Bearcat Hoop Game Night: Willamette to Meet Pioneers in Portland

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Following two consecutive Northwest Conference wins, the Willamette University men's basketball team will travel to Portland, Ore., on Tuesday, Feb. 9 to take on Lewis & Clark College in an NWC game at 6 p.m. (PST). The game will be followed by the women's basketball game between Willamette and L&C at 8 p.m.

The Bearcats, who are 3-2 in their last five games, are 6-15 overall, 3-9 in the NWC. Lewis & Clark is 8-12 on the season, 7-5 in the NWC.

Previous Games

Willamette vs. Puget Sound

Willamette shot 64% in the second half, hitting 16 of 25 field goals, to defeat the University of Puget Sound, 90-75, in a Northwest Conference game at Cone Field House on Friday, Feb. 5. Puget Sound fell to 8-13 overall, 4-8 in the NWC.

The Bearcats were led by Cameron Mitchell (Sr., Post, Portland, OR/Grant HS/Univ. of Redlands), who tallied 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

Mitchell was one of four Bearcats in double figures. Ryan Meehan (So., Wing, Beaverton, OR/Beaverton HS/MSU-Billings scored 17 points, Robbie Kunke (Jr., G, Clackamas, OR/Clackamas HS) contributed 16 points and Marcus Holmes (Jr., G, Seattle, WA/Garfield HS) added 11 points.

Taylor Mounts (So., Post, Kailua, HI/Iolani School) almost had a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds, despite taking only one shot from the field. He was 7 for 8 at the free throw line.

Kaleb Shelton of Puget Sound scored 20 points to go with 10 rebounds. Colin Koach and Bryce Levin achieved 10 points each for the Loggers.

Neither team shot well in the first half -- Willamette hit 34.4% of its shots (11 of 32) and UPS sank 39.3% of its attempts (11 of 28). There were 10 ties and 16 lead changes during the half. UPS was in front 34-33 at the break.

Willamette got its offense going in the second half. In addition to shooting 64% from the field, the Bearcats also converted 23 of 29 free throws in the second half to finish the game 34 of 45 (75.6%) at the line.

The Loggers connected on just 14 of 34 shots in the second half (41.2%). UPS finished the night at 40.3% from the field (25 of 62).

The Bearcat never trailed after the intermission, but held just a 51-48 lead with 14:36 left and owned a five-point lead entering the final four minutes. Meehan sank a 3-pointer for WU at the 3:44 mark to give the Bearcats a 77-69 advantage. Willamette outscored the Loggers 13-6 the rest of the game.

Willamette at Linfield

The Bearcats had an offensive explosion in the second half for the second night in a row to outscore Linfield College, 105-93, in a Northwest Conference game on Saturday, Feb. 6. Willamette converted 74.1% of its field goals (20 of 27) in the second half to even the season series with its nearby rivals.

It was WU’s first 100-point game since a 127-121 double-overtime loss at the University of Puget Sound on Feb. 23, 2008. It was Willamette’s first win with 100 or more points since a 119-108 triumph over Puget Sound at Cone Field House on Jan. 26, 2007.

Mitchell scored 27 points and hauled down 12 rebounds for Willamette. He was 12 of 17 from the field and easrned three steals.

Meehan contributed a season-high 25 points, as he went 9 of 12 on field goals, 3 for 3 on 3-point shots and 4 for 4 at the free throw line. Mounts chipped in 18 points and earned seven boards, while Terrell Malley (Fr., G, Portland, OR/Roosevelt HS) scored 15 point.

Linfield senior point guard Cody Tesoro registered a game-high 36 points. He hit 12 of 24 field goals, including 8 of 12 on 3-point attempts. Kris Rainwater added 19 points and 10 rebounds.

Willamette was in front for most of the game. The Bearcats led 8-5 in the first four minutes, but trailed 17-14 at the 13:24 mark in the opening half. WU owned a 26-20 lead with 9:13 on the clock and later ended the half with an 18-5 run to take a 48-34 lead. Meehan completed the run with a 3-pointer with two seconds remaining in the period.

WU built its lead up to 19 points for a 65-46 advantage with 13:14 left. Linfield countered with a 14-3 run that featured two 3-pointers and a jump shot by Tesoro to pull within 68-60. The Wildcats got as close as 73-66 before Willamette increased the margin to 92-76 with 3:59 to go.

