Boxers Edge Bearcats in Closing Minutes, 69-64

Meehan, Malley and Mounts Score in Double Figures

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

FOREST GROVE, ORE. -- Pacific University went on an 10-2 run late in the game to rally past Willamette University for a 69-64 victory over the Bearcats on Saturday, Feb. 4 at the Stoller Center. Willamette held a 57-56 advantage after Terrell Malley (Jr., G, Portland, OR/Roosevelt HS) sank a free throw with 4:10 remaining, but the Boxers scored the next five points to start their decisive run.

David Berney hit a 3-pointer and Coby Proctor added two free throws with 2:35 remaining to give the Boxers a 61-57 lead. Willamette countered with a pair of free throws by Trevor Bos (So., G, Lakewood, CA/St. John Bosco HS) at the 2:22 mark.

Colin Wester put in a layup for Pacific with 1:59 left for a 63-59 lead, and then neither team scored again until the final minute.

With 56 seconds left, Willamette's Taylor Mounts (Sr., Wing/Post, Kailua, HI/Iolani School) was called for an offensive foul as he shot a layup within a foot of the basket. The shot by Mounts went through the hoop, but was negated by the foul.

Pacific earned the next three points on free throws. Berney sank two charity shots with 31.1 seconds left and Marc Eppinger hit 1 of 2 with 20.8 seconds to go. After Eppinger's free throw, the Boxers led 66-59.

Willamette got as close as 68-64 following a 3-pointer by Ryan Meehan (Sr., Wing, Beaverton, OR/Beaverton HS/MSU-Billings) with 5.8 seconds on the clock, but couldn't complete a miracle finish.

Wester of Pacific led all players with 22 points on 8 of 17 field goals and 4 for 4 at the line. Charles Mosley tacked on 15 points, eight rebounds and four assists for the Boxers, while Proctor contributed 13 points.

Meehan, Malley and Mounts all reached double digits in scoring for the Bearcats. Meehan provided 16 points and made 5 of 8 three-pointers. Malley finished with 15 points and was 6 of 9 at the free throw line. Mounts tallied 13 points to go with two assists, two blocked shots and two steals.

Both teams took 50 shots during the game. Pacific hit 21 and Willamette made 19, as the Boxers shot 42.0% and WU shot 38.0%. The Boxers made 9 of 18 field goals in the second half.

WU gained an edge on 3-pointers, sinking 11 of 24 trifectas for 45.8%. In two games over the weekend, Willamette connected on 24 of 49 three-point tries. Pacific was 5 of 15 (33.3%) from 3-point range.

The Boxers made 22 of 30 free throws (73.3%), while the Bearcats converted 15 of 27 shots at the line (55.6%). Pacific Held a 39-29 rebounding edge, but committed 16 turnovers, while WU lost the ball 13 times. Willamette also owned a 6-1 advantage in blocked shots.

Pacific held leads of 9-6 with 15:07 left in the first half and 15-9 at the 11:20 mark. The Bearcats rallied to tie the score twice before taking a 22-19 lead on a 3-pointer by Derek Newhof (Fr., G, Mercer Island, WA/Mercer Island HS) with just over four minutes remaining in the half. It was Willamette's fifth 3-pointer of the opening stanza.

Mounts added a basket to give the Bearcats a 24-19 advantage as the clock reached 2:56. The Boxers closed the half with a 7-1 run, as Wester recorded all seven points. He scored on a pair of layups before putting through a 3-pointer with eight seconds left.

The Boxers retained the lead during the first 11 minutes of the second half. Aided by two 3-point baskets and a trio of traditional 3-point plays, the Boxers opened the period with a 20-12 run. Pacific owned a 46-37 lead -- the largest of the game for either team -- with 11:58 remaining.

WU earned the next eight points to cut the margin to 46-45 with 9:26 to go. The Bearcats eventually tied the game, 47-47, on two free throws by Mounts with 8:54 left, and surged into the lead 13 seconds later on a 3-point shot by Avery Manu (So., Wing, Pocatello, ID/Highland HS). Willamette's lead reached 53-47 after Malley added another 3-pointer.

Pacific cut the margin to two points with four free throws, and later tied the score at 54-54 on a layup by Eppinger with 5:33 remaining. Each team added a basket before Malley gave the Bearcats their final lead by hitting the second of two free throws with 4:10 left.

Willamette will return to action on Thursday, Feb. 9 against Lewis & Clark College. Game time is slated for 8 p.m. (PST) at Cone Field House. The Bearcats and the Pioneers were originally scheduled to play on Friday, Feb. 10, but the date was changed to avoid a conflict with the inauguration of WU President Stephen Thorsett.

BOX SCORE
Pacific University 69
Willamette University 64
Ryan Meehan scored 16 points for the Bearcats and hit 5 of 8 three-pointers.

Ryan Meehan scored 16 points for the Bearcats and hit 5 of 8 three-pointers.