Willamette Falls to Northwest Nazarene in Exhibition, 91-74

Luedtke Leads Bearcats with 16 Points and Eight Rebounds

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

NAMPA, IDAHO -- Northwest Nazarene University placed five players in double figures and defeated Willamette University, 91-74, in an exhibition game for the Bearcats on Monday, Nov. 11. The Crusaders, who compete in NCAA Division II, counted the game on their regular season schedule and improved to 1-1 overall. Willamette, which competes in NCAA Division III, will open its regular season later this week.

Michael Loomis led Northwest Nazarene with 16 points on 6 of 8 shooting. He was 4 for 5 on 3-point shots. As a team, the Crusaders were 15 of 33 (45.5%) from behind the 3-point arc.

Kevin Rima added 14 points and 10 rebounds for NNU, while sinking 8 of 10 free throws. Mario Donaldson produced 14 points and was credited with eight rebounds. Matyas Hering and Derek Isaak each scored 12 points for Northwest Nazarene.

Brandon Luedtke (So., F, Meridian, ID/Mt. View HS) topped Willamette with 16 points and eight boards. He was 6 of 8 from the field and also earned three assists. Alex Brown (Jr., F, Happy Valley, OR/Clackamas HS) provided WU with 14 points and made 6 of 8 free throws. Joseph Jackson (Jr., G, Hillsboro, OR/Hillsboro HS) scored 12 points while hitting 4 of 7 three-pointers.

Northwest Nazarene led by just two points at halftime, 46-44, but the Crusaders pulled away in the second half.

Willamette shot 52.1% (25 of 48) from the field during the game, including a blistering 66.7% in the first half on 16 of 24 attempts. In the second half, the Bearcats cooled off to 37.5% (9 of 24). WU shot an impressive 57.1% from 3-point range with eight baskets on 14 attempts.

The Crusaders connected on 49.2% of their shots, but had 13 more attempts than Willamette, as the Northwest Christian finished 30 of 61. NNU shot 63.0% in the first half (17 of 27) and hit 38.2% in the second half (13 of 34).

NNU gained a big edge on the glass. The Crusaders hauled down 37 rebounds, including 22 offensive boards. Willamette grabbed 20 total rebounds while earning nine offensive boards. Both teams went 16 for 23 at the free throw line.

The first half featured three ties and three lead changes in the early stages. After ties at 3-3 and 5-5, Willamette took an 8-5 lead on a 3-pointer by Jackson just 2:18 into the game.

Northwest Nazarene tallied the next eight points for a 13-8 advantage, and extended the lead to 27-17 on a jumper by Rima with 9:32 left in the half. The Crusaders were in front 40-28 after Isaak sank a 3-pointer at the 4:56 mark.

Willamette charged back into the game over the remainder of the half. The Bearcats cut the lead to five points, 42-37, on a 3-pointer by Jackson with 2:36 on the clock. NNU answered with a 3-pointer by Shayne Perryman 34 seconds later, before WU closed the half with a 7-1 run.

The offensive surge started with a jumper by Jake Stevens (Fr., F, Eagle, ID/Eagle HS) and a 3-point basket by Jackson. Rima hit one of two free throws with 31 seconds left to give the Crusaders a four-point lead, but a jumper by Luedtke with three seconds to go pulled WU within 46-44.

NNU scored the first seven points of the second half to claim a 53-44 lead. The Bearcats cut the deficit to 56-52 with 15:14 remaining on a 3-pointer from Bridger Harlington (So., Wing, Lake Tapps, WA/Auburn Riverside HS). The Crusaders' lead was just 63-57 after Brown sank a free throw with 12:21 left.

An 11-5 run by Northwest Nazarene gave the home team a 74-62 advantage at the 8:14 mark. The Crusaders held a double-digit lead the rest of the game.

The Bearcats will begin regular season action on Friday, Nov. 15 against California Institute of Technology (Cal Tech). Game time in Pomona, Calif., is set for 7 p.m. (PST).


Northwest Nazarene University 91
Willamette University 74

Freshman forward Jake Stevens hit 4 of 6 field goals for the Bearcats, as he scored eight points in 16 minutes (Photo by Kari Stetson, NNU Athletics).

Freshman forward Jake Stevens hit 4 of 6 field goals for the Bearcats, as he scored eight points in 16 minutes (Photo by Kari Stetson, NNU Athletics).