Willamette's Foul Trouble Helps Linfield Rally for 65-56 Win

Westermann Tallies 18 Points, Grabs 15 Rebounds for Bearcats

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

McMINNVILLE, ORE. -- Linfield College rallied from a 13-point halftime deficit to defeat Willamette University, 65-56, in a Northwest Conference women's b basketball game at Ted Wilson Gymnasium on Friday, Feb. 4. The Wildcats upped their record to 10-10 overall, 5-76 in the second half. Willamette moved to 2-16 overall, 1-10 in the NWC.

The Wildcats led 5-2 before Willamette countered with a 17-2 run, giving the Bearcats a 19-7 advantage. WU extended the lead to 22-8 on a 3-pointer by Barclay at the 11:24 mark.

Linfield responded by scoring 13 of the next 15 points to pull within 24-21. The Bearcats also led by three points, 26-23, with 5:46 on the clock.

Willamette ended the half with a 10-0 run to push its lead to double digits, as the Bearcats took a 36-23 lead at halftime. The Bearcats shot 46.7% from the field in the opening 20 minutes, hitting 14 of 30 field goals.

Kaileigh Westermann (Jr., F, Belfair, WA/South Kitsap HS) registered a double-double during the first half with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Maya McFaddin (Jr., F, McMinnville, OR/McMinnville HS), playing in her hometown, tallied eight points prior to halftime on 4 of 7 shooting. WU owned a 23-14 rebounding margin at the break.

Willamette got into foul trouble early in the second half. The Bearcats were called for seven fouls in the first 4:29 of the half, leaving Linfield in the bonus for most of the period. The situation was even worse for the Bearcats because Westermann and Erin Barclay (Sr., G, Snohomish, WA/Bothell HS) each picked up a fourth foul shortly after the intermission.

With two starters forced to the bench as a result of the foul trouble, Willamette was unable to hold its lead. Linfield gradually rallied, and eventually tied the score, 44-44, on a basket and a foul shot by Gretchen Owens with 8:10 remaining. The Wildcats moved in front for good at the 6:57 mark when Micha Pringle broke the tie with a 3-pointer.

Barclay returned to action shortly before Pringle's go-ahead basket, and Westermann returned immediately after Pringle scored, but the Bearcats couldn't regain the momentum they had in the first half.

Even so, WU cut the margin to a single point, 47-46, with a layup by Kelsey Mueller (Fr., G, Tacoma, WA/Franklin Pierce HS) as the clock reached 6:29. Linfield added two free throws on its next possession and the Wildcats gradually pulled away the rest of the game. WU trailed 53-49 after Barclay sank a 3-pointer with 5:14 left, but Linfield used a 7-0 run to increase its lead to 11 points.

Owens topped Linfield with 22 points. She also tied Chrissy Baumgartner for team rebounding honors with eight. Kaely Maltman added 15 points and hit 5 of 10 field goals for the Wildcats. Pringle scored 10 points despite making just 4 of 17 shots from the floor.

Westermann registered 18 points and 15 rebounds for the Bearcats. Barclay and McFaddin tacked on 10 points each. The Bearcats ended the game with a 43-33 rebounding edge.

The Bearcats shot 43.1% from the field (22 of 51), but made just 38.1% of its shots (8 of 21) in the second half. Willamette was 3 of 11 on 3-pointers and hit just 9 of 19 free throws (47.4%).

Linfield connected on 39.7% of its field goals (23 of 58), despite making only 9 of 27 shots (33.3%) in the first half. LC matched WU at 3 for 11 on 3-pointers. The Wildcats sank 16 of 23 field goals (69.6%).

Willamette will play at home on Saturday, Feb. 5 against Pacific University. Game time is slated for 6 p.m. (PST).

BOX SCORE

Linfield College 65
Willamette University 56

Maya McFaddin scored 10 points, grabbed five rebounds and earned two assists.

Maya McFaddin scored 10 points, grabbed five rebounds and earned two assists.