Pioneers Hit 20 Three-Pointers to Down Willamette, 93-88

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Lewis & Clark College connected on 20 of 43 three-point shots to defeat Willamette University, 93-88, at Cone Field House on Tuesday, Jan. 12. L&C improved to 3-10 overall, 2-3 in the NWC. Willamette fell to 3-11 overall, 0-5 on the season.

Cameron Mitchell (Sr., Post, Portland, OR/Grant HS/U. of Redlands) led Willamette with 22 points and nine rebounds. All five Willamette starters finished in double figures.

L&C was paced by James Hollins, who scored 24 points. Tyler Tsukazaki tacked on 19 points for the Pioneers, while Kelly Edwards chipped in 18 points.

Willamette took a 9-0 lead in the first two minutes, while forcing L&C into four turnovers. The Pioneers rallied to tied the game 14-14 at the 14:59 mark. Four of L&C's first five baskets were from 3-point range. All four of the 3-pointers were scored by Tsukazaki.

Tsukazaki added a fifth trifecta to give Lewis & Clark a 17-14 lead. WU scored the next seven points, ending with a 3-pointer by Oliver Hughes (Fr., Wing, Salt Lake City, UT/Judge Memorial HS), as the Bearcats claimed a 21-17 advantage with 9:51 left in the half.

L&C owned a 28-23 edge after Hollins scored on a jumper with 5:21 on the clock, but Ryan Meehan (So., Wing, Beaverton, OR/Beaverton HS/MSU-Billings) put in a 3-pointer for Willamette less than a minute later. Neither team led by more than two points the rest of the half.

Edwards recorded a layup for L&C at the 38-second mark to give the Pioneers a 33-32 halftime margin. The opening half featured three ties and seven lead changes.

A jumper by Taylor Mounts (So., Post, Kailua, HI/Iolani School) moved WU in front on the Bearcats' first possession of the second half. Josh Kollasch answered with a 3-pointer for L&C.

The Pioneers broke a 38-38 deadlock with a 3-pointer by Tsukazaki -- his sixth and final trifecta of the night -- with 16:46 left. Tsukazaki's basket started a 14-4 run that pulled L&C into a 52-42 lead with 14:25 to go.

Lewis & Clark eventually led 58-45 with 12:33 remaining. The Bearcats reduced the deficit to four points, 61-57, when Holmes scored on a layup, was fouled, and converted the free throw at the 10:03 mark.

Later, Willamette tied the scored on two occasions, then took a 70-69 lead when Mitchell grabbed his own rebound and scored with 5:19 left. Hollins sank a 3-pointer for L&C 19 seconds later and the Pioneers never relinquished the lead.

After Mounts scored on a layup for WU with 4:14 remaining, the Bearcats were within 76-73. L&C surged out with an 11-2 run that started with a 3-pointer by Edwards and ended with back-to-back 3-pointers by Hollins. The Pioneers held an 87-75 advantage with 1:40 to go.

The Bearcats still had a change to catch the Pioneers when Meehan cut the lead to 89-85 on a layup with 55 seconds on the clock. L&C sank 4 of 7 free throws to close out the game.

Joining Mitchell in double figures for Willamette were Meehan with 14 points, Terrell Malley (Fr., Guard, Portland, OR/Roosevelt HS) and Marcus Holmes (Jr., G, Seattle, WA/Garfield HS) with 13 points apiece, and Robert Wood (Sr., Wing, Keizer, OR/McNary HS/Chemeketa CC) with 12 points. The Bearcats shot 53.1% as a team (34 of 64).

WU hit 7 of 16 three-pointers (43.8%) and made 13 of 19 free throws (68.4%). The 'Cats forced Lewis & Clark into 20 turnovers.

L&C's 3-point barrage included 13-of-22 shooting (59.1%) on long-range attempts in the second half. For the game, Tsukazaki's six 3-pointers led the Pioneers. P.J. Taylor was 5 of 10 on 3-point shots and scored 15 points, while Hollins hit 5 of 11 three-pointers.

Both teams shot well in the second half. Willamette was successful on 22 of 33 field goals (66.7%) over the final 20 minutes, while the Pioneers made 19 of 33 shots (57.1%) to finish at 50.0% for the game (32 of 64).

Willamette will travel to Newberg, Ore., on Friday, Jan. 15 to take on George Fox University in a Northwest Conference game. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. (PST).

BOX SCORE
Lewis & Clark College 93
Willamette University 88
Cameron Mitchell hit 9 of 12 field goals, scored 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds.

Cameron Mitchell hit 9 of 12 field goals, scored 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds.