Malley Scores Career-High 25, but Bruins Edge Bearcats in Overtime, 89-87

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

NEWBERG, ORE. -- A.J. Grant scored a basket with seven seconds left in overtime to provide George Fox University with the winning points, as the Bruins slipped past the Bearcats of Willamette University, 89-87, in a Northwest Conference game at the Wheeler Sports Center on Friday, Jan. 13.

George Fox improved to 6-8 overall, 3-2 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette fell to 2-12 overall, 0-5 in the NWC. Two of Willamette's five conference losses have been in overtime. The other was against Pacific Lutheran University on Dec. 2 at Cone Field House, with PLU winning, 82-81.

Terrell Malley (Jr., G, Portland, OR/Roosevelt HS) of Willamette scored a career-high 25 points. He tallied 18 points in the first half, as WU built a 44-37 lead. Malley's previous high was 24 points against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Nov. 21, 2009.

Grant and Sean Atkins each scored 19 points for the Bruins. Grant was 8 of 15 from the field, including 3 of 7 on 3-pointers. Atkins was 7 of 10 on field goals and hit his only 3-point attempt. Atkins led all players with 11 rebounds.

GFU forced overtime when Atkins scored on a 12-foot baseline jumper as time expired. His shot was the third attempt by GFU in the closing seconds. The teams entered overtime tied at 80-80.

Later, Willamette had the ball with 28 seconds remaining in overtime after a steal by Sean Dart (Jr., Post, Bend, OR/Mountain View HS/Eastern Oregon Univ.). WU called time-out with 25 seconds left.

Following the time-out, the Bearcats in-bounded the ball near mid-court and gained possession on the floor in the backcourt. The next pass also was in the backcourt, but the WU player receiving the pass jumped from the front court into the backcourt to get the ball, and a turnover was called.

On GFU's ensuing possession Grant scored with seven seconds left in the overtime session. Willamette missed a 3-pointer in the closing seconds and the follow shot by the Bearcats was taken just after the final buzzer sounded.

Willamette led throughout the first half, but there were 12 ties and 15 lead changes during the second half and overtime. Both teams shot the ball well, with Willamette at 52.9% (36 of 68) and George Fox at 47.4% (36 of 76) for the game. WU made 9 of 22 three-pointers (40.9%), while GFU hit 9 of 26 (34.6%)

The game was played with relatively few fouls called, as each team finished with just 12 fouls. George Fox went 8 of 11 on free throws (72.7%), while Willamette converted 6 of 10 shots at the line (60.0%).

Malley was one of four Bearcats in double figures. Dart tallied 17 points, hit 8 of 10 field goals and grabbed nine rebounds. Taylor Mounts (Sr., Wing/Post, Kailua, HI/Iolani School) provided 16 points and a team-high 10 boards.

Ryan Meehan (Sr., Wing, Beaverton, OR/Beaverton HS/MSU-Billings) of Willamette scored 10 points, but faced foul trouble after receiving three fouls in the first half. He fouled out with 2:59 left in overtime. Trevor Bos (So., G, Lakewood, CA/St. John Bosco HS) supplied nine points and six assists.

The 19 points each by Grant and Atkins paced five GFU players with double-digit scoring totals. Mike Taylor contributed 18 points, a game-high eight assists and two blocks. Anthony Sanchez hit the nets for 14 points and grabbed six boards. Spencer Bolte earned 11 points for the Bruins.

Willamette scored the game's first seven points and held an 11-2 lead after Mounts put in a layup with 16:42 left in the first half. WU attained its largest lead of the game at 15-5 following a pair of free throws by Kyle McNally (Fr., Post, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) at the 15:27 mark.

GFU used a 16-7 run to battle within a single point, 22-21, with 10:53 left in the half, but couldn't tie the game or take the lead prior to halftime. The Bearcats returned to a 10-point lead at the 3:39 mark, when Mounts scored on a jumper. WU's lead slipped to 41-37 with 39 seconds on the clock, but Malley sank a 3-pointer with six second left to send the Bearcats into the break with a seven-point margin.

The first basket of the second half was scored by Mounts, but George Fox responded with a 8-0 run to cut the deficit to 46-45. The Bruins eventually tied the game at 51-51 on a layup by Sanchez with 16:11 remaining in regulation. Neither team led by more than four points the rest of the way, including the overtime period.

Layups by Dart with 3:04 and 2:17 left in the second half, pulled WU for a two-point deficit into an 80-78 lead. The jumper by Atkins to force overtime provided the only points by either team in the final two minutes.

The overtime period featured two ties and five lead changes.

Willamette led 85-84 after a layup by Malley at the 2:46 mark. He was fouled on the play, but was unable to convert the free throw. George Fox surged into an 87-85 advantage when Atkins made a layup and a foul shot with 1:58 to go.

Mounts tied the game 15 seconds later with a layup for the Bearcats, but neither team scored again until Grant's winning basket.

Willamette will play another NWC road game on Saturday, Jan. 14, when the Bearcats take on Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore. Game time is scheduled for 8 p.m. (PST).

George Fox University 89
Willamette University 87 (OT)
Terrell Malley scored a career-high 25 points, including 18 points in the first half.

Terrell Malley scored a career-high 25 points, including 18 points in the first half.