Bearcats Fall to Western Oregon in Championship Game of Capital City Classic, 96-73

Holmes Scores 21 Points, Hits Five 3-Pointers for Willamette

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

MONMOUTH, ORE. -- Willamette University fell to Western Oregon University in the championship game of the Capital City Classic, 96-73, on Saturday, Nov. 27 on the WOU campus. Western Oregon won the tournament with a 2-0 record, while improving to 3-3 overall. Willamette finished 1-1 in the tournament and dropped to 2-3 on the season.

The Wolves held just a six-point lead at halftime, 43-37, and Willamette opened the second period by cutting the deficit in half with a 3-pointer by Ryan Meehan (Jr., Wing, Beaverton, OR/Beaverton HS/MSU-Billings). WU also trailed by three points, 50-47, following a 3-pointer from Taylor Mounts (Jr., Wing/Post, Kailua, HI/Iolani School) at the 17:25 mark.

Willamette continued to stay within striking distance over the next several minutes. The Bearcats trailed by just four point, 62-56, with 13:29 remaining, after Marcus Holmes (Sr., G, Seattle, WA/Garfield HS) sank two free throws.

WOU pulled way with an 18-0 run that covered the next 4:40, as the Wolves built a 78-56 advantage. The offensive surge by Western Oregon included points from five different players. Kyle Long, who finished the night with a game-high 33 points, contributed six points during the run.

Terrell Malley (So., G, Portland, OR/Roosevelt HS) ended the Willamette scoring drought with a jump shot at the 8:49 mark, but the Wolves led by at least 20 points the rest of the way. Malley played 10 minutes during the game in his first action this season. He suffered a leg injury several weeks ago while playing for the Bearcat football team.

The Bearcats took a 10-4 lead in the first 3:03 of the game. WOU countered with a 7-0 run to edge in front of Willamette, 11-10. Robbie Kunke (Sr., G, Clackamas, OR/Clackamas HS) recorded his second 3-pointer of the contest to give the Bearcats a 13-11 advantage, and he added another 3-pointer to increase the lead to five points just 27 seconds later.

Later, WU held a 23-20 margin before Western Oregon went on a 9-0 run. Jordan Freelander gave the Wolves the lead at 24-23 on a layup at the 8:21 mark. Kolton Nelson added a layup and a foul shot with 7:38 on the clock and Kris White completed the run with a pair of free throws with 7:11 remaining in the half.

WOU eventually led 39-28, but Willamette closed the half with a 9-4 run to pull within six points. All nine points in the run were tallied by Holmes, as he hit a trio of 3-point shots.

Long's 33 points led four Wolves in double figures during the game. Blair Wheadon contributed 21 points, five assists and five steals. Nelson tacked on 12 points and four rebounds. Tarance Glynn supplied WOU with 11 points and a game-high 16 rebounds.

Holmes topped Willamette with 21 points. He was 6 of 9 on field goals, including 5 of 7 on 3-point attempts. He also went 4 for 4 at the free throw line.

Sean Dart (So., Post, Bend, OR/Mountain View HS/Eastern Oregon Univ.) supplied the Bearcats with 13 points and nine rebounds. Kunke finished with 11 points on 4 of 4 shooting, including 3 of 3 on three-pointers.

Western Oregon's success in the second half resulted from 66.7% shooting, as the Wolves connected on 18 of 27 shots over the final 20 minutes. For the game, WOU shot 55.6% from the field (35 of 63), including 10 of 19 from behind the 3-point arc. Willamette shot 40.3% on field goals (25 of 52) and made 13 of 30 three-pointers (43.3%).

The Capital City Classic All-Tournament Team included Kyle Long, Kolton Nelson and Tarance Glynn of Western Oregon, Taylor Mounts of Willamette, Vincente Valdez of Pacifica College, Erik Cronrath of Corban University. Long and Nelson were chosen Co-Most Valuable Players. Mounts scored a career-high 33 points in Willamette's 104-97 win over Corban in the first round.

In third place game, Corban defeated Pacifica, 112-93, on Saturday. Corban was led by Cronrath, who scored 15 points and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds.

Willamette will return to action on Tuesday, Nov. 30 when the Bearcats open Northwest Conference play by hosting George Fox University. Game time at Cone Field House is slated for 8 p.m. (PST).

BOX SCORE
Western Oregon University 96
Willamette University 73
Marcus Holmes provided Willamette with 21 points and connected on 5 of 7 three-point shots.

Marcus Holmes provided Willamette with 21 points and connected on 5 of 7 three-point shots.