DeLong Scores 25 Points, Kalugin Adds 20, as WU Defeats Concordia, 84-70

Willamette Shoots 58.3%, including 9 of 18 on Three-Pointers

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

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University women's basketball team shot 58.3% for the game (35 of 60) and placed four players in double figures, as the Bearcats won their home opener against Concordia University (Ore.), 84-70, on Wednesday, Nov. 20 at Cone Field House.  WU improved to 1-2 on the season. Concordia fell to 1-3.

Jojo DeLong (Jr., G, Santa Clarita, CA/Canyon HS) led Willamette with 25 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds, as she registered a double-double and nearly earned a triple-double.

DeLong finished just two assists away from the school record of 12, set by Sharon Gaver versus George Fox University on Dec. 4, 1984, and by KayLyn Charriere against the University of California-Santa Cruz on Dec. 19, 1998.

Katie Kalugin (Jr., G, Woodburn, OR/Woodburn HS) added 20 points and seven boards for WU, while Rebecca Josephson (Sr., G, Fair Oaks, CA/Del Campo HS) scored 14 points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.

Kylie Towry (Fr., G, Medford, OR/South Medford HS) provided Willamette with 12 points and six boards.

Briannah Smith led the Cavaliers with 16 points to go along with six rebounds. Lexi Campbell scored 15 points and Caitlyn McCutcheon tallied 13 points and five boards. McKenna Daley contributed nine points and a team-high seven rebounds.

The Bearcats took charge with a stellar first half and led 47-31 at the break. DeLong set up the offensive show by recording nine assists in the first 20 minutes. Meanwhile, Kalugin hit 8 of 10 field goals during the half, helping Willamette shoot 57.6% as a team (19 of 33).

Willamette connected on 6 of 10 three-pointers in the half, with two each from DeLong, Towry and Alexa Beeson (Sr., G, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS).

DeLong sank a 3-point shot just 14 seconds into the game. After Concordia answered with a 3-pointer by Campbell, the Bearcats replied with a 20-4 run for a 23-7 advantage with 10:20 remaining in the half.

Willamette opened the run with eight consecutive points on two field goals each by Kalugin and Josephson for an 11-3 edge. The Cavaliers pulled within 13-7 before Willamette added 10 more unanswered points.

The Bearcats took a 31-11 lead with 7:26 on the clock after Beeson hit back-to-back 3-pointers. Willamette's largest lead of the half was 38-16 following a 3-point basket by Towry with 5:22 left.

DeLong began the second half with a 3-pointer, giving WU a 50-31 lead with 19:27 to go. The Bearcats regained a 22-point lead at 58-36 on a jumper by Alex Wert (Fr., F, Spokane, WA/St. George's HS) with 16:55 remaining.

Concordia cut the lead to 16 points four times in just over five minutes. After the Cavaliers pulled within 64-48 with 11:49 left, Willamette tacked on a 3-pointer by DeLong and a layup by Josephson to extend the lead to 69-48 at the 9:46 mark.

An 11-4 run by Concordia that ended with a 3-pointer by Campbell reduced the margin to 14-points, 73-59, with 6:06 on the clock. WU countered by scoring seven of the next 11 points to lead 80-63 with 2:31 remaining.

Concordia tallied the five straight points to get within 80-68 on a layup by McCutcheon with 1:21 left, but a layup by Kalugin six seconds later ended the threat.

In addition to shooting 58.3% from the field, the Bearcats were successful on 9 of 18 thee-pointers. WU held Concordia to 38.2% shooting (26 of 68), as the Cavaliers made just 6 of 24 three-pointers (25.0%).

The Bearcats outrebounded the Cavaliers, 41-29, and achieved 22 assists. DeLong's 10 assists led the way. Josephson provided five assists, Towry earned four and Wert supplied three.

Concordia was credited with eight assists, including five by Kelly Huey. The Cavaliers committed just 10 turnovers, but couldn't overcome Willamette's shooting and rebounding margins.

WU will be back in action on Friday, Nov. 22, when the Bearcats are scheduled to play at Warner Pacific College. Game time in Portland, Ore., is set for 7 p.m. (PST).

BOX SCORE

Willamette University 84
Concordia University (Ore.) 70

Post-game Interviews

Willamette point guard Jojo DeLong earned 25 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds as she just missed a triple-double for the Bearcats.

Willamette point guard Jojo DeLong earned 25 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds as she just missed a triple-double for the Bearcats.