Linfield Hits 34 of 45 Free Throws to Defeat Bearcats, 94-85

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Linfield College connected on 34 of 45 free throws on its way to a 94-85 win over Willamette University in Northwest Conference action at Cone Field House on Saturday, Jan. 9. The Wildcats were led by Cody Tesoro, who scored 21 points to go with five rebounds and four steals.

Linfield upped its NWC record to 4-0, while evening its overall record at 6-6. Willamette slipped to 3-10 on the season, 0-4 in the NWC.

Willamette's leading scorers were Cameron Mitchell (Sr., Post, Portland, OR/Grant HS/U. of Redlands) and Terrell Malley (Fr., G, Portland, OR/Roosevelt HS), each with 15 points. Mitchell played most of the second half in foul trouble, but still finished with 12 rebounds. Malley was 3 of 6 on 3-point shots.

Four other Bearcats recorded double-digit scoring. Marcus Holmes (Jr., G, Seattle, WA/Garfield HS) and Ryan Meehan (So., Wing, Beaverton, OR/Beaverton HS/MSU-Billings) chipped in 13 points apiece. Scott Schoettgen (So., Wing, Columbia, CA/Sonora HS) added 12 points and Taylor Mounts (So., Post, Kailua, HI/Iolani School) earned 11.

Tesoro was one of four Linfield players in double figures. Brady Martin provided the Wildcats with 19 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots. K.C. Wiser scored 17 points to go with a game-high 13 rebounds. Jon Weber tallied 12 points and earned four assists.

Willamette edged Linfield on the boards, 47-45. Mitchell's 12 rebounds led the Bearcats, while Mounts hauled down eight boards and Holmes earned seven.

Linfield held an 8-2 advantage just over three minutes into the game. Willamette answered with an 8-0 run to move in front 10-8 following a 3-pointer by Meehan at the 15:21 mark.

The score was tied at 20-20 with 11:58 left in the half, but Linfield achieved 12 consecutive points to surge into a 32-20 lead. Martin scored six points during the run, including a trifecta for the final three points.

At halftime, Tesoro had 13 of his 21 points and the Wildcats owned a 48-36 advantage. Martin had 12 points at the break.

Mounts and Meehan each recorded a memorable play for Willamette in the first half. Mounts blocked a dunk by Linfield's Drew Schroeder at the 17:15 mark. Meehan scored the final basket of the half, when he beat the buzzer with a layup following an offensive rebound.

Willamette pulled within 51-43 with 17:43 to go, but never got as close again until the final minute of play. Linfield maintained the lead throughout the second half by shooting 52.0% from the field (13 of 25) and by sinking 19 of 25 free throws.

Linfield was successful on 47.5% of its field goals for the night (28 of 59), while Willamette shot 35.9% (28 of 78) from the floor. Willamette made 6 of 18 three-pointers (33.3%). The Wildcats were 4 of 13 from behind the arc (30.8%).

Although Linfield went to the line more often, Willamette made 23 of 30 free throws (76.7%) at the other end of the court. Mounts converted 7 of 7 charity tosses and Holmes went 7 of 11 for the Bearcats. Martin sank 10 of 13 free throws and Tesoro hit 7 of 11 for Linfield.

The Bearcats will play at home again on Tuesday, Jan. 12, when they will take on Lewis & Clark College. Game time is scheduled for 6 p.m. (PST), with the women's game between WU and L&C set to follow at 8 p.m.

BOX SCORE
Linfield College 94
Willamette University 85
Willamette's Ryan Meehan completed a solid weekend. In two games, he hit 14 of 17 field goals and averaged 16.5 points.

Willamette's Ryan Meehan completed a solid weekend. In two games, he hit 14 of 17 field goals and averaged 16.5 points.