Willamette Slips Past Pacific Lutheran, 75-74

Babcock-Krenk Tallies 21 Points, Malley Adds 17; Dart Earns Double-Double

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

PARKLAND, WASH. -- Willamette University saw a 14-point lead disappear late in the second half, as Pacific Lutheran University tied the game with 3:17 remaining, but the Bearcats regained the lead and held on for a 75-74 road victory over the Lutes on Saturday, Jan. 12.

The Bearcats elevated their record to 6-8 overall, 3-2 in the Northwest Conference. Pacific Lutheran fell to 4-11, 2-4 in the NWC.

WU won despite missing 4 of 4 free throws in the final 31 seconds. Meanwhile, PLU missed a 3-pointer with 13 seconds left and failed on a 3-point attempt at the buzzer.

Elliot Babcock-Krenk (Sr., Wing, Lake Oswego, OR/Lake Oswego HS/Humboldt State Univ.) scored a game-high 21 points for Willamette. Terrell Malley (Sr., G, Portland, OR/Roosevelt HS) produced 17 points for the Bearcats, while Sean Dart (Sr., Post, Bend, OR/Mountain View HS/Eastern Oregon Univ.) supplied a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

It was a rebound by Brandon Luedtke (Fr., Post, Meridian, ID/Mt. View HS) for WU with 10 seconds left that helped secure the win. Cameron Reister of PLU launched a 3-point shot from well behind the arc. A battle ensued for the rebound and Luedtke gained possession. He was fouled on the play, but missed both free throws.

Cameron Schilling, who led PLU with 20 points and 11 rebounds, missed on a 3-pointer from just behind the arc at the buzzer.

Andrew Earnest scored 17 points for the Lutes, while Daniel Landram finished with 11 points.

Willamette trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half, but battled to within a single point, 37-36, at halftime.

The Lutes' largest lead of the opening half was 24-13 following a 3-pointer by Landram at the 10:44 mark. WU trailed 34-24 with 7:07 on the clock, before starting a 9-0 run. Four players contributed to the run, with Babcock-Krenk ending the surge with a 3-point basket as the clock reached 3:47.

PLU countered with a 3-pointer by Reister for a 37-33 edge. Willamette received a free throw from Alex Brown (So., Wing/Post, Happy Valley, OR/Clackamas HS) with 50 seconds left and then reduced the deficit to a single point just 12 seconds before halftime on a dunk by Kyle McNally (So., Post, Salem, OR/Sprague HS).

The Bearcats tied the game twice early in the second half, before moving in front 44-43 when Babcock-Krenk put in a 3-pointer with 15:56 remaining. The 3-pointer opened a 14-0 run for Willamette that resulted in a 55-43 lead.

Willamette eventually extended the margin to 14 points at 64-50 on a layup by Dart with 9:36 to go. The Lutes answered with an 18-4 run that tied the game at 68-68. PLU's offensive surge featured seven points each by Schilling and Earnest. The final points of the run were recorded on a jumper by Earnest.

The score remained tied for the next 1:12 before Malley put WU back in front on a driving layup at the 2:05 mark. Malley, who was fouled on the play, converted the free throw.

After a free throw by Schilling, the Bearcats extended the lead to 74-69 with one free throw form Dart and a pair of free throws by Babcock-Krenk. PLU used a 3-pointer by Reister to cut the margin to two points. McNally hit 1 of 2 free throws for WU with 53 seconds remaining for a 75-72 advantage.

Arvid Isaksen connected on two free throws with 37 seconds left to pull PLU within one point. Dart was fouled with 31 seconds left, but missed both free throw attempts. PLU kept the ball for 18 seconds before Reister launched his lengthy 3-pointer that was rebounded by Luedtke.

Willamette shot 50.0% (25 of 50), including 7 of 20 (35.0%) on 3-pointers. The Bearcats made 18 of 27 free throws (66.7%). Pacific Lutheran hit 48.2% of its field goals (27 of 46), with success on 10 of 22 three-pointers (45.5%). PLU finished 10 of 15 at the line.

Trevor Bos (Sr., G, Lakewood, CA/St. John Bosco HS) topped WU with six assists, while Malley assisted on five baskets.

The Bearcats kept solid possession of the ball, as they committed only nine turnovers on the night. WU also attained a 32-30 rebounding edge. PLU lost the ball 10 times.

Up next for Willamette is a Northwest Conference game at Whitworth University on Friday, Jan. 18. Game time is scheduled for 8 p.m. (PST) against the Pirates, who are ranked #5 by D3hoops.com. Whitworth edged past George Fox, 61-59, on Friday, but did not play on Saturday.

BOX SCORE

Willamette University 75
Pacific Lutheran University 74

Sean Dart scored 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season.

Sean Dart scored 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season.