Whitman Extends Lead in Second Half, Moves Past Willamette, 98-65

Michaels Scores 22 Points for Missionaries, Mounts Tallies 12 for Bearcats

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Senior forward David Michaels connected on 8 of 9 field goals and 4 of 4 free throws on his way to 22 points, leading Whitman College past Willamette University, 98-65, in Northwest Conference action on Saturday, Jan. 21. The Missionaries held a 52-38 lead at Willamette's Cone Field House at halftime, before extending the lead in the second half.

Michaels torched the nets in the first half, hitting 5 of 5 field goals, including two 3-pointers, while adding four points at the free throw line. He led all players with 16 points at the intermission.

Also reaching double figures for Whitman were Josh Duckworth with 11 points and Jordan Dickson with 10.

As a team, the Missionaries shot 44.6% from the field (29 of 65), made 8 of 14 three-pointers in the first half (57.1%) and hit 29 of 35 free throws (82.0%) during the game. Whitman made only 3 of 12 trifectas in the second half to end the evening 11 of 26 on 3-point attempts (42.3%).

Willamette placed three players in double figures. Taylor Mounts (Sr., Wing/Post, Kailua, HI/Iolani School) netted 12 points. Ryan Meehan (Sr., Wing, Beaverton, OR/Beaverton HS/MSU-Billings) provided 11 points and Noah Ripley (So., Post, Springfield, OR/Springfield HS) tacked on 10 points.

The Bearcats were playing their second game in as many nights after falling 83-69 to #9-ranked Whitworth on Friday (Jan. 20). Whitman was playing for the first time since upsetting Whitworth, 77-66, in Spokane, Wash., on Tuesday (Jan. 17).

In the first half, the teams combined to produce seven ties and six lead changes.

Willamette led 12-10 following two free throws by Ripley just 4:22 into the game. The Bearcats also held leads of 15-12 and 18-15 in the first seven minutes. The 18-15 advantage was earned on a 3-pointer by Derek Newhof (Fr., G, Mercer Island, WA/Mercer Island HS).

After the game was tied for the sixth time at 22-22, Whitman moved in front on a free throw by Duckworth at the 10:01 mark, only to have WU tie the game and move back into the lead when Meehan sank two free throws 28 seconds later.

The Missionaries answered with a 3-pointer by Drew Raher for a 26-24 advantage with 9:22 remaining in the half. Whitman used Raher's trifecta to start an 18-8 run that resulted in a 41-32 lead for the visitors with 5:25 on the clock. Whitman increased the margin to 52-38 at halftime.

Willamette seemed to tire a bit in the second half, while Whitman increased its success on the defensive end of the floor. The Missionaries held the Bearcats to 34.6% field goal accuracy (9 of 26) over the final 20 minutes. WU concluded the night at 41.2% on field goals (21 of 51). Meanwhile, Whitman gradually pulled away.

The Missionaries finished the game with a 42-27 rebounding edge. Raher, who scored nine points for the Missionaries, led all players with 11 rebounds. Duckworth and Peter Clark topped the Missionaries with three assists apiece. Clark also provided a game-high three steals.

Meehan, Mounts and Alex Hansen (So., G, Reno, NV/Galena HS) each dished out three assists for Willamette. Terrell Malley (Jr., G, Portland, OR/Roosevelt HS) scored eight points, while Sean Dart (Jr., Post, Bend, OR/Mountain View HS/Eastern Oregon Univ.) blocked two shots and Hansen recorded two steals. The Bearcats hit 7 of 15 three-pointers (46.7%) and made 16 of 22 free throws (72.7%).

Up next for Willamette is a Northwest Conference game at the University of Puget Sound on Friday, Jan. 27. Game time in Tacoma, Wash., is slated for 8 p.m. (PST).

Whitman College 98
Willamette University 65
Noah Ripley scored 10 points and grabbed four rebounds in just 13 minutes for Willamette.

Noah Ripley scored 10 points and grabbed four rebounds in just 13 minutes for Willamette.