Willamette Edges Concordia, 89-88, on Shot by Meehan with Two Seconds Left

Bearcats Rally from 43-32 Halftime Deficit

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

PORTLAND, ORE. -- Willamette University junior wing Ryan Meehan (Beaverton, OR/Beaverton HS/MSU-Billings) connected on a field goal with two seconds remaining in the game to send the Bearcats to an 89-88 non-conference victory over Concordia University (Ore.) on Thursday, Nov. 18. The Bearcats trailed 43-32 at halftime, but rallied for the win to even their record at 1-1 on the season.

Concordia had taken an 88-87 lead on 3-pointer by Dustin Hiebert with seven seconds left. The Cavaliers fell to 3-1 overall.

Meehan's basket ended a frantic final 1:30 that began with Avery Manu (Fr., W, Pocatello, ID/Highland HS) of Willamette sinking a layup to give the Bearcats an 85-81 advantage. Neither team scored again until Gage Aker made 1 of 2 free throws for Concordia with 39 seconds on the clock.

WU earned an 86-82 lead when Meehan hit the first of two charity shots with 31 seconds to go. Six seconds later, Hiebert launched a 3-point shot for the Cavaliers. He missed, but was fouled on the play, and converted all three free throws to reduce WU's lead to a single point.

Manu missed a free throw with 20 seconds left, but Marcus Holmes (Sr., G, Seattle, WA/Garfield HS) rebounded the ball for the Bearcats. Manu was fouled again with 12 seconds left. He hit the second free throw, giving Willamette an 87-85 edge.

Hiebert's go-ahead 3-pointer for the Cavaliers was a few seconds later, but Meehan's answer at the other end of the court gave WU the victory. Meehan finished with 12 points and was one of four Bearcats in doubles figures.

Sean Dart (So., Post, Bend, OR/Mountain View HS/Eastern Oregon Univ.) was Willamette's top scorer with 21 points. He was 9 for 9 on field goals, including 7 for 7 in the second half, when he scored 16 of his points. Dart also grabbed six boards.

Holmes provided the Bearcats with 19 points, including 6 for 7 on 3-point attempts. Five of his 3-pointers occurred in the second half. Holmes added seven boards, two steals and one assist.

Taylor Mounts (Jr., Wing/Post, Kailua, HI/Iolani School) contributed a double-double with 17 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. He also recorded an assist on the game-winning basket. His rebounding total was the second highest of his career (14, vs. West Coast Baptist College, Dec. 5, 2009).

Robbie Kunke (Sr., G, Clackamas, OR/Clackamas HS) led WU with nine assists and also earned nine points.

Jordan Sweeney of Concordia scored 24 points and was 10 for 15 from the field. Hiebert tallied 21 points and was 3 of 8 from behind the 3-point arc. Drew Preuninger achieved 16 points, while Aker just missed a triple-double with 14 assists, nine rebounds and eight points.

The Cavaliers earned a 46-42 rebounding edge. In addition to nine boards from Aker, CU also received seven rebounds apiece from Sweeney and Hiebert.

During the first half, Concordia hit 48.5% from the field (16 of 33) and held the Bearcats to just 29.7% shooting (11 of 37). In the second half, Willamette surged to 60.5% field goal shooting (23 of 38), while Concordia shot 48.3% (14 of 29).

After shooting 23.1% on 3-pointers in the first half (3 of 13), Willamette connected on 7 of 15 trifectas (46.7%) over the final 20 minutes.

WU scored the first three points of the game, but Concordia scored 16 of the next 18 points to take a 16-5 lead. CU's margin reached 13 points at 24-11, when Sweeney sank a jump shot at the 11:24 mark.

The Bearcats pulled back within five points, 30-25, on a 3-pointer by Kunke with 8:00 left in the half. Concordia outscored WU, 13-7, over the remainder of the period to take an 11-point lead at the break.

A jumper by Kunke and a 3-pointer from Holmes pulled WU within 43-39 early in the second half. The Cavaliers surged out to a 15-point lead at 57-42 with 14:50 to go. CU also led 63-50 with 12:58 remaining.

Willamette used a 10-1 run -- including 3-pointers by Holmes and Mounts -- to cut the lead to 64-60 at the 9:00 mark. A layup by Mounts with 8:27 left inched the Bearcats closer at 64-62, but Concordia answered with a 9-0 run.

The Bearcats trailed 75-64 with 5:45 remaining after the run by the Cavaliers. WU put together a 16-4 run of its own to move in front. Meehan's 3-pointer with 2:10 on the clock gave Willamette an 80-79 lead.

WU will play its home opener on Saturday, Nov. 20 at Cone Field House against Northwest Christian University. Game time is set for 7 p.m. At halftime, WU will dedicate Gordie James Court in honor of former men's basketball Head Coach Gordie James.

BOX SCORE
Willamette University 89
Concordia University (Ore.) 88
Ryan Meehan's basket with two seconds left sent the Bearcats to an 89-88 win over Concordia.

Ryan Meehan's basket with two seconds left sent the Bearcats to an 89-88 win over Concordia.