George Fox Surges Out to Early Lead in Win over Bearcats

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

NEWBERG, ORE. -- George Fox University, ranked #18 in the D3hoops.com Top 25 Poll, scored 13 of the first 15 points and went on to defeat Willamette University, 73-28, in a Northwest Conference game at the Wheeler Sports Center on Friday, Feb. 1.

With the win, GFU advanced its record to 16-4 o the season, including 9-2 in the NWC. Willamette fell to 1-18 overall, 1-9 in the NWC.

George Fox shot out to an early lead. The Bruins scored the first seven points of the game and led 13-2 following a layup by Justine Benner with 16:24 left in the half. The next basket was scored by Willamette's Katie Kalugin (So., F, Woodburn, OR/Woodburn HS) at the 14:15 mark.

Kalugin's jumper was the first field goal of the game for WU. It was the only field goal by the Bearcats during the first 12 minutes, as Willamette started the game 1 for 12 from the field.

GFU extended its lead to 26-5 with 8:06 remaining in the half. WU matched the Bruins over the next 6:08, as each team scored eight points. GFU closed the half with a 5-0 run for a 34-13 lead.

Jami Roos led the Bruins at halftime with 10 points. Rebecca Josephson (Jr., G, Fair Oaks, CA/Del Campo HS) tallied six points for Willamette in the first half.

The Bruins outscored the Bearcats 8-5 in the first 4:37 of the second half for 47-18 advantage. At the end that stretch Willamette received a layup from Jo Johnston (Jr., C, Missoula, MT/Florence-Carlton HS) on a nifty assist by Mackenzie Lamson (Jr., F, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) with 15:23 remaining.

Over the next 6:15, George Fox went on an 11-0 run that extended the lead to 58-18. Josephson ended the Bruins' run by hitting a 10-foot jumper for Willamette with 8:21 left.

GFU shot 48.1% from the field (26 of 54) and made 4 of 12 three-pointers (33.3%). The Bruins were 17 of 24 (70.8%) at the free throw line. WU connected on just 19.6% of its shots (10 of 51) and went 0 for 15 from 3-point range. Willamette sank 8 of 14 free throws (57.1%).

The Bruins claimed a 48-29 rebounding margin, led by McKenzie Wolfe with nine rebounds. Willamette's top rebounder was Johnston, who brought down eight boards.

Roos topped the scoring chart for GFU, as she scored 13 points on 4 of 5 shooting (2 for 2 on 3-pointers) and went 3 for 4 at the line. Wolfe added 11 points and was 4 for 4 from the field. Hayley Cusick earned nine points, eight boards, five assists and three steals.

Josephson led WU with eight points and hit 3 of 6 field goal attempts. She also achieved four rebounds. Kalugin finished with four points and four steals. Julia Brand (So., F, Kaneohe, HI/Punahou School) grabbed five boards.

Willamette will host the University of Puget Sound on Saturday, Feb. 2 at Cone Field House in Salem, Ore. Game time is scheduled for 6 p.m. (PST).

BOX SCORE

George Fox University 73
Willamette University 28

Rebecca Josephson scored eight points for the Bearcats.

Rebecca Josephson scored eight points for the Bearcats.