Willamette Rallies against Montana Tech, before Orediggers Win, 79-74

Bearcats will Battle Corban in Consolation Game at 5 p.m. on Saturday

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Montana Tech built a 17-2 lead against Willamette University in the first round of the Capital City Classic on Friday, Nov. 25 at Cone Field House. Even so, Willamette rallied to take the lead with less than seven minutes remaining in the game. Montana Tech regained the lead at 64-62 with 4:28 remaining, but had to hit 5 of 6 free throws in the final 22 seconds to defeat the Bearcats, 79-74, at Cone Field House.

Willamette will take on nearby rival Corban University in the consolation game on Saturday, Nov. 26 at 5 p.m. (PST). Montana Tech will play Western Oregon University in the championship game at 7 p.m. 

Corban competes in NAIA Division II and Willamette is a member of NCAA Division III. Montana Tech plays in NAIA Division I and Western Oregon competes in NCAA Division II.

Willamette vs. Montana Tech

Montana Tech achieved its 64-62 lead on a jumper by A.J. Paine. The Orediggers extended the lead to 67-62 when Daniel Simon sank a 3-pointer with 3:58 remaining.

Ryan Meehan (Sr., Wing, Beaverton, OR/Beaverton HS/MSU-Billings) of Willamette hit a jumper at the 3:36 mark, but Simon added a layup for Montana Tech 22 seconds later.

The teams then exchanged three pointers, with Joseph Jackson (Fr., G, Hillsboro, OR/Hillsboro HS) connecting from long-range for WU and Tyree Haynie answering for the Orediggers. WU still trailed by five points, 72-67.

WU cut the margin to a single point, as Noah Ripley (So., Post, Springfield, OR/Springfield HS) put in layup with 2:18 to go and scored on a follow shot with 55 seconds left. The Orediggers moved quickly down the court and Haynie scored a layup for a 74-71 lead.

Meehan was fouled while shooting a 3-pointer for Willamette with 39 seconds left. He hit the first free throw, before missing the final two. Willamette applied pressure on Montana Tech, but couldn't force a turnover. Meehan fouled A.J. Paine with 22 seconds on the clock.

Paine sank both charity shots. After a turnover by WU, Paine added two more free throws with 11 seconds remaining to give the Orediggers a 78-72 advantage and lock up the win.

Meehan earned a game-high 20 points for the Bearcats. He was 7 of 13 on field goals, including 3 of 6 on 3-point shots.

Taylor Mounts (Sr., Wing/Post, Kailua, HI/Iolani School) provided Willamette with a double-double, as he scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Mounts also earned four assists and blocked two shots.

Ripley ended the game with 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting, while Bos and Trevor Malley (Jr., G, Portland, OR/Roosevelt HS) added eight points apiece.

Adam Gregor topped the Orediggers with 18 points. He was 7 of 11 from the floor. Paine finished with 16 points, six assists and three steals, while Bryan Bock tallied 14 points. Simon contributed 11 points and nine boards.

The final surge by Montana Tech offset a tremendous comeback by Willamette, after the Bearcats started the game 1 for 15 from the field.

WU trailed 17-2 with 10:56 left in the first half, but cut the lead to 21-12 on a 3-pointer by Trevor Bos (So., G, Lakewood, CA/St. John Boscoe HS) at the 7:51 mark. The Bearcats pulled within 32-24 on another 3-pointer by Bos with 1:33 on the clock. Montana Tech held a 36-26 lead at the break.

The Bearcats continued their rally in the second half. Montana Tech's lead dwindled to six points, 44-38, when Meehan nailed a 3-pointer with 14:43 left. The Orediggers took a 50-40 lead, only to have the Bearcats use a 9-2 run to pull within 52-49 on two free throws by Mounts with 10:36 to go.

Willamette fell behind 56-49, but responded with a 7-0 run to tie the game for the first time with 7:51 remaining. Bock gave Montana Tech a 59-56 edge with a 3-pointer on the next possession. WU tied the game again with a layup by Meehan and a free throw by points.

Mounts missed the second charity shot with 6:34 on the clock, but Malley forced a steal 16 seconds later to set up a 3-pointer by Meehan for a 62-59 lead with 6:14 left. The Orediggers eventually tied the game on a layup by Haynie at the 4:40 mark, before moving ahead for good.

For the game, Willamette shot 44.3% (27 of 61) from the field and connected on 8 of 21 3-pointers (38.1%). The Bearcats blistered the net in the second half, shooting 60.7% (17 of 28) and hitting 5 of 9 three-pointers.

WU blocked five shots and held Montana Tech to 38.9% shooting for the game (28 of 72). The Orediggers sank 6 of 25 three-pointers and made 17 of 22 free throws (77.3%). Montana Tech earned a 47-36 rebounding margin and had 17 offensive boards.

Western Oregon vs. Corban

Western Oregon trailed Corban 72-70 with 1:08 left following a 3-pointer by the Warriors' Josiah Sebens, but the Wolves ended the evening with a 5-0 run.

WOU lost the ball on its next possession, when Sebens recorded a steal and was fouled by Blair Wheadon. Sebens missed the front end of a 1-and-1 and James Gehring rebounded for the Wolves.

Jordan Freelander tied the game with a layup at the 42-second mark. He was fouled by Erik Cronrath, who fouled out on the play. Freelander added the free throw for a 73-72 lead.

Dustin Moore of Corban missed a 3-pointer with 29 seconds remaining and Wheadon of WOU was fouled with 23 second to go. He made both free throws to give the Wolves a 75-72 lead.

Sebens missed two 3-point shots for the Warriors in the final nine seconds.

Much of the first half was a 3-point shooting exhibition by both teams. At one point, Corban was 6 of 8 and WOU was 4 for 5. At halftime, the Warriors held a 38-31 lead and were 7 of 15 on trifectas. WOU finished the half 5 of 11 from behind the arc.

Corban continued its 3-point mastery in the second half, hitting 8 of 15 shots to finish 15 for 30 overall. Western Oregon ended the game 7 for 18 overall (38.9%).

Kolton Nelson led WOU with 16 points. Wheadon tacked on 14 points, Kris White scored 11 and Gehring added 10. Gehring also hauled down a game-high eight rebounds.

Sebens scored 18 points for the Warriors. He was 6 of 12 from the field (6 of 10 on 3-pointers). Dustin Moore provided 15 points for Corban, while Jordan Carter scored 12 and Cronrath earned 10.

Remaining Schedule

Saturday, Nov. 26 at Cone Field House
5 p.m. - Consolation Game - Willamette vs. Corban
7 p.m. - Championship Game - Western Oregon vs. Montana Tech

Games played on Saturday will have Live Stats available on the Willamette Athletics Website.

An extended story will be posted later.


2011 Capital City Classic
Hosted by Willamette
Nov. 25-26

Game 1
Western Oregon University 75
Corban University 72

Game 2
Montana Tech 79
Willamette University 74

Taylor Mounts of Willamette recorded a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Taylor Mounts of Willamette recorded a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds.