Lewis & Clark Shoots 53.3% in Second Half to Defeat Bearcats, 89-78

Babcock-Krenk, Dart and Malley each Achieve 15 Points for Willamette

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Lewis & Clark College shot 53.3% from the field in the second half, as the Pioneers surged past Willamette University, 89-78, in a Northwest Conference men's basketball game on Friday, January 11. Willamette led by 48-43 at halftime, but L&C hit 16 of 30 field goals in the second half, including 7 of 11 three-point attempts.

The Pioneers upped their record to 8-6 on the season, including 2-3 in the NWC. Willamette dropped to 5-8 overall, 2-2 in the NWC.

L&C placed five players in double figures, led by Connor Freeberg with 15 points. Freeberg was 6 of 9 on field goals and 3 for 3 at the free throw line. The Pioneers made 16 of 17 free throws (94.1%) during the game.

Three Willamette players, Elliot Babcock-Krenk (Sr., Wing, Lake Oswego, OR/Lake Oswego HS/Humboldt State Univ.), Sean Dart (Sr., Post, Bend, OR/Mountain View HS/Eastern Oregon Univ.) and Terrell Malley (Sr., G, Portland, OR/Roosevelt HS), each produced 15 points.

Brandon Luedtke (Fr., Post, Meridian, ID/Mt. View HS) added 11 points for the Bearcats and grabbed eight rebounds. He was 3 for 4 on field goals and went 5 for 5 at the line.

Willamette shot 53.3% in the first half (16 of 30), before slipping to 40.0% (10 of 25) in the second half. WU finished at 47.3% (26 of 55), while L&C ended the night at 47.7% (31 of 65).

The Bearcats held a lead for nearly all of the first half. L&C tied the game at 2-2 in the first minute, but Willamette tallied the next five points to start a 10-4 run. After Babcock-Krenk sank a 3-pointer at the 14:20 mark, Willamette owned a 12-6 advantage.

WU expanded the lead to 20-10 on a 3-pointer and a foul shot by Malley at the 12:11 mark. The Bearcats eventually claimed a 28-15 margin on a jumper by Malley with 10:36 left in the half.

With 5:31 on the clock, the Bearcats were in front, 38-26. Lewis & Clark tallied 12 of the next 14 points to reduce the margin to 40-38 with 2:40 to go. The run included traditional three-point plays by Freeberg and Ben Neves, as well as a 3-point basket by Dexter Peace.

Kyle McNally (So., Post, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) of Willamette blocked a layup by Justin Leathers at the 2:07 mark. McNally also grabbed the rebound and was fouled. He made 1 of 2 free throws to increase WU's lead to 41-38.

L&C tied the game with 1:49 left on a 3-point shot by Kurt Parker. Willamette responded with a 7-0 run that started with a basket and a foul shot by Luedtke and also featured two more free throws from Luedtke, plus a jump shot by Tyler Conger (Fr., G, Fountain Hills, AZ/Desert Mountain HS).

The Pioneers turned the ball over with 11 seconds on the clock, but WU lost the ball with four seconds to go. Freeberg, who recorded the steal, scored on a layup with one second left in the half.

Babcock-Krenk opened the second half with a basket for the Bearcats, but L&C scored the next six points to pull within 52-49. The Pioneers trailed 54-52 following a 3-pointer by Ross Erickson with 16:27 remaining, but the next basket was a 3-pointer by Sam Walters (Jr., Wing, Tacoma, WA/Stadium HS) of WU nearly two minutes later.

Lewis & Clark used a layup by Neves and a 3-pointer by Jason Luhnow to tie the score 57-57 with 14:02 left. Leathers added a 3-pointer at the 12:30 mark as L&C took its first lead of the game. Trevor Bos (Sr., G, Lakewood, CA/St. John Bosco HS) scored a 3-pointer for WU to tie the game again, 60-60.

An 11-2 run by L&C allowed the Pioneers to surge into the lead. Freeberg completed the run with a layup as the clock reached 9:23. WU cut the margin to 71-65 on a jumper by Conger with 8:00 to go.

Later, WU tallied five straight points to pull within 75-71 with 4:34 remaining. All five points were scored in a 49-second span on a free throw by McNally, plus a layup and a jumper by Malley.

After Erickson scored on a layup for the Pioneers, the Bearcats had two chances to pull within three points, but a pair of 3-pointers by Malley rebounded off the rim. L&C grabbed the second rebound, and Freeberg scored on the ensuing possession for a 79-71 advantage.

The lead reached 81-71 before Babcock-Krenk sank a layup for Willamette with 2:14 to go. The Bearcats never got closer the rest of the way.

Joining Freeberg in double figures for L&C were Leathers with 13 points, Erickson and James Hollins with 12 points each, and Pearce with 11 points. The Pioneers were 11 of 24 from 3-point range (45.8%), with at least one trifecta from seven players. Willamette made 8 of 19 three-pointers (42.1%) and hit 18 of 27 free throws (66.7%).

Lewis & Clark gained a slim 35-34 rebounding edge, as both teams recorded 13 offensive boards. Erickson grabbed a team-high seven rebounds, while Leathers and Freeberg each hauled down five boards. For WU, Luedtke's eight rebounds were followed by Dart and McNally with seven boards apiece.

WU committed 16 turnovers, while L&C turned the ball over 13 times. The Pioneers claimed a 28-6 advantage in points off turnovers and also earned an 18-10 edge in second chance points.

The Bearcats will play at Pacific Lutheran University in NWC action on Saturday, Jan. 12. Game time in Parkland, Wash., is set for 8 p.m. (PST).

BOX SCORE

Lewis & Clark College 89
Willamette University 78

Elliot Babcock-Krenk hit 5 of 9 field goals on his way to 15 points against the Pioneers.

Elliot Babcock-Krenk hit 5 of 9 field goals on his way to 15 points against the Pioneers.