Corban Controls Second Half to Defeat Willamette, 52-42

Warriors' Defense Limits WU to just 14 Second-Half Points

By Brandon Chinn, Athletics Communications Writer

MONMOUTH, ORE. -- The Willamette University Bearcats held strong throughout the first 20 minutes of action against Corban University in the consolation game of the Capital City Classic on Saturday, Nov. 30.

But the Warriors' defense held Willamette to just 14 points in the second half, while Corban's offense sparked a key 7-0 scoring run in the closing minutes to complete the 52-42 victory.

Willamette fell to 1-5 on the season, while Corban improved to 3-4 with the win.

Corban was led by center Tara Vanweerdhuizen who recorded a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. She also anchored the team's defensive efforts with four blocks in the contest. Julia Young shot 40% from the floor to join Vanweerdhuizen as the game's leading scorer. with 12 points.

Jojo DeLong (Jr., G, Santa Clarita, CA/Canyon HS) led Willamette in scoring with 10 points, eight of which came in the first half.

Katie Kalugin (Jr., G, Woodburn, OR/Woodburn HS) added eight points and seven rebounds while playing in all but two minutes of action.

Willamette utilized a pair of key runs in the first half. Trailing 13-8, back-to-back 3-pointers by Delong put the Bearcats ahead 14-13.

That created a spark for WU, which scored three more times to cap a 12-0 run. Corban responded immediately, ending its scoring drought with a 7-0 run to knot the game at 20 points apiece.

With the half coming to a close and the 'Cats down two, Kylie Towry (Fr., G, Medford, OR/South Medford HS) knocked down a pair of jumpers from behind the arc to propel Willamette to a 30-28 halftime lead. 

Willamette received plenty of scoring contributions in the first half. Towry and DeLong both scored eight points, shooting a combined 5 for 11 from the floor.

Neither team came out particularly hot to start the second half, as the game was tied at 33 after nearly six minutes of action. Two baskets by Vanweerdhuizen keyed an 8-0 scoring run for the Warriors, giving them a 41-33 lead.

That deficit seemed to awaken the Bearcats, who scored seven of the game's next nine points to draw within three. 

After a free throw by Alex Wert (Fr., F, Spokane, WA/St. George's School) brought the score to 43-40 with five minutes remaining, Willamette was unable to move any closer.

A layup by Vanweerdhuizen ended the scoring drought with 2:37 remaining, and Corban rolled off five more points to widen the lead to 10 at 50-40.

The Warriors defense held strong, heavily guarding the perimeter to prevent any three-point opportunities for the Bearcats.

A floater by DeLong in the key was all Willamette could muster in the final five minutes of play as the Warriors prevailed 52-42.

Willamette shot just 34% while also committing 19 turnovers. Despite the offensive performance, the Bearcats defense kept the team in contention throughout, limiting Corban to just 36% shooting from the floor.

The Bearcats got into the bonus with five minutes remaining after Corban's seventh foul of the second half, but Willamette managed just two free throws from that point until the end of the game.

In the championship game of the Capital City Classic, Western Oregon University defeated California Maritime Academy, 64-46. Chantel Divilbiss and Dana Goularte each scored 14 points for the Wolves.

Divilbiss was named Tournament MVP. She was joined on the All-Tournment Team by Goularte of Western Oregon, Shante Sands from California Maritime, and Tara Vanweerdhuizen and Julia Young from Corban.

After an extended layoff, Willamette will return to action on Dec. 16 against the University of California-Santa Cruz in the first game of the Santa Cruz Tournament. WU will take on the University of La Verne (Calif.) on Dec. 17 and will play Berry College (Ga.) on Dec. 18. No starting times have been determined for any of the tournament games.


Corban University 52
Willamette University 42

Tournament Website

Katie Kalugin scored eight points and hauled in seven boards while playing 38 minutes on Saturday.

Katie Kalugin scored eight points and hauled in seven boards while playing 38 minutes on Saturday.