Bearcat Hoop Game Night: WU Set to Host Bruins

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University will host George Fox University in a Northwest Conference men's basketball game on Friday, Feb. 12 at Cone Field House. Game time is set for 6 p.m. (PST) with the women's game to follow at 8 p.m.

The Bearcats, who are 4-2 in their last six games, are 7-15 overall, 4-9 in the NWC. Willamette enters Friday's match-up with a three-game winning steak.

George Fox is 10-11 overall, 7-5 in the NWC. The Bruins are in third place in the conference, but hold only a half-game lead on Lewis & Clark College (7-6) and a one-game lead over Pacific Lutheran University (6-6).

Previous Game

Willamette at Lewis & Clark

Cameron Mitchell (Sr., Post, Portland, OR/Grant HS/Univ. of Redlands) earned 23 points and nine rebounds, while Ryan Meehan (So., Wing, Beaverton, OR/Beaverton HS/MSU-Billings) tallied 15 points, five boards and six assists, to lead Willamette past Lewis & Clark College, 80-73, on Tuesday, Feb. 9. The Pioneers fell to 8-13 overall, 7-6 in the NWC.

Taylor Mounts (So., Post, Kailua, HI/Iolani School) added 16 points and six rebounds for the Bearcats. Terrell Malley (Fr., G, Portland, OR/Roosevelt HS) provided eight points, while Robbie Kunke (Jr., Wing, Clackamas, OR/Clackamas HS) achieved six points and six assists.

Senior guard Josh Kollasch paced Lewis & Clark with a game-high 28 points to go with 10 rebounds. Kyle Meeuwsen finished with 18 points and three blocked shots for the Pioneers. James Hollins registered 10 points.

Willamette trailed 55-50 with 11:37 remaining, but closed the game with a 30-18 run. Six consecutive points started the game-ending surge as WU took a 56-55 lead. Kunke scored on a layup at 11:24, Mitchell added a layup at 10:34 and Malley put in a driving layup at 10:11.

Lewis & Clark moved in front, 57-56, before the Bearcats went on an 8-0 run. WU held the lead the rest of the game, but had to fend off the Pioneers, who cut the margin to 66-64 on two free throws by Hollins at the 5:45 mark.

Another quick run, this time on a layup by Meehan, a fast-break basket from Mounts and another layup from Meehan, put the Bearcats on top 72-64 with 4:05 left.

Willamette shot 51.6% for the night (33 of 64), including 6 of 18 on three-pointers. L&C shot 44.8% (26 of 58). The Pioneers, who made 20 of 43 three-pointers in a 93-88 victory over the Bearcats on Jan. 12, hit just 7 of 29 (24.1%) in the rematch.

Tonight's Opponent

George Fox University
Nickname: Bruins
Location: Newberg, Ore.
Affiliations: NCAA Division III, Northwest Conference
2008-09 Record: 8-17, 4-12 (7th place tie)
2009-10 Record: 10-11, 7-5 NWC (3rd place)
Last Meeting: George Fox won 87-74 on Jan. 15, 2010 in Newberg

George Fox is contending for its first ever Northwest Conference Tournament berth. The Bruins are 7-5 in the NWC and currently hold third place.

GFU is one game behind second place Linfield (8-4), one-half game in front of Lewis & Clark (7-6, 4th place) and one game in front of Pacific Lutheran (6-6, 5th place). The top four teams at the end of the regular season will qualify for the NWC Tournament.

The Bruins have significantly improved from last year's team that went 8-17 (4-12 NWC). George Fox owns a 45.8% team shooting percentage and the Bruins are hitting 74.8% of their free throws (1st in the NWC). Five players are shooting 78% or better at the charity stripe, led by Stephen Wiseley (Jr., PG) at 90.2% (74 of 82).

Alex Stockner (Sr., Post) leads the Bruins in scoring with 14.9 points per game. He is the team's top field goal shooter at 54.1% (106 of 196) and also leads the team at 48.6% on 3-pointers (18 of 37). Wiseley ranks first on the team with 36 successful 3-pointers, followed by Evan Atwater (Sr., Wing) with 35.

