Mounts and Malley Lead the Way as Willamette Defeats Linfield, 83-78

Bearcats Outlast Rivals to Claim First NWC Win of the Season

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Taylor Mounts (Sr., Wing/Post, Kailua, HI/Iolani School) scored 23 points and Terrell Malley (Jr., G, Portland, OR/Roosevelt HS) added 20 points to lead Willamette University over archrival Linfield College, 83-78, on Friday, Feb. 3 at Cone Field House. Mounts also grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds for the Bearcats.

Zach Anderson of Linfield tallied a game-high 31 points and 12 rebounds. He hit 4 of 8 three-pointers and made 17 of 19 free throws. David Lee tacked on 16 points for the Wildcats. Andrew Batiuk added nine points, eight boards and three blocked shots.

Willamette earned its first Northwest Conference win of the season, while improving to 3-17 overall, 1-10 in the NWC. Linfield dropped to 4-16 overall, 2-9 in the conference.

The Bearcats avenged a 95-71 loss at Linfield on Jan. 7. In the first meeting Anderson scored 30 points for Linfield, including 19 in the first half, as the Wildcats built a 52-37 halftime lead.

In the rematch on Friday, Willamette held a 38-35 advantage at the end of the first half.

Willamette led 6-0 and 10-4 in the opening minutes, before Linfield tallied seven straight points for an 11-10 lead. The Wildcats eventually led 22-15 after Michael Moreland sank two charity shots with 11:21 left in the half. A bit later, the Wildcats held a 25-18 lead.

The Bearcats countered with a 10-2 run to move past the Wildcats, 28-27, as the clock reached the 6:08 mark. Ryan Meehan (Sr., Wing, Beaverton, OR/Beaverton HS/MSU-Billings) started the run with a 3-pointer and ended it with a jump shot. WU led for the remainder of the half.

Exciting Finish for Bearcats

Late in the game, WU owned a slim 78-76 lead after Anderson sank two free throws for Linfield with 1:24 remaining.

Malley, who scored 18 points in the second half, connected on a 3-pointer with 1:03 left to extend WU's lead to 81-76. Malley hit 4 of 5 three-pointers in the second half to finish 4 for 6 overall.

Linfield pulled back within three points when Anderson hit 2 of 3 free throws with 19 seconds to go. Malley secured the win for the Bearcats by converting two free throws two seconds later. They were his only free throw attempts of the game.

Under pressure from the Bearcats, Linfield was unable to shoot until a 3-pointer by Jake Hillyer rebounded off the rim just before the buzzer sounded.

Mounts and Malley were joined in double figures for Willamette by Meehan, who produced 14 points, six rebounds and three steals.

Mounts moved past the 1,200-point mark for career scoring, as he advanced to 1,203 points. He was 3 of 6 on 3-pointers and 8 for 11 at the free throw line. He had one of his best games of the season, while providing on-the-court leadership that lifted WU's performance.

He also had one of the game's top plays with 36 seconds left.

The play began with Linfield trailing 81-76 following Malley's last 3-pointer. Andrew Batiuk took a jumper for the Wildcats, but missed. The rebound went off several players and was hauled in by Mounts, who fell on the ball in the lane. Rather than trying to get up, he stayed on the floor, giving WU Head Coach Kip Ioane a chance to call time-out.

Mounts was fouled two seconds later. He missed the free throw, but Linfield had to run 15 seconds off the clock before Anderson was fouled on a 3-point shot.

Battle in the Second Half

The second half featured five ties and six lead changes. Willamette started the period with an 11-4 run for a 49-39 lead with 15:57 left. Meehan concluded the offensive surge with a steal near midcourt followed by a dunk.

Linfield answered with a 13-3 run of its own to force a 52-52 deadlock with 11:45 remaining. Anderson scored six of the points, while Hillyer finished the outburst with a 3-point shot.

Willamette tallied the next three points on a basket and foul shot by Meehan, but Linfield eventually took a 62-58 lead with 9:38 to go.

Just 11 seconds later Moreland of Linfield was called for a technical foul after blocking a shot by Mounts. WU retained possession after Mounts hit 1 of 2 free throws, and Meehan tied the game with a 3-pointer at the 9:25 mark.

Over the next four minutes there were three ties, including 68-68 following a layup by Mounts with 5:24 on the clock. Lee gave the Wildcats the lead with two free throws, but WU moved in front for good, 71-70, when Malley swished a 3-pointer with 3:50 to play. Malley stole the ball seconds later and added a layup for a 73-70 lead.

Linfield tallied the next basket on a jumper by Batiuk, but WU answered with a 5-0 run to claim a 78-72 lead with 2:02 to go. Malley supplied the first three points with a long-range shot at the 2:36 mark. Mounts added two free throws to complete the run after the Wildcats missed on two chances to reduce the lead. Moreland missed two free throws with 2:18 left, and Lee was unable to score on a layup after rebounding the second miss.

Willamette shot 43.3% for the game (29 of 67), including 13 of 25 on 3-pointers (52.0%). The Bearcats made 12 of 16 free throws. WU forced Linfield into 19 turnovers, while the Bearcats lost the ball just 11 times.

The Bearcats used their 3-point accuracy to offset a huge advantage for Linfield at the free throw line. The Wildcats hit 34 of 43 free throws to finish with 27 more free throw attempts than the Bearcats. Linfield was 8 of 17 on 3-point shots (47.1%).

Up next for Willamette is another Northwest Conference game, as the Bearcats will battle Pacific University on Saturday, Feb. 3 in Forest Grove, Ore. Game time is slated for 8 p.m. (PST).

BOX SCORE
Willamette University 83
Linfield College 78
Terrell Malley was 4 for 5 on 3-pointers in the second half. His 3-pointer with 1:03 left gave WU an 81-76 lead.

Terrell Malley was 4 for 5 on 3-pointers in the second half. His 3-pointer with 1:03 left gave WU an 81-76 lead.