Whitman Pulls Away from Bearcats with Three-Pointers, 75-40

By Sara Brooks, Assistant Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6219

SALEM, ORE. -- Whitman College connected on 14 of 29 three-point shots, including 9 of 16 (56.3%) in the second half, as the Missionaries pulled away from the Willamette University Bearcats in a Northwest Conference game at Cone Field House on Sunday, Jan. 3. The Missionaries improved to 6-5 overall, 1-1 in the NWC, while Willamette moved to 2-9 on the season, 0-2 in the NWC.

The Bearcats jumped out to an early 6-2 lead on a jumper by Kaileigh Westermann (So., P, Belfair, WA/South Kitsap HS) just three minutes into the game. However, the four-point lead would be Willamette's biggest lead of the game.

Both teams struggled to find their offensive groove during the next stretch of the first half. The score stayed locked at 6-2 until a 3-point field goal by Hilary White of Whitman with 12:37 on the clock finally broke a 4:25 scoreless streak by both teams. White's basket started an 11-0 run for the Missionaries.

While Willamette continued to struggle offensively, Whitman built a 25-9 lead at the 6:20 mark following a 10-0 run. The Missionaries also were able to find a way to score in the closing minutes of the half, as they earned a 32-17 halftime lead.

Another run by Whitman, this time for 14 consecutive points starting with 6:26 left in the second half, allowed the Missionaries to increase their lead to 66-32. Whitman took advantage of open 3-point looks and knocked down nine 3-point shots in the final 20 minutes.

The Missionaries won the battle of the boards in the second half as well, creating multiple opportunities for them to score second chance points.

Willamette was led by junior Alex Zennan (G, Sammamish, WA/Eastlake HS) and Westermann on offense. Zennan and Westermann each contributed nine points.

Junior Keilyn Fujioka (P, Kailua, HI/Iolani School) supplied WU with six points and six rebounds. Nicki Clowdsley (Sr., P, Sammamish, WA/Skyline HS) came off the bench to score six points, grab six rebounds and block three shots.

Whitman was led by Jennifer Keyes. Keyes poured in 17 points, included 5-of-7 shooting from three-point range. Hilary White (14 points) and Rebecca Sexton (12 points) also scored in double figures for the Missionaries.

The Bearcats will compete against the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash., on Friday, Jan. 8. Game time is set for 6 p.m. (PDT). Puget Sound is currently 9-2 overall and 1-1 in the NWC after edging out Linfield College, 62-61, on Sunday.

Whitman College 75
Willamette University 40
Alex Zennan scored nine points and a hauled down five rebounds for the Bearcats.

Alex Zennan scored nine points and a hauled down five rebounds for the Bearcats.