Meehan Hits Two Free Throws with :03 Left for 64-63 Win over Beacons

Willamette Rallies for Road Victory at Northwest Christian

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

EUGENE, ORE. -- Senior wing Ryan Meehan (Beaverton, OR/Beaverton HS/MSU-Billings) sank two free throws with three seconds remaining to give Willamette University a 64-63 victory over Northwest Christian University on Saturday, Dec. 10 in Eugene, Ore. Meehan was fouled while driving into the lane with WU trailing by one point.

Northwest Christian led 63-62 and had a chance to extend the lead with eight seconds left, but Brian Hampton missed the front end of a one-and-one, providing the Bearcats with a chance to go for the win.

The Bearcats improved to 2-7 on the season. Northwest Christian fell to 6-7.

It was Willamette's third game in five days as well as the team's fifth game in nine days. The Bearcats now have more than a week before the Trinity National Invitational on Tuesday, Dec. 20 and Wednesday, Dec. 21 in San Antonio, Texas. Willamette will take on the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater on Dec. 20 and will play host Trinity University on Dec. 21.

The game at NCU featured seven lead changes in the final 3:59.

Willamette, which trailed since the 18:39 mark of the second half, moved in front 57-56 when Kyle McNally (Fr., Post, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) scored on a layup as the clock passed the 4:00 mark. Trevor Bos (So., G, Lakewood, CA/St. John Bosco HS) earned one of his six assists on the play.

Jordan Buhler of Northwest Christian responded with a layup at the other end of the court with 3:40 to go, as the Beacons took a 58-57 lead. Two possession later, Sean Dart (Jr., Post, Bend, OR/Mountain View HS/MSU-Billings) sent WU back in front with a layup.

Trevor Parker hit a jumper for the Beacons with 2:33 left, giving NCU a 60-59 advantage.

Neither team scored for more than a minute and a half, as WU missed three shots and Northwest Christian missed two shots and a free throw.

The scoreless play ended when Taylor Mounts (Sr., Wing/Post, Kailua, HI/Iolani School) canned a 3-pointer for Willamette with 52 seconds remaining. WU led 62-60 until Parker answered with a 3-pointer of his own at the 39-second mark.

Mounts missed two contested shots on WU's next possession, as Buhler blocked the first and Greg Shepard blocked the second. Parker grabbed the second rebound and was fouled by Meehan with 17 seconds on the clock.

Parker missed the one-and-one and Mounts hauled down the rebound.

WU called timeout with 16 seconds left. The Bearcats turned the ball over with 11 seconds to go and Terrell Malley (Jr., G, Portland, OR/Roosevelt HS) fouled Hampton three seconds later.

After Hampton missed the one-and-one, Bos grabbed the rebound and headed down the court. He passed to Meehan near the top of the 3-point arc. Meehan headed into the lane, where he was fouled by Parker.

Meehan tied the game with the first free throw and then NCU called timeout. When play resumed, Meehan sank the second free throw.

Willamette had a difficult night from the floor, as the Bearcats shot just 33.8% (24 of 71). WU, however, made 12 of 16 free throws (75.0%), while the Beacons hit just 8 of 16 charity shots.

The Bearcats also received a strong team effort, with 10 players scoring, 10 earning at least one rebound and nine recording one or more steals.

Malley topped the Willamette scoring chart with 11 points. Mounts finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds despite making just 2 of 16 field goal attempts. He went 5 for 6 at the line.

Meehan and Dart produced nine points apiece, with Dart also earning six rebounds. Joseph Jackson (Fr., G, Hillsboro, OR/Hillsboro HS) also grabbed six boards for the Bearcats.

Parker and Mitchell Wilson scored 13 points each for Northwest Christian, while Parker led the Beacons with six assists. Buhler tacked on 10 points and 10 rebounds, but had eight of the NCU's 20 turnovers.

The first half included two ties and two lead changes. The Beacons led 8-3, but Willamette tied the game at 11-11 and eventually built a 24-18 lead with 7:46 left in the half. Northwest Christian scored 11 of the next 13 points and held a 31-30 lead at the break.

NCU shot 41.9% for the game (26 of 62), including 48.1% (13 of 27) in the second half. The Beacons were unable to overcome Willamette's 10-5 margin in offensive rebounds over the final 20 minutes, allowing WU to achieve a 12-5 edge in second-chance points during the second half.

BOX SCORE
Willamette University 64
Northwest Christian University 63
 Ryan Meehan's two free throws with three seconds left, sent Willamette to the victory.

Ryan Meehan's two free throws with three seconds left, sent Willamette to the victory.