Lutes Use Field Goal Shooting and Defense to Down Bearcats, 71-52

Westermann Grabs Career-High 16 Rebounds for Willamette

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

PARKLAND, WASH. -- Senior forward Kaileigh Westermann (Belfair, WA/South Kitsap HS) hauled down a career-high 16 rebounds for Willamette University, but it wasn't enough to offset solid shooting and defense by Pacific Lutheran University, as the Lutes outscored the Bearcats, 71-52, on Saturday, Jan. 28. Samantha Potter scored 23 points to lead PLU to the victory.

The Lutes upped their record to 6-13, including 3-7 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette dropped to 1-18 on the season, 0-10 in the NWC.

Pacific Lutheran connected on 44.4% of its field goals (28 of 63) and limited the Bearcats to 27.3% shooting (18 of 66). The Lutes also forced Willamette into 20 turnovers, while PLU lost the ball 12 times.

Potter was the only Lute in double figures, as she made 10 of 15 field goals and 3 of 6 free throws. She also contributed eight rebounds, three assists and three steals. Katelyn Smith provided PLU with nine points, seven boards and three assists, while Shelly Kilcup tacked on nine points and five boards. Austin Schorno led the Lutes with nine rebounds.

Westermann's 16 rebounds for the Bearcats topped her previous best of 15, earned against Linfield College on Feb. 4, 2011. Against PLU, she grabbed eight offensive rebounds and eight defensive rebounds. She also scored nine points and had two assists.

Maya McFaddin (Sr., Wing, McMinnville, OR/McMinnville HS) of WU provided 10 points, five rebounds and three assists. Sophie Wilson (Jr., G, Port Townsend, WA/Port Townsend HS) supplied the Bearcats with eight points.

Jojo DeLong (Fr., PG, Santa Clarita, CA/Canyon HS) achieved seven points, a team-high four assists and three rebounds for WU, while Katelyn Nordlien (Fr., Wing, Salem, OR/North Salem HS) added six points and five boards.

Both teams struggled from 3-point range and at the free throw line. Willamette made 4 of 20 three-pointers (20.0%) and hit 12 of 20 free throws (60.0%). Pacific Lutheran was successful on just 1 of 13 three-point shots (7.7%) and converted 14 of 25 free throws (56.0%). The Lutes gained a slim 47-46 advantage in rebounds.

Willamette recorded the game's first four points, but PLU responded with a 10-0 run. After Wilson tallied the next basket to pull the Bearcats within 10-6, the Lutes added an 11-0 run. Potter provided two baskets during the run, while Smith earned three points.

DeLong ended the string of unanswered points with a 3-pointer for WU at the 6:20 mark, but back-to-back jumpers for the Lutes gave PLU a 25-9 lead with 5:37 left in the half.

The Bearcats put on a strong rally over the next several minutes to cut the deficit to five points. McFaddin began the 13-2 run with a jumper, which was answered by Potter with a layup at the other end of the court.

Willamette completed the run by scoring the next 11 points on a 3-pointer by Wilson, a jumper and a layup by Mackenzie Lamson (So., Wing, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS), ad jump shot by Nordlien and a basket from Dora Rabih (Sr., F, Denver, CO/John F. Kennedy HS/Arizona Western Coll.). Pacific Lutheran's lead was 27-22 with 51 seconds remaining in the half.

Potter scored with 0:29 on the clock and Andi Adams put in a layup with five second left, as the Lutes gained a 9-point halftime advantage at 31-22.

The Bearcats cut the lead to six points when Westermann scored on a layup and tacked on a foul shot with 19:20 left in the game. PLU countered with a 9-3 run for a 40-28 edge with 16:50 remaining. WU scored the next five points on a 3-pointer by Daena Mau (Fr., G, Aiea, HI/Punahou School) and a pair of free throws by Westermann at th 16:08 mark.

Pacific Lutheran regained control of the game with a 12-3 offensive surge that resulted in a 52-36 margin with 11:03 to go. Mackenzie Bieker earned six points during the run.

Willamette will return to action on Friday, Feb. 3, when the Bearcats host rival Linfield College. Game time at Cone Field House is set for 6 p.m. (PST).

Pacific Lutheran University 71
Willamette University 52
Kaileigh Westermann of Willamette hauled down a career-high 16 rebounds.

Kaileigh Westermann of Willamette hauled down a career-high 16 rebounds.