Stockner tops the squad in free throws made (83) and attempted (100), and is second in rebounds with 5.7 per game. Rich Smith (Jr., Post) has the most rebounds on the GFU roster with 142 (7.5 avg.). Wiseley is the team leader in assists with 102.

The Bruins are averaging 76.8 points per game, while allowing opponents 79.1 points per game. George Fox has increased it scoring since the start of the NWC schedule and ranks second in conference scoring with 83.0 points per game, barely in front of Willamette at 82.9.

In the first meeting between Willamette and GFU this season, the Bruins ended the first half with a 9-2 run for a 42-33 halftime edge. Later, George Fox went on a 15-2 run in the second half to extend a 56-46 lead at the 14:00 mark to into a 71-48 advantage with 10:32 left.

Smith was GFU's top scorer with 21 points. Jack Martin (Sr., PG/Wing) added 11 points and six rebounds. Wiseley led the Bruins with nine assists, while Stockner paced the team with eight rebounds.

Mitchell led Willamette with 26 points, while hitting 10 of 13 field goals. Malley tacked on 21 points and earned five boards. Mounts contributed 13 points. Mitchell and Mounts each grabbed 10 rebounds.

Bearcat Fast Breaks

* Cameron Mitchell leads the Northwest Conference with 21.4 points and 12.1 rebounds per game. He ranks second in the NWC in field goal percentage at 59.5% and is third in blocked shots with 1.27 per game.

* Mitchell has scored 1,143 points and grabbed 745 rebounds during his Willamette career. Including his freshman season at the University of Redlands, Mitchell has achieved 1,285 points and 913 rebounds during his career. Mitchell has recorded 17 double-doubles this season and has scored 10 or more points in all 22 games.

* Terrell Malley scored 21 points in Willamette's first meeting with George Fox and trailed only Mitchell's 26 points on the night. During one stretch of the second half, Malley scored 12 of Willamette's points in a row. Malley's career-high is 24 points against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Nov. 21, 2009 in his second college game.

* The Bearcats continue to have five players averaging in double figures. Mitchell's 21.4 points per game lead the way. He is followed by Taylor Mounts (14.0 avg.), Ryan Meehan (11.5 avg.), Terrell Malley (10.5 avg.) and Marcus Holmes (Jr., G, Seattle, WA/Garfield HS) with a 10.2 average.

* Willamette has averaged 82.3 points per game, while allowing 88.3 points per contest. WU has achieved 80 or more points in six of its seven wins. The Bearcats are 1-6 when scoring fewer than 80 points.

* Since the start of Northwest Conference play, Meehan has connected on 58.6% of his field goal attempts (68 of 116) and has converted 27 of 35 free throws (77.1%). In NWC action, he has scored in double figures 10 times in WU's 13 games. He currently has a string of seven consecutive games with double-digit scoring.

* Mounts ranks second in the Northwest Conference in free throw percentage (86.8%, 79 of 91). Mounts is sixth in the NWC in rebounding (6.9 avg.) and is 12th in scoring (14.0 avg.).

* Robbie Kunke is second in the NWC with 6.11 assists per game (116 in 19 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 1.78 assists per turnover.

* Willamette will complete the 2009-10 season with a pair of games next weekend. On Friday, Feb. 19, the Bearcats will take on Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash., at 8 p.m. (PST). Willamette will return to Salem, Ore., to host Pacific University on Saturday, Feb. 20, also at 8 p.m.

LIVE WEBCAST
Men's Basketball

Willamette at Lewis & Clark
Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2010 at 5:45 p.m.

Ryan Meehan has scored 10 or more points in 10 of 13 NWC games this season.

Ryan Meehan has scored 10 or more points in 10 of 13 NWC games this season.

Robbie Kunke ranks second in the NWC with 6.11 assists per game.

Robbie Kunke ranks second in the NWC with 6.11 assists per game.

Terrell Malley is averaging 10.4 points per game as a freshman this year.

Terrell Malley is averaging 10.4 points per game as a freshman this year.