Mounts Hits 3-Pointer at Buzzer to Send Bearcats over Concordia, 86-84

Willamette Downs Cavaliers in Final Seconds for Second Time this Season

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Taylor Mounts (Jr., Wing/Post, Kailua, HI/Iolani School) hit a 3-point basket from the right side, only two yards from the baseline, as the buzzer sounded, sending Willamette University to an 86-84 victory over Concordia University (Ore.) on Friday, Dec. 10 at Cone Field House. Willamette improved to 3-5 on the season, while Concordia fell to 4-7.

Willamette improved to 2-0 against Concordia this season, with both games decided in the closing seconds. On Nov. 18, Concordia took an 88-87 lead on a 3-pointer by Dustin Hiebert with seven seconds left, but Willamette won on a layup by Ryan Meehan (Jr., Wing, Beaverton, OR/Beaverton HS/MSU-Billings) with two seconds remaining.

In the rematch on Friday, the Cavaliers took an 84-83 lead when Jordan Sweeney sank the first of two free throws with eight seconds to go.

Sweeney missed the second free throw and Robbie Kunke (Sr., G, Clackamas, OR/Clackamas HS) grabbed the rebound. Willamette moved quickly down the court and Kunke sent a pass inside the lane to Sean Dart (So., Post, Bend, OR/Mountain View HS/Eastern Oregon Univ.).

Dart was unable to control the ball, but saved it outside the lane near the end line. The ball went to Meehan in the corner and he found Mounts several yards away. Mounts shot immediately, beating the clock by about a second.

Willamette trailed 80-70 with 4:52 remaining. The Bearcats ended the game with a 16-4 run.

Concordia held a six-point lead, 76-70, at the 5:18 mark, before a 3-pointer by Hiebert 14 seconds later and a free throw by Hermann increased the lead to 10 points. WU began its comeback with a free throw by Dart with 4:25 left and a layup by Meehan with 3:52 on the clock.

Mounts tacked on a free throw with 3:38 to go, but Dunn provided CU with a free throw at the 3:02 mark, giving the Cavaliers an 81-74 edge. A 5-0 run by Willamette on a 3-pointer by Marcus Holmes (Sr., G, Seattle, WA/Garfield HS) and two charity shots by Meehan reduced the lead to 81-79 with 2:09 left.

Each team added a basket before Dart tied the game for Willamette at 83-83 on a layup with 39 seconds remaining.

Dunn missed a shot jump for Concordia with 12 seconds left and Sweeney was fouled by Mounts in the battle for the rebound. Sweeney made just one of two free throws, which allowed Kunke to haul down the rebound leading to WU's final possession.

The Bearcats' top scorer was Dart, who finished with 25 points on 10 of 12 field goals and 5 of 8 free throws. Dart earned a double-double by also hauling down a game-high 11 rebounds.

Meehan tacked on 21 points and six boards for Willamette, while Mounts ended the game with 13 points and six rebounds. Kunke contributed nine points, nine rebounds and three assists.

Sweeney and Austin Dunn tied for Concordia's scoring lead with 17 points apiece. Sweeney also led the Cavaliers with nine rebounds. Adam Herman scored 16 points and grabbed eight boards. Hiebert and Drew Preuninger each achieved 11 points for the Cavaliers.

WU led 7-4 less than two minutes into the game. Later, the score was tied 16-16. The teams also were deadlocked at 20-20 with 12:53 left in the first half.

Concordia took the lead, 23-20, when Preuninger connected on a 3-pointer with 12:06 to go. CU remained in front the rest of the period and owned a 51-42 margin with 1:02 on the clock.

The Bearcats ended the half with a 5-0 run to pull within 51-47. Terrell Malley (So., G, Portland, OR/Roosevelt HS) sank 3-pointer from 23 feet out as the half ended.

For the game, Concordia shot 52.5% (31 of 59) while Willamette connected on 43.8% from the field (32 of 73). In the first half, CU converted 62.5% on field goals, but WU limited the Cavaliers to 40.7% shooting (11 of 27) in the second half. The Bearcats made 42.9% of their shots in the second half (12 of 28).

WU gained an advantage on the glass, as the Bearcats grabbed 44 rebounds, compared to 35 boards for Concordia. The Bearcats nearly doubled the Cavaliers in offensive rebounds, with WU securing 21 offensive boards and Concordia achieving 11.

Willamette will take on the University of Oregon from NCAA Division I on Saturday (Dec. 11) in Eugene, Ore. Game time at Mac Court is set for 7:06 p.m. (PST).

BOX SCORE
Willamette University 86
Concordia University (Ore.) 84
Taylor Mounts sank a 3-point shot at the buzzer to give Willamette the win.

Taylor Mounts sank a 3-point shot at the buzzer to give Willamette the win.