William Jessup Edges Bearcats, 75-70, in Women's Basketball

Bearcats Lead 31-23 at Halftime; Teams Battle in Closing Minutes

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

SALEM, ORE. -- William Jessup University rallied from deficits of 31-23 at halftime and 45-34 with 13:14 remaining, as the Warriors defeated Willamette University, 75-70, in a women's basketball game at Cone Field House on Friday, Dec. 28.

William Jessup, which competes in NAIA Division II, improved to 6-8 on the season. Willamette, which competes in NCAA Division III, fell to 0-10.

The Bearcats played a solid first half, led by Jojo DeLong (So., G, Santa Clarita, CA/Canyon HS), who earned nine points and two assists. WU shot 38.7% during the half (12 of 31), while limiting WJU to 30.0% (9 of 30). Willamette owned a 28-15 rebounding margin at the break.

WU trailed 5-2 early, but tied the score at 7-7 and took a 10-7 advantage on a 3-pointer by DeLong at the 14:09 mark. The Bearcats stayed in front over the remainder of the half, and owned a 31-19 margin with 2:35 on the clock, following an 8-0 run that ended with a trifecta by Sophie Wilson (Sr., G, Port Townsend, WA/Port Townsend HS).

At the start of the second half, Willamette continued to hold a sizable edge. The Bearcats extended their lead to 38-25 when Jo Johnston (Fr., C, Missoula, MT/Florence-Carlton HS) sank 1 of 2 free throws with 16:49 remaining. William Jessup pulled within 38-31 on 3-pointers by Ashley Rose and Sarah Petersen, but WU answered with the next four points.

The Bearcats also led by 11 points, 45-34, after a 3-pointer by Petersen was offset by one free throw from Johnston and two free throws by DeLong. The Warriors eventually tied the game at 51-51 and took their first lead of the second half at 56-54 on a 3-pointer by Petersen at the 6:49 mark.

WJU extended the margin to 61-56 before Willamette used an 8-0 run for a 64-61 lead. The offensive surge featured a opened with a jumper and a 3-pointer by Mau, and included a basket and foul shot by Rebecca Josephson (Jr., G, Fair Oaks, CA/Del Campo HS) with 3:48 to play.

The teams battled in the closing minutes.

Willamette led 65-62 and 67-64, before the teams were tied at 68-68 with 1:47 left on a pair of free throws by Olivia Nelson. The Warriors ended the game with a 7-0 run, starting with a 3-pointer by Nelson with 1:27 to go. The Warriors sank 4 of 6 free throws the rest of the way.

Katelyn Nordlien (So., F, Salem, OR/ North Salem HS) of Willamette scored on a layup at the buzzer.

William Jessup was led by Petersen, who scored 23 points on 8 of 13 shooting, including 5 of 8 three-point attempts. Ashley Rose added 22 points for the Warriors, while Taylor Borba contributed 10 points.

Katie Kalugin (So., F, Woodburn, OR/Woodburn HS) tallied 12 points for Willamette. DeLong provided 11 points, while Rebecca Josephson (Jr., G, Fair Oaks, CA/Del Campo HS) earned 10 points. Jo Johnston (Fr., C, Missoula, MT/Florence-Carlton HS) recorded 7 points and 13 rebounds.

Mackenzie Lamson (Jr., F, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) and Mau made solid contributions off the bench. Lamson earned nine points and five rebounds in 21 minutes. Mau achieved eight points, including two 3-pointers, and added two rebounds in 14 minutes.

The Bearcats shot 43.3% for the game (26 of 60), while William Jessup shot 38.3% (23 of 60), but the Warriors hit 9 of 19 three-pointers (47.4%) and made 20 of 30 free throws (66.7%). Willamette was 5 of 12 from 3-point range (41.7%) and sank 13 of 21 free throws (61.9%).

Willamette gained a 49-31 rebounding margin. The Bearcats lost the ball 22 times, while the Warriors committed just eight turnovers.

William Jessup avenged a 78-59 loss to the Bearcats last season. In between, WJU added several transfers, including Petersen, who previously played at the University of Great Falls (Mont.) before sitting out two seasons. No one who scored for William Jessup last year scored in the rematch. Two players from last season saw action for the Warriors, but did not score.

The next game for Willamette is a Northwest Conference match-up in Tacoma, Wash., against the University of Puget Sound on Friday, Jan. 4 at 6 p.m. (PST). The Bearcats will host George Fox University in another NWC game on Saturday, Jan. 5. Tipoff at Cone Field House is scheduled for 6 p.m.

Both games are part of doubleheaders including men's basketball games between the same universities. The men's game each night is set for 8 p.m.

BOX SCORE

William Jessup University 75
Willamette University 70

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

Daena Mau gave Willamette a solid game off the bench with 8 points and two 3-pointers.

Daena Mau gave Willamette a solid game off the bench with 8 points and two 3-pointers.