Pioneers Hold Off Comeback by Bearcats to Win 87-74

Mounts Scores 21 Points, Grabs 500th Career Rebound

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

PORTLAND, ORE. -- Lewis & Clark College hit eight 3-pointers in the first half to build a 46-28 lead and held a 24-point advantage with 10:31 left, but had to hold off a tremendous rally by Willamette University, before defeating the Bearcats, 87-74, at the Pamplin Sports Center on Saturday, Jan. 14. 

L&C led 66-42 before WU rallied back within 76-70. The Pioneers clinched the win by scoring the next nine points, including seven at the free throw line.

Willamette fell to 2-13 overall, 0-6 in the NWC. Lewis & Clark improved to 8-7, 3-3 in the NWC.

Taylor Mount (Sr., Wing/Post, Kailua, HI/Iolani School) of Willamette led all scorers with 21 points, while hitting 9 of 15 field goals. He also grabbed nine rebounds to move past the 500-rebound mark in his career. He now has 503 rebounds with the Bearcats. He advanced his career scoring total to 1,112 points.

Also for Willamette, Trevor Bos (So., G, Lakewood, CO/St. John Bosco HS) tallied 14 points to go with five assists and a 6-for-6 effort at the line. He played a key role in the comeback.

Sean Dart (Jr., Post, Bend, OR/Mountain View HS/Eastern Oregon Univ.) added 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Bearcats, while Ryan Meehan (Sr., Wing, Beaverton, OR/Beaverton HS/MSU-Billings) achieved 10 points.

L&C was led by James Hollins, who scored 18 points and made 7 of 7 free throws. He also hauled down nine boards. Ross Erickson earned 13 points and eight rebounds. P.J. Taylor contributed 12 points and Caron Rayford provided a game-high 12 rebounds.

Willamette led 5-4 after Terrell Malley (Jr., G, Portland, OR/Roosevelt HS) hit a 3-pointer with 17;21 left in the first half. L&C tallied the next seven points for an 11-5 advantage at the 15:22 mark. The run included a 3-pointer by Erickson. It was one of eight 3-pointers by the Pioneers in the first 20 minutes.

The Bearcats cut the lead to 11-8 before the Pioneers put together a 9-2 run that included three 3-pointers -- one each by three players. L&C owned a 20-10 advantage with 12:35 remaining in the half.

Lewis & Clark maintained their lead as the two teams exchanged baskets over the next several minutes. A 7-2 run that began with a 3-pointer by Hollins eventually gave the Pioneers a 34-22 edge with 6:26 on the clock.

Willamette scored the next six points on two free throws by Malley, a layup by Mounts and a long two-point jumper by Bos. With 4:09 to go, the Pioneers held a 34-28 lead.

L&C ended the half with a 12-0 run. The final six points of the run were earned on a pair of 3-pointers by Donato Perconti with 55 seconds and six seconds remaining.

Both teams shot similar percentages from the field in the first half, but the Pioneers had a big edge from 3-point range. L&C shot 45.0% (18 of 40) for the half, while WU shot 44.4% (12 of 27). On 3-pointers, the Pioneers were 8 of 13 (61.5%) and Willamette was 1 of 8 (12.5%).

The second half started with seven consecutive points by L&C, as the Pioneers moved to a 53-28 lead. Justin Leathers started the run with two layups, including one on a fast break.

Willamette responded with a 10-5 run that reduced the lead to 58-38 at the 15:36 mark. Bos and Mounts each tallied four points during the run.

Bos and Mounts also played a roll in WU's next offensive surge. WU trailed 66-42 following a basket by Hollins of L&C with 10:31 left. The Bearcats then scored 11 of the next 15 points to ge within 70-55 with 7:23 to go. Bos provided six of the points and Mounts supplied a 3-pointer. Bos also had a nifty pass for a layup by Dart.

The trifecta by Mounts completed one of the night's top offensive possessions for Willamette. Box began things with a steal at the defensive end. He quickly bought the ball up the court, and although WU didn't score off the fast-break, several good passes by the Bearcats led to the 3-pointer with 8:35 left.

L&C held a 70-55 advantage at the end of Willamette's run, but the Bearcats weren't done.

Willamette trailed 75-57 at the 6:40 mark after Taylor sank a 3-pointer for the Pioneers, but WU followed with its biggest run of the game.

Mounts put in a layup with 6:26 to go to start the 13-1 run. After the Bearcats added seven more points for a 9-0 spurt, L&C tallied one free throw. Mounts followed by completing the run with a free throw and a 3-pointer. With 3:43 left in the game, Willamette trailed by just six points, 76-70.

Lewis & Clark tallied the next nine points to regain control with an 85-70 advantage. Rayford started the run with a layup. The remaining seven points were achieved at the free throw line.

The Pioneers shot 42.3% from the field during the game (30 of 71), while Willamette connected on 49.1% of its shots (28 of 57). WU shot 53.3% (16 of 30) in the second half.

Willamette was unable to overcome L&C's edge from behind the arc, as the Pioneers made 11 of 27 three-pointers (40.7%), compared to 4 of 18 (22.2%) by the Bearcats. Even so, Lewis & Clark was just 3 of 14 (21.4%) from 3-point range in the second half.

L&C also gained a 41-34 rebounding margin and committed just eight turnovers. Willamette lost the ball 13 times.

The Bearcats will play their next two games at home, starting with a match-up against Whitworth University on Friday, Jan. 20. Game time at Cone Field House is set for 8 p.m. (PST).

Lewis & Clark College 87
Willamette University 74
Taylor Mounts scored 21 points and hauled down nine rebounds. He now has 503 career boards.

Taylor Mounts scored 21 points and hauled down nine rebounds. He now has 503 career boards.