Pacific Pulls Away in Second Half to Down Bearcats, 80-64

Brand Tallies Career-High 20 Points for Willamette

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

FOREST GROVE, ORE. -- Pacific University led by just a single point at halftime, but the Boxers shot 65.4% in the second half to pull away from Willamette University for an 80-64 victory over the Bearcats on Saturday, Feb. 4, at the Stoller Center. Pacific upped its record to 11-9 overall, 4-8 in the Northwest Conference, while Willamette fell to 1-20 overall, 0-12 in the conference.

The Boxers held a 36-35 advantage at halftime. They outscored the Bearcats, 44-29, in the second half.

Freshman Julia Brand (Wing, Kaneohe, HI/Punahou School) of Willamette led all players with a career-high 20 points. She was 6 of 9 from the field and 8 of 11 at the free throw line. She also earned four rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Paige Jensen led five Pacific players in double figures, as she scored 19 points to go with a game-high 13 rebounds.

Willamette was in front for much of the first half. The Bearcats surged out to a 10-3 advantage. Dora Rabih (Sr., F, Denver, CO/John F. Kennedy HS/Arizona Western Coll.) scored the final four points of the run on a jumper at 17:07 and a layup at 16:02.

The Bearcats eventually extended the margin to 10 points at the 14:53 mark, 16-6, after a layup by Mackenzie Lamson (So., Wing, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS).

Pacific countered with a 6-0 run to pull within 16-12 with 12:12 on the clock. The Boxers got within a single point, 17-16, when Erica Schultz scored on a jump shot with 9:27 to go.

The teams were tied 44-44 with 14:09 remaining. Pacific gained control by scoring the net 14-points for a 58-44 advantage at the 11:27 mark.

After Schultz scored, the teams stayed close on the scoreboard for the remainder of the half.

Rabih scored the first basket of the second half to give the Bearcats a 37-36 lead.

Pacific moved ahead by a single point with a 3-pointer from Erica Colter with the 18:37 left, and the teams were tied or within two points for nearly five minutes. Annette Highley scored six points and Jensen added four during the run. Willamette never got closer than 11 points the rest of the way.

The Boxers, who shot 32.0% (8 of 25) in the first half, hit 17 of 26 field goals in he second half and finished the night at 49.0% (25 of 51). Pacific made 5 of 9 three-pointers and hit 25 of 32 free throws (78.1%).

Joining Jensen in double figures for the Boxers were Heather Hitch with 14 points, plus Schultz, Highley and Kaila Johnson with 10 points each.

Brand's career-high effort paced the Bearcats. Rabih tacked on 11 points and tied for the team lead with six rebounds. Kaileigh Westermann (Sr., F, Belfair, WA/South Kitsap HS) also grabbed six boards for the Bearcats.

After hitting 46.7% on field goals (14 of 30) in the first half, WU shot just 32.1% (9 of 28) in the second half. The Bearcats made just 1 of 6 three-pointers and made 17 of 22 free throws (77.3%).

Willamette will return to action on Thursday, Feb. 9 with a home game against Lewis & Clark College. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. (PST).

The game was originally set to be played on Friday, Feb. 10, but was moved to a day earlier to avoid conflicts with the inauguration of WU President Stephen Thorsett.

BOX SCORE

Pacific University 80
Willamette University 64

Freshman Julia Brand led the Bearcats with a career-high 20 points.

Freshman Julia Brand led the Bearcats with a career-high 20 points.