Warner Pacific Edges Bearcats on Shot with Two Seconds Left, 70-69

DeLong and Towry Each Score 19 Points for Willamette

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

PORTLAND, ORE. -- Willamette University point guard Jojo DeLong (Jr., Santa Clarita, CA/Canyon HS) hit a 3-point shot with 23 seconds remaining to give the Bearcats a one-point lead, but Jessica Thoens scored on a runner with two seconds left, as Warner Pacific College took a 70-69 win on Friday, Nov. 22 at Bart Valentine Court.

The Knights led by 10 points, 62-52, with 8:27 left, but the Bearcats pulled within 68-65 on a jumper and foul shot by DeLong at the 2:16 mark. DeLong added a free throw with 59 seconds left, and then gave Willamette a 69-68 lead with her 3-pointer.

Warner Pacific, which competes in the NAIA, improved to 3-4 on the season. Willamette, which competes in NCAA Division III, fell to 1-3.

After a layup by Ali Campbell gave Warner Pacific its 10-point lead, Willamette gradually rallied.

DeLong led the charge, as she scored 13 of the Bearcat's final 17 points. She opened the rally on a layup with 8:15 remaining, and added a free throw with 7:42 to go. Courtney Walchli scored on a put-back for the Knights, but DeLong sank a 3-pointer to pull WU within 64-58 as the clock reached 5:06.

Walchli added another basket for Warner Pacific 19 seconds later, before two layups by Rebecca Josephson (Sr., G, Fair Oaks, CA/Del Campo HS) cut the lead to 66-62 with 3:25 left.

The Knights thwarted the rally momentarily when Megan Tullis hit a layup with 2:32 on the clock. DeLong responded with her traditional 3-point play 16 seconds later to start a 7-0 run by Willamette.

DeLong's free throw and 3-point basket in the final minute put WU in front, but Thoen's running basket prevented the Bearcats from taking the victory.

Willamette's top scorers were DeLong and Kylie Towry (Fr., G, Medford, OR/South Medford HS), each with 19 points. DeLong was 6 of 11 from the field and 4 for 6 on 3-pointers.

After earning 10 assists in a 84-70 win over Concordia University (Ore.) on Wednesday, DeLong recorded eight assists against the Knights. She also achieved five rebounds and two steals in 37 minutes. Towry finished with five assists, two steals and three rebounds.

Katie Kalugin (Jr., G, Woodburn, OR/Woodburn HS) provided WU with 10 points and six boards. Josephson contributed seven points and a team-high nine rebounds. Willamette earned a slim 38-37 rebounding edge.

Janelle Weiss hit 6 of 11 field goals to score 14 points for Warner Pacific. She also attained five boards, four assists and three steals. Jordan Wilcox chipped in 12 points on 4 of 6 three-pointers. Campbell produced a double-double with 11 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.

The Knights surged out to a 7-0 lead, but Willamette scored 18 of the next 24 points to take an 18-13 advantage. Seven of the Bearcats' points were scored by Kalugin, while Alexa Beeson (Sr., G, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) completed the run with a pair of free throws at the 7:12 mark.

A 3-pointer by Wilcox cut the lead to 18-16, but WU kept its momentum going. The Bearcats held a 25-18 edge after a 3-pointer from Towry with 4:36 left, and extended the margin to 28-18 on a 3-pointer by Towry with 2:57 to go.

Warner Pacific responded with an 11-1 run to tie the game, 29-29, on two free throws by Weiss with 0:05 remaining. DeLong put WU in front at the break when she scored her first basket on a 3-point shot as the clock expired.

The Knights scored first in the second half, but Willamette answered with a 9-4 run for a 41-35 lead with 16:30 left. Warner Pacific countered with a 12-6 run to tie the game 47-47 at the 12:07 mark. An additional 9-1 run gave the Knights a 51-47 advantage with 9:59 left.

The Bearcats shot 38.6% (22 of 57) and hit 11 of 30 three-pointers (36.7%). Warner Pacific made 48.3% of its shots (29 of 60), including 19 of 28 (67.9%) in the second half. The Knights were 5 of 14 (35.7%) from 3-point range.

WU held an edge at the free throw line, sinking 14 of 21 charity shots, while the Knights went 7 of 12. Willamette finished with 15 turnovers and seven steals. WPC lost the ball 14 times and recorded eight steals.

Willamette will not play again until Friday, Nov. 29 against Western Oregon University in the first round of the Capital City Classic in Monmouth, Ore. Game time is set for 2 p.m. (PST). The Bearcats will play Corban University or California Maritime Academy in the second round on Saturday, Nov. 30.

BOX SCORE

Warner Pacific College 70
Willamette University 69

Jojo DeLong scored 19 points, including four 3-pointers. She also earned eight assists, five rebounds and two steals.

Jojo DeLong scored 19 points, including four 3-pointers. She also earned eight assists, five rebounds and two steals.