Bearcats Power Past Lower Columbia, 73-68, in Exhibition

Kalugin Leads WU with 29 points on 12 of 14 Shooting

By Timothy Walsh, Assistant Athletics Communications Director

SALEM, ORE. -- Katie Kalugin (So., F, Woodburn, OR/Woodburn HS) led three Willamette University players in double figures with a game-high 29 points, as the Bearcats defeated Lower Columbia College, 73-68, in an exhibition game at Cone Field House on Friday, Nov. 9. Kalugin connected on 12 of 14 shots from the field in the winning effort.

Mackenzie Lamson (Jr., F, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) added 16 points, five rebounds, and three steals for Willamette, while Sophie Wilson (Sr., G, Port Townsend, WA/Port Townsend HS) chipped in 12 points. Jojo DeLong (Jr., G, Santa Clarita, CA/Canyon HS) contributed five points along with eight assists.

The Red Devils, who compete in the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC), registered four players in double figures, led by Lanie Kary with 13 points and nine rebounds. Haley Hibbs notched 10 points and eight boards for LCC.

The first half was a back-and-forth affair, featuring eight ties and 12 lead changes. But a jumper from Lamson with 3:42 left in the period broke a 32-32 tie, and Wilson then nailed back-to-back 3-pointers to push the margin to eight. A layup by Kary broke Willamette's 8-0 run, but the Bearcats still took a 40-34 lead into halftime.

Although Hibbs pulled LCC back within four at the 18:30 mark, Willamette quickly pushed the lead back into double digits behind Kalugin and Lamson, who combined to score the Bearcats' next 23 points. Lamson capped the run by nailing a jumper with 6:44 left to give WU its largest lead of the game, at 65-53.

The Red Devils continued to chip away, however, and went on an 13-4 run that cut Willamette's lead to just 69-66 with 21 seconds remaining. But DeLong and Kalugin were each perfect on a pair of free throws to close out the game.

Backed by Kalugin's impressive effort, the Bearcats shot 48.2% from the field for the game, while holding LCC to 43.2% shooting. Willamette's aggressive defense earned 12 steals and forced LCC into 23 total turnovers. WU committed 19 turnovers.

The Bearcats will now prepare for their season-opener on Thursday, Nov. 15 at Concordia University in Portland, Ore. It will be Willamette's first regular season game under first-year Head Coach Peg Swadener. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. (PST).

BOX SCORE

Willamette University 73
Lower Columbia College 68

Photo gallery
(By Naomi Stukey, Photographer for Willamette Athletics)

Katie Kalugin scored 29 points for the Bearcats in their exhibition victory over Lower Columbia College.

Katie Kalugin scored 29 points for the Bearcats in their exhibition victory over Lower Columbia College.