Mitchell, Meehan Lead Bearcats Past Pioneers, 80-73

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

PORTLAND, ORE. -- Senior post Cameron Mitchell (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, leading Willamette University past Lewis & Clark College, 80-73, on Tuesday, Feb. 9.

Willamette trailed 55-50 with 11:37 remaining, but closed the game with a 30-18 run. The Bearcats, who are 4-2 in their last six games, improved to 7-15 overall, 4-9 in the NWC. Lewis & Clark 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.

Lewis & Clark scored the first basket of the game, but Willamette countered with a 13-0 run. The run started with three consecutive 3-pointers -- one each by Meehan, Mounts and Bubba Lemon (Jr., Wing, McMinnville, OR/Tualatin HS/Linfield College) -- and ended with a layup by Mitchell. WU was in front 13-2 at the 15:39 mark.

The Pioneers tallied the next seven points to pull within 13-9. Willamette led 18-12 on a 3-pointer by Mounts with 12:08 left in the half, but L&C answered with nine consecutive points. The Pioneers held a 21-18 lead at the end of what became a combined 19-5 run.

Willamette had to battle from behind the rest of the period. Lewis & Clark's largest lead of the half was 36-30 following a 3-pointer by Hollins with 4:36 remaining. The Pioneer led 40-35 following a layup by Kollasch with 53 seconds on the clock.

After a turnover by the Bearcats, L&C had possession with hopes of a final shot before the intermission, but Mitchell stole the ball in a double-team with Kunke near mid-court and scored on a dunk with five second to go. L&C had a 40-37 advantage at halftime.

L&C continued to hold an edge during the first nine minutes of the second half, including a 50-43 lead following a 3-pointer by Hollins with 14:35 remaining. Roughly three minutes later, the Pioneers were in front 55-50.

Just over a minute later, the Bearcats gained the lead. A 6-0 run provided the 56-55 advantage, as 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 recorded the next two points on a pair of free throws by Kelly Edwards for a 57-56 advantage. WU went on an 8-0 run between the 9:33 mark and 8:06 to go. Marcus Holmes (Jr., G, Seattle, WA/Garfield HS) completed the run with an open 3-pointer from the right elbow.

WU maintained 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. The Pioneers managed to get within 76-71 on a 3-pointer by Hollins with 1:50 remaining, but Mounts tallied a layup on WU's next possession.

The Bearcats shot 51.6% for the night (33 of 64), including 6 of 18 on three-pointers. L&C shot 44.8% overall (26 of 58), but connected on only 9 of 25 field goals (36.0%) in the second half. 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.

Willamette will host George Fox University on Friday, Feb. 12 at Cone Field House. Game time is scheduled for 6 p.m. (PST) and will be played prior to the women's game between the Bearcats and the Bruins.

BOX SCORE
Willamette University 80
Lewis & Clark College 73
Cameron Mitchell hit 11 of 17 field goals on his way to 23 points against the Pioneers.

Cameron Mitchell hit 11 of 17 field goals on his way to 23 points against the Pioneers.