Mounts Scores 30 Points, but Lutes Limit Turnovers to Defeat Bearcats, 89-78

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

PARKLAND, WASH. -- Pacific Lutheran University committed just two turnovers, as the Lutes defeated visiting Willamette University, 89-78, at Olson Auditorium on Saturday, Jan. 28. Willamette senior Taylor Mounts (Wing/Post, Kailua, HI/Iolani School) scored a game-high 30 points and led all players with 12 rebounds, but the Bearcats couldn't overcome PLU's ability to retain the ball on offense.

PLU also achieved an edge at the free throw line, where the Lutes made 19 of 33 attempts (57.6%). The Bearcats sank 10 of 12 free throws (83.3%).

Willamette held an advantage in field goal accuracy, as the Bearcats hit 57.1% (30 of 58), while Pacific Lutheran connected on 47.7% (31 of 65). The teams shot nearly identical numbers from 3-point range, with WU going 8 for 17 (47.1%) and the Lutes converting 8 of 18 (44.4%).

By keeping their turnovers to a minimum, the Lutes were able to prevent Willamette from stringing together many offensive runs. Meanwhile, Willamette committed only 13 turnovers, five below the team's average of 18.3 prior to the game.

Cameron Schilling topped Pacific Lutheran with 19 points. Andrew Earnest added 18 points. Cameron Reister put in 15 points for the Lutes on 5 of 9 shooting, including 4 of 6 on 3-pointers. James Conti added 12 points, plus game highs with seven assists and four steals.

For Willamette, Mounts was joined in double figures by Noah Ripley (So., Post, Springfield, OR/Springfield HS), who scored 10 points and hauled down four rebounds. Ryan Meehan (Sr., Wing, Beaverton, OR/Beaverton HS/MSU-Billings) supplied WU with nine points. Trevor Box (So., G, Lakewood, CA/St. John Bosco HS) earned five assists and four rebounds.

Mounts finished three points away from his career-high of 33, set against Corban University on Dec. 30, 2010.

The Bearcats and the Lutes each grabbed 36 total rebounds. The Lutes achieved 19 assists and Willamette finished with 14.

Willamette and PLU combined for six ties and eight lead changed in the opening half. WU took a 10-6 lead on a 3-pointer by Mounts with 17:03 on the clock. Pacific Lutheran tallied the next four points, but the Bearcats responded with a 9-4 run for a 19-14 advantage with 13:13 left.

PLU tied the score two more times before taking a 33-32 lead on a 3-point basket by Reister at the 5:59 mark.

The game was tied 40-40 with 3:32 remaining in the half, but the Lutes finished the period with a 7-0 run. Schilling started the run with a layup and Conti added a jumper and foul shot. Zachary Klein finished the run with a layup as the clock reached 1:18. Neither team scored in the final minute, leaving PLU with a 47-40 halftime edge.

Willamette surged out of halftime with an 11-3 run for a 51-50 lead at the 16:34 mark. The run included two layups and a 3-pointer by Mounts, who reached the 22-point mark after scoring 15 points in the first half.

The Bearcats held a 56-52 advantage after Joseph Jackson (Fr., G, Hillsboro, OR/Hillsboro HS) hit a 3-pointer with 14:36 left. Pacific Lutheran responded with six consecutive points to take the lead, before WU tied the score at 58-58 on a jumper by Mounts with 11:52 to go.

Pacific Lutheran recorded the next 10 points and held the Bearcats off the scoreboard until just over nine minutes remained in the game. The run by the Lutes, which began with a layup by Austin Wilson, gave PLU a 68-58 margin.

The Lutes led 73-61 at the 6:50 mark, before Willamette cut the lead to six points at three times, including 77-71 after Terrell Malley (Jr., G, Portland, OR/Roosevelt HS) put in a layup with 2:49 on the clock.

Earnest scored on a jumper and Conti registered a steal and a layup to return the Lutes to a 10-point lead at 81-71.

Willamette, which has played five of its last seven games on the road, will return to Cone Field House to take on nearby rival Linfield College in an NWC game on Friday, Feb. 3. Game time is scheduled for 8 p.m. (PST). Including the match-up with Linfield, the Bearcats will play three of their next four games at home.

Pacific Lutheran University 89
Willamette University 78
Taylor Mounts of Willamette scored 30 points, hit 13 of 23 field goals and grabbed 12 rebounds.

Taylor Mounts of Willamette scored 30 points, hit 13 of 23 field goals and grabbed 12 rebounds.