Stags Hold Off Bearcats in Closing Minutes, Defeat Willamette, 63-61

Luedtke Scores 17 Points, Grabs Seven Rebounds

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Claremont-Mudd-Scripps owned a 59-49 lead with 3:52 left, but had to hold off a rally by Willamette University before defeating the Bearcats, 63-61, on Saturday, Nov. 23 at Cone Field House.

Willamette trailed by three points, 63-60, when Avery Manu (Sr., Wing, Pocatello, ID/Highland HS) was fouled by CMS with three seconds remaining. He missed the first three throw, and then attempted to intentionally miss the second free throw, but the ball bounced and went through the hoop.

CMS ran off the final three seconds to secure the win.

The Stags upped their record to 3-1 on the season. Willamette, playing its home opener, fell to 0-3 overall.

Brandon Luedtke (So., F, Meridian, ID/Mt. View HS) of Willamette led all scorers with 17 points. He connected on 7 of 10 field goals, including several follow-up tap-ins. He was the Bearcats' top rebounder with seven boards.

Manu added 15 points, five rebounds and three steals. Hayden Russell (Fr., G, Woodland, CA/Da Vinci HS) finished with eight points for Willamette.

Tyler Gaffaney and Scott Lynds each scored 13 points for Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. Gaffaney sank 5 of 9 field goals and also earned seven rebounds. Lynds hit 5 of 7 shots, including 3 of 5 on 3-point attempts. Nick Lund also made 5 of 7 shots, as he contributed 10 points and nine rebounds.

While Gaffaney, Lynds and Lund combined to go 15 of 23 on field goals (65.2%), the rest of the Stags connected on 9 of 30 shots (30.0%). As a team, CMS shot 45.3% (24 of 53) and put through 9 of 28 three-pointers.

Willamette made 23 of 60 field goals (38.3%), including 5 of 15 on 3-pointers. WU converted 10 of 13 free throws for 76.9%, while the Stags hit just 6 of 14 charity shots (42.9%). The Stags attained a 39-34 rebounding margin, but lost the ball 18 times, while the Bearcats committed 11 turnovers.

The score was tied at 42-42 with 12:21 remaining after Luedtke scored on a layup and hit a foul shot. CMS created an 11-2 run -- featuring 3-pointers by Gaffaney, Jack Earley and Remy Pinson -- to take a 53-44 lead with 9:56 left.

WU got within 55-49 on a layup by Manu at the 6:21 mark, but Lund scored the next two baskets for the Stags to build their 10-point lead with just under four minutes to go.

Russell swished a jumper with 3:09 remaining and was fouled by CMS. He sank the free throw, as WU pulled within seven points. A jumper by Alex Hansen (Sr., Wing, Reno, NV/Galena HS) reduced the lead to 59-54 with 1:42 on the clock.

Neither team scored over the next minute. Earley hit one of two free throws for the Stags with 30 seconds left for a 60-54 advantage. Russell was fouled while shooting for WU six seconds later. He made both free throws. On the ensuing in-bounds play, Jason Harrington of CMS was fouled by the Bearcats.

Harrington made only the first free throw, with Kyle McNally (Jr., Post, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) of WU rebounding the second attempt. Luedtke scored on a follow shot with 12 seconds left to cut the margin to 61-58.

Shelby Lane hit one of two free throws for CMS with 11 seconds to go, but Luedtke scored on another put-back with six seconds remaining to pull WU within two-points at 62-60.

Remy Pinson sank one of two foul shots less than as second later to give Claremont-Mudd-Scripps a 63-60 lead.

Instead of allowing WU to set up for a 3-pointer, the Stags fouled Manu when he crossed the half-court line. Willamette tacked on one point when Manu inadvertently made the second free throw, but the Stags held on for the win.

The first half featured five ties and five lead changes. CMS earned an 8-2 lead but Willamette eventually surged in front to claim a 14-8 advantage. The Stags scored the next five points, and then neither team led by more than three points until the final few minutes of the opening period.

CMS broke a 24-24 deadlock when Lynds took a successful jump shot with 3:12 on the clock. The basket started a 6-0 run that gave the Stags a 30-24 edge. Willamette tallied the final points of the half on a layup by Luedtke with 37 seconds to go.

Willamette will play at the Capital City Classic on Wednesday, Nov. 27 and Friday, Nov. 29 in Monmouth, Ore. WU will take on host Western Oregon University on Wednesday at 7 p.m. (PST), before facing Corban University on Friday at 4:15 p.m.

BOX SCORE

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 63
Willamette University 61

Post-game Interview

Brandon Luedtke scored 17 points, hit 7 of 10 field goals, and grabbed seven rebounds.

Brandon Luedtke scored 17 points, hit 7 of 10 field goals, and grabbed seven rebounds.