Lutes Start Fast, Down Bearcats, 72-55, in Men's Basketball

Brown and Luedtke Each Score 10 Points for Willamette

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Pacific Lutheran University shot out to a 29-11 lead in the first 11 minutes and went on to defeat Willamette University, 72-55, in a Northwest Conference men's basketball game at Cone Field House on Friday, Feb. 8. The Lutes shot 60.0% in the first half and finished the game at 55.2% (32 of 58).

With the win, Pacific Lutheran advanced its record to 7-15 overall and to 5-8 in the NWC, as the Lutes moved above the Bearcats in the conference standings. Willamette fell to 7-15 overall, 4-9 in the NWC.

Cameron Schilling of PLU registered 23 points and 10 rebounds to lead all players. He was 11 of 15 from the field. Schilling also earned three assists and three steals for the Lutes. Andrew Earnest tallied 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting for PLU, while Terrell Williams contributed 10 points and five steals.

Willamette was paced in scoring by Alex Brown (So., Wing/Post, Happy Valley, OR/Clackamas HS) and Brandon Luedtke (Fr., Post, Meridian, ID/Mt. View HS), who each provided strong games with 10 points off the bench. Brown added two rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal. Luedtke provided four boards and one steal.

Sean Dart (Sr., Post, Bend, OR/Mountain View HS/Eastern Oregon Univ.) led Willamette with seven rebounds. Rich Vasquez (Jr., Post, Phoenix, AZ/Paradise Valley HS/Mesa CC) registered three steals for the Bearcats.

Pacific Lutheran claimed a 12-3 lead just 3:55 into the game, using two jumpers and a layup by Schilling, plus one 3-pointer each by Earnest and Johnny Tveter to take charge early.

The advantage for the Lutes reached 20-6 at the 13:42 mark, when Arvid Isaksen scored on a layup. PLU extended the margin to 29-11 with 9:02 remaining in the half on a pair of free throws by Seth Anderson. At one point during the offensive surge, the Lutes were shooting just over 70% from the field.

WU created its own momentum a bit later, as the Bearcats put together a 10-2 run, reducing the lead to nine points at 31-22 with 6:07 left in the opening period. The Willamette run included two 3-pointers by Elliot Babcock-Krenk (Sr., Wing, Lake Oswego, OR/Lake Oswego HS/Humboldt State Univ.).

Neither team scored for more than three minutes. as WU missed three shots and committed two turnovers, while  PLU missed four shots. The next basket was 3-pointer supplied by Earnest of PLU, giving the Lutes a 12-point edge with 2:48 on the clock. Pacific Lutheran was in front 42-29 at halftime.

Oliver Hughes (Sr., Wing, Salt Lake City, UT/Judge Memorial HS) of Willamette started the second half with a 3-pointer just 15 seconds into the action, but Pacific Lutheran countered with a 10-0 run that extended the Lutes' lead to 52-32. Willamette never got closer than 16 points the rest of the way.

The Bearcats shot 35.8% on field goals (19 of 53). WU converted 6 of 15 three-point attempts (40.0%) and hit 11 of 14 free throws (78.6%).

It was a rough night for the WU starters, who finished a combined 7 of 33 from the field (21.2%). Meanwhile, the starters for PLU were 29 of 49 on field goals (59.2%). The Bearcats achieved a 34-8 edge in points off the bench.

Willamette also claimed a 31-29 rebounding margin, but committed 21 turnovers. PLU achieved a 20-6 lead in points of turnovers, including a 16-2 margin in the first half.

In addition to shooting 55.2% from the field, Pacific Lutheran connected on 6 of 9 three-point attempts. The Lutes were 2 for 2 at the free throw line.

The Bearcats will look to rebound from the loss when they take on Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore., on Saturday, Feb. 9. Tipoff at the Pamplin Sports Center is set for 8 p.m. (PST).

BOX SCORE

Pacific Lutheran University 72
Willamette University 55

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

Alex Brown scored 10 points and earned two rebounds, two assists, one block and one steal for the Bearcats.

Alex Brown scored 10 points and earned two rebounds, two assists, one block and one steal for the Bearcats.