Concordia Edges Out Bearcats, 70-65

Lamson Tallies 17 Points for Willamette

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University led Concordia University (Ore.) 28-27 at halftime, and the game with tied 52-52 with 7:27 remaining, but the Cavaliers scored the next eight points on their way to a 70-65 victory over the Bearcats. Willamette trailed by just three points in the final minutes before Concordia sealed the win by hitting two free throws with 27 seconds left.

Concordia, which competes in the NAIA, was playing its fourth game of the season, as the Cavaliers improved to 2-2. Willamette, which competes in NCAA Division III, was playing its season opener. The Bearcats are 0-1 on the season.

Rachel Scarpelli of Concordia topped all players with 22 points on 7 of 10 field goals, including 4 of 5 three-pointers. She also went 4 for 4 at the free throw line and had seven rebounds.

Willamette's leading scorer was MacKenzie Lamson (So., Wing, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS), who hit 7 of 16 field goals on her way to 17 points.

After the Cavaliers took a 60-52 lead with 5:16 to go, the Bearcats scored the next five points to pull within 60-57. WU also trailed by just three points, 61-58 after each team added a free throw.

Concordia sank four more free throws -- two each by Brittney Yates and Caitlyn McCutcheon -- to take a 65-58 lead at the 3:31 mark.

Willamette traded points with the Cavaliers for most of the next two minutes and trailed 68-61 with 1:40 remaining. The margin tightened to four points when Jojo DeLong sank a 3-pointer for the Bearcats with 1:31 on the clock.

Concordia missed two shots on its next possession and Maya McFaddin (Sr., McMinnville, OR/McMinnville HS) of Willamette grabbed the second rebound. She was fouled on the play with 52 seconds left and converted the first of two free throws to pull Willamette within 68-65.

WU forced a turnover with 47 seconds to go, but DeLong, who earned a steal on the play, missed a jumper two seconds later. Courtney May rebounded for CU and the Cavaliers kept the ball until Rachel Scarpelli was fouled with 27 seconds left. Scarpelli hit both free throw to achieve the final score.

Scarpelli was joined in double figures by two other Concordia players. May and Megan Padilla each tallied 10 points for the Cavaliers. Padilla missed all eight of her field goal attempts, but made 10 of 10 free throws -- all in the second half.

Willamette also had two players who scored 10 points. They were Julie Brand (Fr., Wing, Kaneohe, HI/Punahou School), who made 3 of 5 field goals and 4 of 6 free throws, and Alexa Beeson (So., Wing, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS), who netted 4 of 8 field goals and hit 2 of 2 free throws.

The first half started slowly for Willamette's offense, as the Bearcats started 1 for 22 from the floor. Even so, the Bearcats trailed just 6-5 at the 14:31 mark and were behind by only six points 11-5, after Scarpelli nailed a 3-pointer for Concordia with 11:51 left in the half.

Willamette's shooting improved over the remainder of the period, with WU hitting 11 of 23 shots (47.8%). The increase in shooting percentage paid off quickly, as a 6-0 run gave the Bearcats a 12-11 lead with 10:20 on the clock following a layup by Rebecca Josephson (So., Wing, Fair Oaks, CA/Del Camp HS).

Kaileigh Westermann (Sr., F, Belfair, WA/South Kitsap HS) added a jumper with 9:30 left in the half, increasing the run to eight points and giving WU a 14-11 advantage. Willamette held the lead for the rest of the half, including a 24-20 margin after Beeson put in a layup with 3:46 to go.

Concordia began the second half with a 9-0 run by connecting on four of its first five shots, including a 3-pointer by Scarpelli, while Willamette missed its first five field goal attempts. The unanswered points gave CU a 36-28 lead. Willamette scored the next four points on baskets by Beeson and Katie Kalugin (Fr., Wing, Woodburn, OR/Woodburn HS).

The Cavaliers went on a 6-2 run to take a 42-34 lead with 12:10 left in the game. The Bearcats countered with an 18-10 offensive surge to tie the game, 52-52. Lamson scored eight points during the run.

For the game, Concordia shot 38.6% from the field (20 of 52) and made 6 of 13 three-pointers. The Cavaliers were 24 of 31 at the free throw line. Willamette shot 30.9% on field goals (25 of 81), hit 3 of 18 three-pointers (16.6%) and went 12 for 16 at the free throw line.

WU achieved a 48-44 edge in rebounding, led by nine boards from McFaddin. Yates grabbed nine boards for Concordia.

Up Next for the Bearcats:
Bruce Henderson Memorial Capital City Classic

Willamette will return to action on Thanksgiving Day (Thurs., Nov. 24) with the opening of the Bruce Henderson Memorial Capital City Classic.

The Bearcats and Corban University are co-hosting the tournament, which honors the memory of former Willamette Head Coach Bruce Henderson, who passed way on Dec. 8, 2008. Henderson coached the Bearcat women's basketball team from 2005-06 through the start of the 2008-09 season.

During the first round of this year's eight-team tournament, two games will be played at Willamette and two will be held at Corban. All four of the first round games will be played on Thanksgiving Day.

In the first game at Willamette's Cone Field House, Vanguard University will take on Northwest Christian University at 10 a.m. (PST). The Bearcats will play Montreat College (N.C.) in the second game at 12 p.m. (PST). At Corban, the College of Saint Mary will play Menlo College at 6 p.m. (PST) and the host Warriors will take on Johnson and Wales University at 8 p.m. (PST).

The second round will be held at Corban on Friday, Nov. 25, with games at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. The third round will be played at Corban on Saturday, Nov. 26, with games set for 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.

BOX SCORE
Concordia University (Ore.) 70
Willamette University 65
MacKenzie Lamson led the Bearcats with 17 points.

MacKenzie Lamson led the Bearcats with 17 points.