Willamette Rolls Past Corban, 78-54, as Bearcats Shoot 70.8% in Second Half

Brown Scores 14 Points, Luedtke and Harlington Add 13 Points Each

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

MONMOUTH, ORE. -- Willamette University took charge in the second half of its match-up against crosstown rival Corban University on Friday, Nov. 29, as the Bearcats shot 70.8% from the field in the final 20 minutes and rolled to a 78-54 victory over the Warriors at the Capital City Classic. WU placed four players in double figures, led by Alex Brown (Jr., F, Happy Valley, OR/Clackamas HS) with 14 points.

The Bearcats improved to 1-4 overall and finished 1-1 in the tournament. Corban fell to 3-4 and to 0-1 in the tournament. The Warriors will take on Western Oregon University on Saturday, Nov. 30 at 4:15 p.m. in the final game of the 3-team round-robin event hosted this year by WOU.

Willamette's defense created problems for Corban throughout most of the game. The Bearcats held the Warriors to just 15 points in the first 15 minutes and limited Corban to 28.1% shooting (9 of 32) in the second half. Corban shot 35.2% overall (19 of 54).

Defensive pressure by the Bearcats -- mostly in the half-court game -- forced the Warriors into 19 turnovers, which led to 23 points for Willamette. The Bearcats lost the ball 14 times, but limited the Warriors to only seven points off the turnovers.

After shooting 40.7% (11 of 27) in the first half, Willamette connected on 17 of 24 field goals in the second half. WU shot 54.9% overall, including 8 of 16 on 3-pointers. The Bearcats converted 14 of 23 free throws (60.9%).

The Bearcats gradually built a 14-point lead in the first 16 minutes.

Willamette led 8-3 following a 3-pointer at the right elbow by Joseph Jackson (So., G, Hillsboro, OR/Hillsboro HS). The lead reached 18-10 when Talanoa Smith (Jr., G, Pago Pago, American Samoa/Tafuna HS) sank a jump shot in the key with 10:18 on the clock.

After Bridger Harlington (Fr., Wing, Lake Tapps, WA/Auburn Riverside HS) converted an old-fashioned 3-point play at the 6:37 mark WU owned a 25-12 advantage. The Bearcats claimed a 29-15 lead with 4:24 left in the half on a free throw by Kyle McNally (Jr., Post, Salem, OR/Sprague HS)

Corban took control during the remainder of the half. A full-court press forced a turnover and led to a basket by Caleb Dozier with 3:57 left. Caleb Herzberg added two free throws at the 3:41 mark and Tyler Edwards scored on a rebound and follow shot with 2:45 to go, cutting WU’s the lead to 31-21.

The teams exchanged the next two baskets on layups by Aaron Withe of Corban and Jake Stevens (Fr., F, Eagle, ID/Eagle HS) of Willamette. Corban then tallied five unanswered points on a layup by Josiah Sebens and a 3-point basket by Edwards to cut the margin to 33-28.

Stevens added a basket for WU with 29 seconds remaining, but Herzberg scored for the Warriors on a 3-pointer with 0.1 left on the clock. He was fouled and missed the ensuing free throw. The Bearcats led 35-31 at the half.

Willamette surged out to a 45-33 advantage with a 10-2 run to open the second half. Avery Manu (Sr., Wing, Pocatello, ID/Highland HS), who did not score in the first half while picking up two fouls, scored six points during the run, all on layups.

Corban reduced the lead to eight points twice, including the second time at 49-41 on a jump shot by Toby Roth with 15:24 remaining. A 7-0 run by the Bearcats stretched the lead to 15 points.

The run began with a jumper by Brown and continued when Harlington hit a layup. Harlington completed the run with a 3-point shot as the clock reached 13:12 for a 56-41 advantage.

A bit later, Willamette held a 59-46 lead before Brown scored on three consecutive possessions. He swished an 8-foot jumper with 9:28 on the clock, then added a pull-up jumper in the key at the 8:56 mark, followed by a 3-pointer from just outside the top of the arc with 8:15 remaining. Brown's solo run increased the Bearcats' lead to 66-46.

Brown was joined in double figures by Harlington and Brandon Luedtke (So., F, Meridian, ID/Mt. View HS) with 13 points each, and by Manu, who scored 10 points. Harlington was 4 for 4 from the field with two 3-pointers and hit 3 of 3 free throws. Luedtke led all players with eight rebounds to go with three assists and two steals.

Smith provided WU with a game-high six assists, while Stevens finished with seven points, four rebounds and two steals. The Bearcats achieved a 31-26 rebounding margin and ended the game with 11 steals.

Herzberg and Jordan Carter each produced 11 points for Corban. Withe earned seven points and hit 3 of 5 field goals. Cyrus Ward led the Warriors with seven rebounds.

Willamette does not play again until Thursday, Dec. 19 against the University of Redlands in Redlands, Calif. Game time is set for 7 p.m. (PST).

BOX SCORE

Willamette University 78
Corban University 54

Tournament Website

Post-game Interviews

Alex Brown led four Bearcats in double figures. He scored 14 points and hit 6 of 7 field goals.

Alex Brown led four Bearcats in double figures. He scored 14 points and hit 6 of 7 field goals.