lutheran University at Cone Field House on Friday, Jan. 22. Game time is set for 6 p.m. (PST).

George Fox University 74
Willamette University 54
Alex Zennan scored 16 points against George Fox. She is averaging 15.3 points per game this season.

Alex Zennan scored 16 points against George Fox. She is averaging 15.3 points per game this season.