Bearcats Fall to Lutes in NWC Opener, 82-81, in Overtime

Malley Scores 21 Points, Mounts Adds 17

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

SALEM, ORE. -- James Conti of Pacific Lutheran University hit the first of two free throws with 1.1 seconds left in overtime to send the Lutes to an 82-81 win over Willamette University in the Northwest Conference opener for both teams on Friday, Dec. 2 at Cone Field House. PLU improved to 3-2 on the season, 1-0 in the NWC. Willamette fell to 1-4 overall, 0-1 in the NWC.

Willamette trailed 72-65 with 4:35 left in the game, but tied the score at 75-75 when Trevor Bos (So., G, Lakewood, CA/St. John Bosco HS) scored on a layup with 12 seconds remaining in regulation.

The teams were tied three times in the extra session. Sean Dart (Jr., Post, Bend, OR/Mountain View HS/Eastern Oregon Univ.) of Willamette tied the score at 81-81 with a layup with 10.9 seconds left. The foul shot by Conti prevented the game from moving into a second overtime.

Terrell Malley (Jr., G, Portland, OR/Roosevelt HS) of Willamette led all players with 21 points. He also had five rebounds, four assists and four steals, but finished with seven of the Bearcats' 25 turnovers.

Taylor Mounts (Sr., Wing/Post, Kailua, HI/Iolani School) provided Willamette with 17 points, nine rebounds and three steals. Mounts was 7 of 11 from the field, including 3 of 4 on 3-pointers. Dart and Ryan Meehan each finished with 10 points. Meehan earned seven rebounds and blocked four shots, helping WU finish with nine blocks overall.

Dart earned his double-digit scoring in just 12 minutes of playing time. He also grabbed five rebounds. It was Dart's first action of the season after recovering from a knee injury he received during the summer. He recently returned to practice following surgery this fall.

All five starters and one substitute finished in double figures for Pacific Lutheran. Andrew Earnest led the way with 17 points. Conti ended the night with 16 points, while Kai Hoyt scored 13 and Johnny Tveter added 12. Starter Cameron Schilling and reserve player Arvid Isaksen each produced 11 points.

After falling behind by seven points in the final minutes of regulation, the Bearcats came storming back. Malley sank a jumper and a foul shot with 3:21 left for an old-fashioned 3-point play that cut the Lutes' lead to 72-68. After a turnover by PLU, Malley added a 3-pointer at the 2:40 mark, as WU pulled within 72-71.

Conti made one of two free throws with 2:23 remaining in regulation and Schilling provided a jumper with 1:30 go to, as the Lutes took a 75-71 advantage.

Willamette committed a turnover nine seconds later, but Schilling missed a jumper with 1:01 left. Bos grabbed the rebound, was fouled, and hit both free throws at the other end of the court for the Bearcats.

With 29 seconds left Hoyt of PLU took a shot that was blocked by Kyle McNally (Fr., Post, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) and rebounded by Mounts. WU called timeout with 20 seconds left, and Bos scored the tying layup with 12 seconds on the clock. Conti missed a jumper for the Lutes with two seconds left, leaving the score tied, 75-75, at the end of regulation.

Malley scored the first basket of overtime to give WU a 77-75 lead. The Lutes scored the next four points, but Mounts put in a jumper for the Bearcats with 3:00 left for a 79-79 tie. Hoyt moved PLU back in front on a layup at the 2:13 mark.

Both teams had several offensive chances over the next two minutes, but neither team could add to their score. With 11 seconds left, Dart made a nice move inside the paint for a layup for an 81-81 deadlock.

On PLU's last possession, the Lutes called timeout with six seconds remaining. When the teams returned to action, Conti received the ball high on the left side. He angled across the court until he was near the right elbow, then drove toward the baseline and turned left toward the basket. Malley, who provided close coverage throughout Conti's offensive trek, committed a foul as Conti shot with 1.1 seconds left.

After Conti made the first free throw and missed the second, Mounts grabbed the rebound. Mounts was a bit off-balance, but attempted a desperation full-court shot which landed well short.

Willamette shot 41.3% for the game (31 of 75), while connecting on 8 of 24 three-pointers. The Bearcats led 21-13 early in the game and held the lead for most of the first half. WU led 35-33 at the break. The teams were close throughout the second half eight ties and nine lead changes. Included the overtime, there were 17 ties and 16 lead changes.

The Bearcats also earned a 51-49 rebounding margin. Both teams excelled on the offensive glass, as PLU rebounded 21 of its own shots and Willamette grabbed 18 offensive boards.

PLU shot 38.3% from the field (33 of 85). The Lutes made 5 of 17 three-pointers (29.4%).

Willamette will host the University of Puget sound in NWC action on Saturday, Dec. 3. Game time is set for 8 p.m. (PST).

BOX SCORE

Pacific Lutheran University 82
Willamette University 81 (OT)

Sean Dart saw his first action of the season following an injury. He scored 10 points and had five rebounds in 12 minutes.

Sean Dart saw his first action of the season following an injury. He scored 10 points and had five rebounds in 12 minutes.