Willamette to Battle Nationally Ranked Pirates, Take on Missionaries

Bearcats Enter weekend Tied for Second Place in NWC Standings

By John Lind, Assistant Athletics Communications Director

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University men's basketball team is set for a big weekend of games on the road, as they travel to Eastern Washington to take on Northwest Conference foes Whitworth University and Whitman College.

The Bearcats will square off against Whitworth on Friday, Jan. 18 and then travel south to face Whitman on Saturday, Jan. 19. Both games are scheduled to start at 8 p.m. (PST).

You can follow all of the Bearcats' action through a Live Audio Webcast on the Bearcat Network. All of WU's basketball games in 2012 will be webcast, with road games featuring audio only. Audio and video will be available during home games. Full Access Sports is the Bearcats' webcast provider.

Live video streams of the game will be provided by both Whitworth and Whitman. Please note that Whitman's broadcast must be purchased. For those in the Spokane area, Friday's game against Whitworth also will be broadcast live on the SWX channel. Live Stats from the games will be available through the websites at Whitworth and Whitman.

Willamette enters Friday's game with a record of 6-8, but is tied for second place in the NWC with a record of 3-2. The Bearcats have won three of their last five games, including a hard fought 75-74 win over Pacific Lutheran University last Saturday, Jan. 12.

The matchup against Whitworth will be the toughest test so far this season for Willamette. The Pirates, winners of three straight NWC championships, currently sit atop the conference with a record of 14-1 (6-0 in NWC games). Whitworth is also ranked #4 nationally in the D3hoops.com Top 25 Poll. Their only loss this season came at the hands of the current #1-ranked team, University of St. Thomas (Minn.), on Nov. 17.

Whitworth has won the last eight meetings between the two team. Willamette last defeated Whitworth on February 2, 2008, posting an 82-74 victory over the Pirates in Spokane.

Whitman currently owns a record of 9-6 (3-3 NWC), good for fifth place in the conference. The Missionaries have been an offensive force so far this season, leading the conference with 92.3 points per game. However, Whitman has also allowed a conference-worst 82.1 points per game as a defense.

The Missionaries are riding a seven-game winning streak against Willamette, with the Bearcats' last win against Whitman coming in the form of an 84-70 victory on Jan. 10, 2009 at Cone Field House in Salem, Ore.

Willamette's success this season has been a direct result of both impressive individual efforts and a team commitment to disciplined and efficient basketball. The Bearcats are one of the better rebounding teams in the NWC, ranking second in both rebounds per game (40.3) and rebound margin (+3.0). WU is third in the NWC in offensive rebounds per game (13.9).

Offensively, Willamette is led by three seniors, all averaging double figures in points per game. Terrell Malley (Sr., G, Portland, OR/Roosevelt HS) leads the Bearcats in scoring with 15.3 points per game. Malley also averages a team high 29.4 minutes per game.

Sean Dart (Sr., P, Bend, OR/Mountain View HS/Eastern Oregon Univ.) ranks second on the team in scoring, averaging 12.4 points per game. He leads the team in field goal percentage, shooting 58.8 percent from the floor. Dart is also averaging 9.4 rebounds per game, best in the NWC.

Elliot Babcock-Krenk (Sr., W, Lake Oswego, OR/Lake Oswego HS/Humboldt State Univ.) is averaging 12.1 points per game for the Bearcats. Babcock-Krenk has had a prolific shooting season behind the three-point line. His 37 three-pointers are tied for third in the NWC, and his three-point shooting percentage of 45.1 is fourth best in the conference.

FOLLOW THE GAMES

Willamette at Whitworth
Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
WU's Live Audio Webcast

Whitworth's Live Video
Whitworth's Live Audio
Live Stats

Willamette at Whitman
Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013
WU's Live Audio Webcast

Whitman's Live Video
Live Stats

Terrell Malley is Willamette's top scorer this season with 15.3 points per game.

Terrell Malley is Willamette's top scorer this season with 15.3 points per game.