Jackson Scores 19 Points, as Bearcats Outshoot Linfield for 78-70 Win

Luedtke Records a Double-Double with 14 Points and 15 Boards

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Joseph Jackson (Jr., Wing, Hillsboro, OR/Hillsboro HS) hit 6 of 7 three-point shots and scored a career-high 19 points to lead Willamette University to a 78-70 win over archrival Linfield College in Northwest Conference men's basketball action on Friday, Jan. 10. Willamette shot 55.6% for the game (25 of 45), while Linfield shot 45.8% (22 of 48).

Willamette, playing at Cone Field House for the sixth consecutive game, improved to 3-10 on the season, while picking up its first NWC victory of the year (1-3). WU went 2-4 during the homestand. Linfield dropped to 2-10 overall, including 0-3 in the NWC.

The Bearcats led 33-20 at halftime and never relinquished the lead. Linfield got as close as 44-40 on a jumper by Adam Myren with 12:48 left, but two 3-pointers by Jackson extended Willamette's lead to 50-40 less than two minutes later.

Jackson's 19 points led the Bearcats in scoring. Brandon Luedtke added a double-double on 14 points and a game-high 15 rebounds, while earning three assists and four steals.

Alex Hansen (Sr., Wing, Reno, NV/Galena HS) chipped in 14 points, including 5 of 6 free throws in the final minute to prevent Linfield from rallying.

Avery Manu (Sr., Wing, Pocatello, ID/Highland HS) also reached double figures for Willamette, as he scored 13 points. He was 5 of 8 on field goals and registered four assists.

Talanoa Smith (Jr., G, Pago Pago, American Samoa/Tafuna HS) and Kyle McNally (Jr., F, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) each contributed nine points. McNally also provided five boards and three assists.

Ryan Potter scored 23 points for the Wildcats, while Myren tacked on 20 points. Potter was 8 of 9 from the field, including 7 of 8 on 3-pointers. Myren hit 4 of 6 three-pointers and was 7 of 10 overall. Vinnie Toor reached double digits with 10 points and led the Wildcats with three assists.

Willamette was 11 of 17 on 3-pointers (64.7%) and Linfield finished 14 of 31 (45.2%).

Early in the game there were two ties and three lead changes, but the Bearcats never trailed after taking an 11-9 lead on Jackson's first 3-pointer with 13:12 left in the half. Willamette added five more unanswered points for a 16-9 lead.

Linfield cut the margin to 16-13 following a 3-pointer from Potter with 9:17 on the clock. The Bearcats responded with a 7-0 run to extend the lead to 23-13 at the 5:13 mark. The run started with a 3-point shot by Hansen and included baskets by McNally and Luedtke.

Jackson, who hit 4 of 5 three-point attempts in the first half, led all scorers at the break with 12 points. Potter, who sank three 3-pointers in the opening 20 minutes, topped Linfield with 11 points.

The second half began with an 8-3 run for the Wildcats, as they reduced Willamette's advantage to 36-28. After WU took a 40-30 lead, Linfield replied with a 10-4 run that began with a 3-pointer by Toor and ended with Myren's jumper that reduced the margin to 44-40.

Jackson returned the lead to 10 points by hitting 3-pointers with 12:23 and 11:54 remaining. A three by Myren and two free throws by Rodby Mason pulled Linfield within 50-45, but the Wildcats never got closer.

A 16-5 surge by Willamette -- with scoring by six different players -- gave the Bearcats a 66-50 lead with 4:33 left. WU led 68-55 with 3:29 to go following a pair of free throws by McNally.

The Wildcats battled back within 71-64 following two free throws from Ryan Cali at the 1:26 mark, but Hansen's 5-for-6 free throw shooting in the final minute clinched the win for the Bearcats.

Led by Luedtke's 15 boards, Willamette achieved a 34-19 rebounding edge. The Bearcats earned 16 assists on their 25 field goals, but committed 17 turnovers which led to 26 points for Linfield. WU scored 11 points on 11 turnovers by the Wildcats.

After playing six games in 14 days, the Bearcats will not play for an entire week. Willamette's next game is set for Friday, Jan. 17 at the University of Puget Sound. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. (PST).

BOX SCORE

Willamette University 78
Linfield College 70

Post-game Interviews

Photo Gallery (Photos by Naomi Stukey, photographer for Willamette Athletics)

Joseph Jackson hit 6 of 7 three-points shots and scored a career-high 19 points.

Joseph Jackson hit 6 of 7 three-points shots and scored a career-high 19 points.

Brandon Luedtke scored 14 points and hauled down 15 rebounds.

Brandon Luedtke scored 14 points and hauled down 15 rebounds.