Lewis & Clark Builds Lead at Start of Second Half, Defeats Bearcats, 71-54

Westermann Earns 17 Points, 12 Rebounds for Willamette

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

PORTLAND, ORE. -- The Willamette University women's basketball team battled the Northwest Conference co-leaders from Lewis & Clark College throughout the first half, but  L&C extended a five-point halftime lead to 20 points in the first eight minutes of the second half, as the Pioneers defeated the Bearcats, 71-54, on Friday, Jan. 21 at the Pamplin Sports Center.

L&C entered the game tied with the University of Puget Sound and George Fox University atop the NWC standings at 5-1. With the victory, the Pioneers upped their overall record to 12-4, while moving to 6-1 in the NWC. Willamette ended the game at 1-13 overall, 0-7 in the NWC.

Lewis & Clark surged out to a 21-13 lead. The Bearcats went on a 7-2 run to cut the lead to just three points, 23-20, with 1:33 remaining in the first half. Alex Zennan (Sr., G, Sammamish, WA/Eastlake HS) contributed a 3-pointer and a pair of free throws during the run.

Willamette pulled within three points a second time, 25-22, when Erin Barclay (Sr., G, Snohomish, WA/Bothell HS) sank a 14-foot jump shot with 18 seconds left in the half. The Pioneers took a 27-22 lead in to the intermission after Daron Dean hit two free throws with 3.9 seconds on the clock.

Only 11 fouls were called in the first half. Willamette was whistled for seven fouls, while L&C was called for four infractions.

Kristina Williams of L&C led all players at the half with 10 points. Zennan scored eight points for Willamette in the opening period, while Kaileigh Westermann (Jr., F, Belfair, WA/South Kitsap HS) added eight points.

The Pioneers began the second half with a 10-2 run to extend their advantage to 37-25 at the 15:32 mark. At bit later, L&C took a 48-28 lead on a driving layup by Sara Villanueva with 12:13 left.

WU tallied the next four points on one possession. First, Zennan scored on a layup while driving through the lane and was fouled on the play with 11:41 to go. Zennan missed the ensuing free throw, but the Bearcats kept control.

Westermann was fouled by L&C after the rebound. She sank both charity shots, as WU cut the margin to 16 points, 48-32, with 11:38 remaining. The Bearcats never got closer.

Lewis & Clark placed three players in double figures for scoring. Williams scored 15 points, while Villanueva put in 14 points and Christina Herring added 10. The Pioneers shot 42.9% from the field (24 of 56), including 14 of 28 on 3-pointers (50.0%). L&C also claimed a 43-33 rebounding edge, led by Herring with seven boards.

Willamette received a double-double from Westermann, who led all players with 17 points and 12 rebounds. She was 6 of 10 on field goals and also contributed two steals. Zennan provided WU with 13 points, while making 3 of 5 three-point attempts.

Significantly more fouls were called in the second half. WU finished the game with 23 fouls, including 16 in the final 20 minutes. Lewis & Clark committed a total of 20 fouls after matching the Bearcats with 16 in the second half.

The Bearcats will play again on Saturday, Jan. 22, when they will host Pacific Lutheran University at Cone Field House. Game time is scheduled for 6 p.m. (PST).

Lewis & Clark College 71
Willamette University 54
Senior guard Erin Barclay

Senior guard Erin Barclay