Tonight's Opponent

Lewis & Clark College
Nickname: Pioneers
Location: Portland, Ore.
Affiliations: NCAA Division III, Northwest Conference
2008-09 Record: 16-10, 10-6 (3rd place tie)
2009-10 Record: 8-12, 7-5 NWC (3rd place tie)
Last Meeting: Lewis & Clark won 93-88 on Jan. 12, 2010 in Salem

The Lewis & Clark Pioneers are tied for third place with George Fox Univresity in the NWC standings at 7-5. Lewis & Clark is one game behind second place Linfield (8-4) and one game in front of fifth place Pacific Lutheran University (6-6). The top four teams will qualify for the NWC Tournament.

L&C has three players with double-digit scoring averages. Kelly Edwards (Jr., G) leads the team with 17.6 points per game. James Hollins (So., G) follows with 16.3 points per contest. Josh Kollasch (Sr., G) has produced 11.9 points per game.

Edwards has connected on 46.9% of his field goals (99 of 211) and is hitting 78.9% at the free throw line (86 of 109). Hollins leads the team with 43 three-point baskets and also ranks first with 7.9 rebounds per game. He is third in the NWC in rebounding.

The Pioneers are averaging 71.0 points per game -- last in the nine-team NWC. Lewis & Clark has remained competitive in the conference with a stingy defense that ranks second in the NWC, allowing just 73.2 points per game.

In the first meeting between L&C and Willamette this season, the Pioneers defeated the Bearcats, 93-88, at Cone Field House. The game was played at Willamette's pace, but the Pioneers sank 20 of 43 three-point shots (46.5%) to record the win. Hollins and P.J. Taylor each put in five trifecta's to lead L&C's 3-point attack.

Hollins led all scorers with 24 points in the first meeting. Mitchell topped Willamette with 22 points and nine rebounds. All five WU starters finished in double figures.

Bearcat Fast Breaks

* Cameron Mitchell has scored 1,120 points and grabbed 736 rebounds during his Willamette career. Including his freshman season at the University of Redlands, Mitchell has achieved 1,262 points and 904 rebounds during his career. Mitchell has recorded 17 double-doubles this season and has scoring 10 or more points in all 21 games.

* This year, Mitchell leads the Northwest Conference with 21.3 points and 12.2 rebounds per game. He ranks second in the NWC in field goal percentage at 59.2% and is second in blocked shots with 1.33 per game.

* Willamette connected on 11 of 16 three-pointers (68.8%) during the Bearcats' win at Linfield. WU also went 20 of 24 at the free throw line (83.3%) against the Wildcats, including a perfect 13 for 13 in the second half.

* The Bearcats have five players averaging in double figures this season. Following Mitchell on the scoring chart are Taylor Mounts with 14.0 points per game, Ryan Meehan (11.4 avg.), Terrell Malley (10.5 avg.) and Marcus Holmes (Jr., G, Seattle, WA/Garfield HS) with a 10.4 average.

* Willamette has averaged 82.4 points per game so far this season, while allowing 89.0 points per contest. WU has achieved 80 or more points in five of its six wins. The Bearcats are 1-6 when scoring fewer than 80 points.

* Meehan has been a key contributor for the Bearcats in Northwest Conference play. In Willamette's 12 NWC games, he has shot 59.2% from the field (61 of 103), including 46.2% from 3-point range (18 of 39).

* Robbie Kunke ranks second in the Northwest Conference with 6.11 assists per game (110 in 18 games). He earned a season-high 10 assists at Portland State University on Dec. 28. Kunke is third in the NWC in assist-to-turnover ratio with 1.75 assists per turnover.

* Mounts is second in the conference in free throw percentage (86.8%, 79 of 91). Mounts is sixth in the NWC in rebounding (6.9 avg.) and is 13th in scoring (14.0 avg.).

* Following tonight's game, Willamette's next action will be on Friday, Feb. 12 at Cone Field House, when the Bearcats will host George Fox University. Game time is set for 6 p.m. (PST), as the Bearcats will play the Bruins prior to the women's game.

LIVE WEBCAST
Men's Basketball

Willamette at Lewis & Clark
Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2010 at 5:45 p.m.

L&C's Live Video (No audio)
Cameron Mitchell leads the NWC in scoring with 21.3 points per game and rebounding with 12.2 boards per game.

Cameron Mitchell leads the NWC in scoring with 21.3 points per game and rebounding with 12.2 boards per game.

Taylor Mounts has scored 14.0 points per game, while grabbing 6.9 rebounds per contest.

Taylor Mounts has scored 14.0 points per game, while grabbing 6.9 rebounds per contest.