Pacific Slips Past Willamette, 71-66

Zennan Scores 26 Points, Hits 6 of 8 Three-Pointers

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

FOREST GROVE, ORE. -- Erica Schultz sank two free throws with 25.2 seconds left to give Pacific University a 67-66 lead, then added four more free throws in the closing seconds, as the Boxers defeated Willamette University, 71-66, in a Northwest Conference women's basketball game on Friday, Jan. 7.

The efforts of Schultz in the final minute allowed Pacific to overcome a rally by the Bearcats, who trailed 45-33 with 11:48 left, but rallied to take a 66-63 lead with 53 seconds remaining.

Pacific improved to 5-6 overall, 1-2 in the NWC. Willamette dropped to 1-9 overall, 0-3 in the NWC.

Alex Zennan (Sr., G, Sammamish, WA/Eastlake HS) topped the Bearcats with 26 points while hitting 6 of 8 three-pointers. She finished just one point short of her career high of 27, which she set three times last season. Her six 3-pointers also were one short of her career high of seven, set when she tied the WU single game record against Linfield College on Jan. 9, 2010.

Kaileigh Westermann (Jr., Forward, Belfair, WA/South Kitsap HS) scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Bearcats despite picking up three fouls in the first half. She played a total of 31 minutes before fouling out with 8.3 seconds left.

Leading Willamette with four of the team's eight steals was Erin Barclay (Sr., G, Snohomish, WA/Bothell HS), who also contributed seven points. Maya McFaddin (Jr., F, McMinnville, OR/McMinnville HS) matched Barclay with seven points. McFaddin hit 3 of 5 field goals and hauled down six boards.

Schultz was Pacific's leading scorer with 22 points. She also led the Boxers with 12 rebounds. She was 6 of 10 from the field and 9 of 13 at the free throw line. Britney Anderson tacked on 12 points and earned seven rebounds. Alissa Nergaard provided the Boxers with 10 points, while Paige Jensen took control of 10 rebounds.

Willamette's comeback in the second half began with a 15-4 run that cut the Pacific lead to 49-48 with 6:42 left. The run included seven points by Zennan, plus four each from McFaddin and Westermann. McFaddin pulled Willamette within 49-46 on a layup at the 7:09 mark before Westermann completed the run with another layup.

WU tied the score, 55-55, on a basket by Sophie Wilson ( So., G, Port Townsend, WA/Port Townsend HS) at the 3:55 mark and the Bearcats took their first lead of the second half at 62-61 on a 3-pointer by Zennan with 1:46 to go.

Ashley Jacobs gave Pacific a one-point lead with two free throws with 1:21 left, but Zennan put WU back in front 64-63 with a pair of free throws 14 seconds later. Westermann tacked on a basket with 53 second remaining.

Nergaard scored with 39 seconds on the clock to pull Pacific within a single point, 66-65. Schultz secured the win with her six free throws in the final half-minute.

The Boxers gained a huge edge at the free throw line during the game. Pacific connected on 27 of 41 free throws, while Willamette made 7 of 14 charity shots. WU finished with five more field goals than the Boxers, as the Bearcats hit 26 of 64 shots (40.6%) and Pacific went 21 of 45 (46.7%) from the field.

Zennan led Willamette in the first half with nine points, all from 3-point range. She was 3 of 4 on 3-pointers during the half. Barclay added seven points in the first 20 minutes.

The Bearcats were in front 15-13 partway through the opening half, but went several minutes without scoring, as Pacific tallied 11 consecutive points for a 24-15 lead. Pacific's string of consecutive points started the Boxers on a 20-9 run to end the half with a 33-24 advantage.

Willamette will host Linfield College on Saturday, Jan. 8. Game time at Cone Field House is set for 6 p.m. (PST).

Pacific University 71
Willamette University 66
Alex Zennan scored a game-high 26 points and hit 6 of 8 three-pointers for WU.

Alex Zennan scored a game-high 26 points and hit 6 of 8 three-pointers for WU.