Linfield Overcomes Willamette's Early Lead, Defeats Bearcats, 78-61

Josephson Scores 14 Points and Grabs Eight Boards for WU

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

McMINNVILLE, ORE. -- Gretchen Owen scored 28 points and Kaely Maltman added 25 points, as Linfield College downed Willamette University, 78-61, in a Northwest Conference game on Saturday, Jan. 7 in McMinnville, Ore. The Wildcats overcame a great start by the Bearcats, who led by as many as 13 points in the first half.

Linfield improved to 8-5 overall, 2-2 in the Northwest Conference. The Bearcats moved to 1-12, 0-4 in the NWC.

Owens made 10 of 18 field goals, including 2 of 5 three-pointers. She also sank 6 of 6 free throws, earned a game-high 11 rebounds, and provided the Wildcats with four assists. Maltman was a scorching 10 of 12 from the field.

WU placed three players in double figures, led by Rebecca Josephson (So., Wing, Fair Oaks, CA/Del Camp HS) with 14 points. Josephson also topped the Bearcats with eight rebounds.

Mackenzie Lamson (So., Wing, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) added 13 points on 5 of 10 shooting, while Kaileigh Westermann (Sr., F, Belfair, WA/South Kitsap HS) contributed 12 points and six rebounds. Westermann was 6 of 6 from the field, but saw limited playing time in the second half due to foul trouble.

Jojo DeLong (Fr., PG, Santa Clarita, CA/Canyon HS) provided WU with eight points, four rebounds, five assists and three steals.

Willamette took a 5-4 lead on a rebound and layup by Westermann with 18:07 left in the first half. Westermann’s basket opened a 20-9 run for the Bearcats, who led 23-13 after Josephson scored on a 17-foot jumper at the 9:24 mark.

The Bearcats took their largest lead of the half, 28-15, on a 3-point shot by DeLong from the top of the key with 8:24 on the clock.

Linfield responded with an 8-0 run, as the Wildcats cut the lead to 28-23 with 6:05 left in the half. The run ended with back-to-back 3-pointers by Owens and Katelyn Henson. The Wildcats tied the score at 33-33 on a jumper by Maltman with 1:42 remaining.

Westermann scored on a jumper to give WU a 35-33 advantage, but Linfield closed the half with a 7-0 run for a 40-35 lead. Overall, Linfield outscored Willamette 25-7 after trailing 28-15.

Owens of Linfield topped all players with 17 points in the first half. Westermann and Lamson each tallied 10 points for WU in the first 20 minutes.

Linfield extended its lead to 44-35 with the first four points of the second half. Maya McFaddin (Sr., Wing, McMinnville, OR/McMinnville HS) of WU answered with a 3-pointer, assisted by DeLong. Willamette eventually got within 48-43 on a layup by Josephson with 16:05 to go.

The Wildcats prevented the Bearcats from getting closer. Linfield went on a 9-3 run to extend the margin to 11 points, 57-46, with 11:50 remaining. The lead reached 67-52 at the 7:51 mark.

Linfield shot 55.8% for the game (29 of 52) and made 4 of 13 three-pointers (30.8%). The Wildcats claimed a slim 39-38 rebounding edge.

The Bearcats hit 35.3% from the field (24 of 68). WU shot 42.4% in the first half (14 of 33), but slipped to 28.6% (10 of 35) over the final 20 minutes. The Bearcats forced Linfield into 21 turnovers, while WU lost the ball 17 times.

Willamette will return to action on Friday, Jan. 13 with a game at nationally-ranked George Fox University. Game time in Newberg, Ore., is slated for 6 p.m. (PST).

Linfield College 78
Willamette University 61
Kaileigh Westermann scored 12 points, was 6 for 6 from the field and earned six rebounds.

Kaileigh Westermann scored 12 points, was 6 for 6 from the field and earned six rebounds.