Willamette Plays Strong against 9th-Ranked Whitworth, but Pirates Prevail, 83-69

Bearcats Place Three Starters in Double Figures, Led by Malley with 19 Points

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University played on level terms with nationally ranked Whitworth University in nearly every category on Friday, Jan. 20, at Cone Field House. The Bearcats scored four more field goals, matched the Pirates with nine 3-point baskets and committed three fewer turnovers.

Even so, the Pirates shot twenty more free throws than the Bearcats, hit 32 of 36 charity shots and gained a 43-28 rebounding margin, as the Pirates prevailed, 83-69.

Whitworth, listed at #9 in the D3hoops.com Top 25, improved to 14-3 in 2011-12, while advancing its NWC record to 7-1. Willamette slipped to 2-14 on the season, 0-7 in the NWC.

Idris Lasisi of Whitworth outscored all players, as he put in 23 points on 5 of 9 shooting, including 4 of 7 three-pointers and 9 of 10 free throws. Wade Gebbers tacked on 14 points and led the Pirates with four assists.

Felix Friedt hit just 1 of 6 field goals, but sank 11 of 14 free throws and provided the Pirates with an important double-double on 13 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.

Dustin McConnell, who connected on 8 of 8 free throws, finished with 12 pints and six boards for Whitworth.

Terrell Malley (Jr., G, Portland, OR/Roosevelt HS) paced the Bearcats with 19 points, as he made 7 of 13 field goals, including 3 of 6 three-pointers. He also dished out three assists and gained two steals.

Malley led three Bearcat starters in double figures. Ryan Meehan (Sr., Wing, Beaverton, OR/Beaverton HS/MSU-Billings) scored 18 points and sank three 3-pointers. Taylor Mounts (Sr., Wing/Post, Kailua, HI/Iolani School) achieved 15 points, made 7 of 9 free throws and led Willamette with seven rebounds.

Trevor Bos (So., G, Lakewood, CA/St. John Bosco HS) added five points, a team-high four assists and one steal.

The Bearcats started out by connecting on six of their seven field goal attempts. Willamette scored the first five points of the game and held a 12-9 lead following a 3-pointer by sophomore post Noah Ripley (Springfield, OR/Springfield HS) with 14:43 left in the half. The Bearcats owned a similar lead, 14-11, after Wade Gebbers hit a layup for Whitworth and Malley put in Willamette's sixth basket on a jump shot at the 14:27 mark.

Whitworth took its first lead at 16-14 when Lasisi converted a 3-point play on a basket and a foul shot at the 13:26 mark. Gebbers added a layup with 12:38 on the clock and the Pirates remained in front until Willamette took a 24-23 advantage on a layup by Malley with 7:26 remaining in the half.

Ten seconds later, the Pirates regained the lead when Lasisi was fouled on a 3-point attempt and made all three free throws. The Pirates held a slim 36-35 lead with less than two minutes on the clock, but ended the half with three-pointers by Lasisi and Mack Larkin to forge a 42-35 halftime margin.

Whitworth added a jumper and made 2 of 4 free throws early in the second half to extend the lead to 46-35. Willamette countered with an 11-1 run that pulled the Bearcats within a single point at 47-46, with 16:16 to go. Malley provided the final 3-points with a shot from behind the arc.

Lasisi added a 3-pointer for Whitworth and Malley scored on a layup for Willamette, leaving the Pirates with a 50-48 advantage as the clock passed the 15:18 mark. Whitworth tallied the next five points to claim a 55-48 margin with 12:13 to go. The lead reached 61-50 on a pair of free throws by Michael Taylor with 10:07 remaining.

Willamette never got closer than nine points the rest of the way, but the Pirates couldn't pull away.

The Bearcats limited Whitworth to just 39.6% shooting on the night (21 of 53), including 8 of 23 (34.8%) in the second half. Willamette shot 42.4% on field goals (25 of 59).

From 3-point range, Willamette was 9 for 25 (36.0%), while the Pirates were 9 for 27 (33.3%). Whitworth's 32 for 36 on free throws was 88.9%. Willamette went 10 of 16 (62.5%) at the line.

Whitworth attained a 43-28 rebounding edge, including 14 offensive boards. Willamette forced the Pirates into 16 turnovers. The Bearcats lost the ball 13 times.

Willamette will remain at home to take on Whitman College on Saturday, Jan. 21. Game time at Gordie James Court in Cone Field House is set for 6 p.m. (PST).

Whitworth University 83
Willamette University 69
Terrell Malley put 19 points on the scoreboard on 7 of 13 shots. He hit 3 of 6 three-pointers.

Terrell Malley put 19 points on the scoreboard on 7 of 13 shots. He hit 3 of 6 three-pointers.