Bearcats Dismantle Pacific Lutheran 72-53 on Senior Night

Women's Basketball Moment of the Year

By Brandon Chinn, Athletics Communications Writer

SALEM, ORE. -- Entering its final home game of the 2013-14 season, the Willamette University women's basketball team had won just two games in eight attempts at Gordie James Court.

Luckily for the Bearcats, it's not how you start but how you finish that counts.

Julia Brand (Jr., F, Kaneohe, HI/Punahou School) scored 16 points and hauled in eight rebounds, Katie Kalugin (Jr., G, Woodburn, OR/Woodburn HS) notched a double-double, and senior Alexa Beeson (G, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) scored 12 points in the final home game of her career as the Bearcats cruised to a 72-53 win over Pacific Lutheran University on Feb. 21.

"To be able to go out and have a nice win for [the seniors] was really nice," head coach Peg Swadener said after the game.

Looking to avenge a five-point loss to the Lutes on January 25, the 'Cats jumped out to a 16-8 lead less than six minutes into the first half. Ahead by 12 with 3:02 remaining in the period, Willamette managed to keep Pacific Lutheran from scoring the rest of the half.

The Bearcats used that time to roll off 10 straight points en route to a 49-27 halftime advantage.

Willamette dominated every aspect of play in the first half. The 'Cats shot 44 percent from the field (12 for 27), as Jojo DeLong (Jr., PG, Santa Clarita, CA/Canyon HS), Kalugin and Beeson all registered double figures before the half.

WU also executed defensively on the other end of the floor, as the Lutes connected on a mere eight of 24 shots in the first half.

It was much of the same story in the second period, as Willamette extended its lead to as much as 29 points on a 3-pointer by DeLong with 7:30 remaining in regulation. Pacific Lutheran managed a run of its own late in the half, but was unable to draw any closer than 18 points.

For those 40 minutes on Feb. 21, the Bearcats never trailed once. They dominated both ends of the floor and made a lasting impression on the crowd of 900 people -- one that won't be forgotten for a long, long time.

Senior Alexa Beeson scored 12 points and connected on two three-pointers in her final home contest as a Bearcat.

Senior Alexa Beeson scored 12 points and connected on two three-pointers in her final home contest as a Bearcat.