McNally Hits Free Throws Late in OT, as Bearcats Edge Hardin-Simmons, 72-71

Manu's Layup with 15 Seconds Left in Regulation Forces Overtime

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Sophomore post Kyle McNally (So., Post, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) sank two free throws for Willamette with 27.5 seconds left in overtime to give the Bearcats the game's final lead in a 72-71 win over Hardin-Simmons University, on Saturday, Nov. 17 at Cone Field House. The game was part of the Bon Appetit NWC Tipoff Classic.

Both teams ended the game 1-1 in the tournament and 1-1 on the season.

Willamette led 38-15 at halftime, but saw the Cowboys rally to take 58-51 lead with 5:18 remaining. HSU later held a 62-54 advantage with 3:44 left, but the Bearcats rallied to eventually tie the game 67-67 on a layup by Avery Manu (Jr., Wing, Pocatello, ID/Highland HS) with 15 seconds to go in regulation.

Four Willamette players reached double figures in scoring. Elliot Babcock-Krenk (Sr., Wing, Lake Oswego, OR/Lake Oswego HS/Humboldt State Univ.) provided 17 points and made 4 of 9 three-pointers.

Manu finished with 13 points and was 7 for 8 at the line. Trevor Bos (Sr., G, Lakewood, CA/St. John Bosco HS) tacked on 11 points, while making 6 of 6 free throws. McNally earned 10 points and converted 4 of 4 charity shots.

As a team, Willamette sank 24 of 31 free throws (77.4%), including 21 of 23 in regulation. HSU made 18 of 35 free throws (51.4%) after sinking only 2 of 12 free throws (16.7%) in the opening period.

Top scorers for Hardin-Simmons were Eric Taylor with a game-high 21 points and Titus Mims with 20 points. Darius Singletary contributed 16 points and made 7 of 12 field goals.

WU achieved a 56-46 rebounding margin. Dart led the Bearcats with 11 rebounds, while McNally added eight and Rich Vazquez (Jr., Post, Phoenix, AZ/Paradise Valley HS/Mesa CC) earned seven. Singletary of Hardin-Simmons grabbed a game-high 14 boards.

The Bearcats dominated the first half, when the Cowboys couldn't find their shooting touch. Hardin-Simmons hit just 6 of 31 shots (19.4%) over the first 20 minutes, while connecting on 1 of 10 three-pointers. 

With HSU struggling, the Bearcats scored the game's first 13 points. Hardin-Simmons finally got on the scoreboard when Jeff Holland put in a layup at the 12:59 mark. WU  tallied the next seven points, ending with a layup by Sean Dart (Sr., Post, Bend, OR/Mountain View HS/Eastern Oregon Univ.), for a 20-2 lead with 11:09 on the clock.

Willamette's lead reached 21 points, 31-10, when McNally sank a pair of free throws with 3:01 left in the half. The Bearcats were in front by 23 points at halftime.

Little changed in the first few minutes of the second half, as the Bearcats scored six of the first 10 points to claim a 44-19 lead.

Hardin-Simmons tallied the next basket on a jumper by Taylor with 16:51 remaining, and then the Cowboys began to limit WU's offensive chances with a full-court press. The Bearcats went nearly three minutes between baskets, as Taylor's jump shot opened a 12-0 run for HSU, cutting the lead to 44-31 with 14:37 on the clock.

The Cowboys outscored Willamette 24-5 over the next 8:07 to surge past the Bearcats for a 55-49 advantage with 6:30 left. HSU's lead reached 58-51 when Jones sank three charity shots after being fouled on a 3-point attempt.

Willamette cut the margin to 58-54 after two free throws by Bos and one free throw by Brandon Luedtke (Fr., Post, Meridian, ID/Mountain View HS) with 4:39 remaining, before HSU extended the lead to 62-54.

The Bearcats outscored the Cowboys 13-5 over the final 3:29 of the second half. A 6-0 run by WU ended with a layup by Manu at the 2:30 mark to cut the deficit to 62-60. Singletary added a jumper with 1:29 to go and a layup with 49 seconds left, as HSU took a 66-62 lead.

Babcock-Krenk swished a 3-pointer with 39 seconds remaining, as WU pulled within 66-65. Bernard Stiggers of HSU was fouled with 29 seconds left, but made only the first attempt, which allowed Manu to tie the game on a layup with 15 seconds on the clock.

Willamette made only 1 of 11 field goal attempts and 3 of 8 free throws in overtime, but piled up nine offensive boards during the extra session. The Bearcats grabbed a 68-67 lead when Dart sank one of two free throws with 3:37 left, after he was fouled on an offensive rebound.

After Dart missed the second free throw, the ball went out of bound off an HSU player. Ten seconds later McNally added a successful jumper to give WU a 70-67 edge.

Hardin-Simmons recorded four unanswered points to take a 71-70 lead. Singletary made a layup with 3:10 left and Taylor hit a jumper with 2:02 to go.

Neither team scored until the final half minute of play. Singletary had an opportunity to increase the HSU lead when he was fouled with just over 28 seconds left. He missed both free throws, with McNally grabbing the second rebound. McNally, who was fouled by Holland on the play, hit both free throws at the other end of the court to put Willamette in front.

On the last possession for Hardin-Simmons, E.Z. Garcia made a bad pass from the corner to the low post and McNally earned a steal to clinch the win.

In Saturday's first game, Lewis & Clark received 20 points from Ross Erickson in an 81-53 victory over Colorado College.

Willamette will play at the Capital City Classic, hosted by crosstown rival Corban University, on Friday, Nov. 23 and Saturday, Nov. 24. The Bearcats will open the tournament against Corban at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.

2012 Bon Appetit NWC Tipoff Classic

First Round Scores (Nov. 16)
At Lewis & Clark College, Portland, Ore.

University of La Verne 56, Willamette University 52
Lewis & Clark College 99, UC-Santa Cruz 68
At George Fox University, Newberg, Ore.

Hardin-Simmons University 73, Pacific University 66
George Fox University 63, Colorado College 58

Second Round Schedule (Nov. 17)
At Willamette University, Salem, Ore.

Lewis & Clark College 81, Colorado College 53
Willamette University 72, Hardin-Simmons University 71 (OT)
At Pacific University, Forest Grove, Ore.

UC-Santa Cruz 80, George Fox University 64
Pacific University 66, University of La Verne 58


Willamette University 72 (OT)
Hardin-Simmons University 71

Photo gallery
(By Naomi Stukey, Photographer for Willamette Athletics)

Kyle McNally, shown shooting a jumper against Hardin-Simmons, made two free throws with 27.5 seconds left in overtime to give Willamette the win.

Kyle McNally, shown shooting a jumper against Hardin-Simmons, made two free throws with 27.5 seconds left in overtime to give Willamette the win.

Avery Manu sent the game into overtime after scoring on a layup with 15 seconds left in regulation.

Avery Manu sent the game into overtime after scoring on a layup with 15 seconds left in regulation.