Willamette Shoots Down Lutes, 73-69

Zennan Scores 20 Points for Bearcats

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Alex Zennan (Sr., G, Sammamish, WA/Eastlake HS) of Willamette University scored 20 points and hit 5 of 10 three-pointers to lead the Bearcats to a 73-69 victory over Pacific Lutheran University on Saturday, Jan. 22 at Cone Field House. The Bearcats picked up their first Northwest Conference win of the season (1-7) while improving to 2-13 overall. PLU fell to 4-12, 2-6 in the NWC.

In addition to leading WU in scoring, Zennan also earned seven rebounds, five assists and three steals. For Pacific Lutheran, Samantha Potter scored 24 points, hit 10 of 15 field goals and grabbed eight boards.

Willamette used an 8-0 run to take a 19-12 lead at the 12:09 mark of the first half. The Bearcats held an 11-point advantage, 31-20, following a layup by Kaileigh Westermann (Jr., F, Belfair, WA/South Kitsap HS) with 6:58 left in the half.

After each team tacked on four points, the Bearcats continued to hold an 11-point edge. Pacific Lutheran cut into the lead with an 8-1 run that cut the margin to 36-32 with 3:38 remaining before the intermission.

The Lutes also pulled within four points later in the half, 40-36, when Potter sank two free throws with 15 seconds left. Willamette's Erin Barclay (Sr., G, Snohomish, WA/Bothell HS) gave the Bearcats a 42-36 halftime lead by sinking a pair of charity shots with one-half second on the clock after a foul by PLU's Mandy Wall.

WU connected on 7 of 13 three pointers in the first half (53.8%), while Pacific Lutheran hit 5 of 11 three-pointers in the first 20 minutes. Shelly Kilcup of PLU led all scorers at the break with 16 points, as she went 6 of 9 from the field, 4 of 6 on 3-pointers. Zennan scored 10 points for Willamette in the first half while sinking 3 of 5 trifectas.

A 13-3 run by the Bearcats at the start of the second half increased WU's advantage to 55-39 with 15:46 remaining. The offensive surge included two 3-pointers by Zennan.

PLU responded with eight unanswered points to cut the deficit to 55-47. Wall tallied four of the points by putting in a layup and later hitting a pair of free throws. Willamette stopped the Lutes' run with a jumper by MacKenzie Lamson (Fr., F, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) at the 13:11 mark.

Lamson scored on two additional jump shots in the next two minutes, helping WU take a 61-50 lead. PLU chipped away at the margin and eventually cut the lead to 69-65 following a jumper by Jordan Westering with 3:29 left.

The Bearcats tacked on two free throws by Westermann with 2:22 to go and the Lutes answered with two free throws by Westering with 1:51 on the clock. After PLU stopped Willamette on the next possession, Potter trimmed the WU advantage to 71-69 on a layup with 1:15 remaining.

Dora Rabih (Jr., F, Denver, CO/Kennedy HS/Arizona Western Coll.) missed a jumper for the Bearcats with 48 seconds left, but Maya McFaddin (Jr., F, McMinnville, OR/McMinnville HS) grabbed the rebound for Willamette. Following a timeout, the Bearcats controlled the ball until Lamson drove through the lane and scored an uncontested layup to beat the shot clock with 19 seconds left.

Pacific Lutheran committed turnovers on its final two possessions and was unable to take advantage of a pair of missed free throws by WU with 13.5 seconds to go.

Willamette shot 41.4% from the field (24 of 58) and made 9 of 21 three-pointers. The Bearcats sank 16 of 25 free throws (64.0%) and finished the game with a 41-37 rebounding edge.

In addition to Zennan, WU also placed Lamson and Barclay in double figures. Lamson tallied 16 points on 7 of 12 field goals. Barclay earned 14 points, including two 3-pointers and a 6-for-8 effort at the line. Westermann was limited to 16 minutes due to foul trouble, but achieved eight points and a game-high nine rebounds.

The Lutes connected on 39.0% of their field goals (23 of 59), while sinking just 5 of 19 three-pointers (26.3%). PLU was 18 of 25 (72.0%) on field goals.

Potter was joined in double digits for PLU by Kilcup with 16 points and Wall with 10. Kilcup scored all 16 of her points in the first half, while Wall earned eight points in the second half.

WU will play at George Fox University on Tuesday, Jan. 25. Game time in Newberg, Ore., is slated for 6 p.m. (PST).

Willamette University 73
Pacific Lutheran University 69
Freshman forward MacKenzie Lamson scored 16 points against the Lutes.

Freshman forward MacKenzie Lamson scored 16 points against the Lutes.