Bearcats Edge Out Boxers, 65-62, as DeLong Scores 18 Points

Pacific Misses 3-Pointer at Buzzer after Kalugin Hits Two Free Throws with :06 Left

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University saw nearly all of its 14-point halftime lead disappear in the second half, but never let Pacific University tie the game or take the lead, as the Bearcats held off the Boxers for a 65-62 win in Northwest Conference action on Tuesday, Jan. 7.

Point guard Jojo DeLong (Jr., Santa Clarita, CA/Canyon HS) scored a game-high 18 points for Willamette. Junior guard Katie Kalugin (Woodburn, OR/Woodburn HS) tacked on 15 points, including two free throws with six seconds left to give WU its final 3-point margin.

Olivia Mayorga-Overtone from Pacific had a tying 3-pointer from the left side of the key wiped out with 0.5 left because Pacific called a timeout before she shot.

When the teams returned to the floor, Mayorga-Overtone caught the in-bounds pass. She launched another 3-pointer, this time from straight on at the top of the key. The shot was on-line but missed a bit short of the basket.

Willamette improved to 3-9 on the season, 1-2 in the NWC. Pacific fell to 4-7 on the season, 0-3 in the conference.

Olivia Cook topped Pacific with 16 points and nine rebounds, while Mayorga-Overtone provided the Boxers with 15 points and six boards. Alex Pfefferle earned 10 points and led the Boxers with two 3-point baskets.

DeLong was 7 of 14 on field goals, including 4 of 8 from 3-point range. Kalugin scored just three baskets, but went 9 for 10 at the charity stripe. She was 7 for 8 at the line in the first half, and did not shoot another free throw until her two insurance shots in the closing seconds.

Also reaching double digits for WU were Daena Mau (Jr., G, Aiea, HI/Punahou School), who hit 4 of 7 three-pointers for 12 points, and Alexa Beeson (Sr., G, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS), who added 11 points. Kalugin and Beeson each registered five rebounds.

Willamette struggled on offense in the early minutes of the game. The Bearcats scored their first basket at the 17:46 mark on their fifth attempt of the game, a jumper by Rebecca Josephson (Sr., G, Fair Oaks, CA/Del Campo HS). WU trailed 10-4 with 13:15 remaining in the half.

The next basket was scored by DeLong, as she drilled the first of seven 3-pointers by Willamette during the half. A bit later, the Bearcats trailed 14-9, but eventually took an 18-16 lead on a 3-pointer by Mau with 6:54 left. Cook made two free throws for Pacific to tie the game two possessions later.

A jumper by Beeson with 4:47 to go started a run for the Bearcats, as WU rattled off eight straight points for 26-18 lead with 3:56 left. Willamette outscored Pacific 14-6 during the remainder of the half for a 40-26 advantage.

The Boxers used an 11-4 run, including six points by Clark, to cut the deficit to seven points, 44-37, with 14:53 left in the game. WU scored four of the next six points before Pfefferle put through a 3-pointer to start a 5-0 run that pulled Pacific within 48-44 with 12:08 to go.

WU extended its lead to 54-44 after Savanna Steele (Fr., PG, West Richland, WA/Hanford HS) and DeLong each hit 3-pointers. Pacific tallied the next seven points and were as close as 54-51 following a free throw by Annette Highley at the 7:18 mark.

The Boxers cut the margin to a single point twice before a 3-pointer by Mau and a jump shot by Julia Brand (Jr., F, Kaneohe, HI/Punahou School) helped Willamette take a 63-57 lead with 2:56 to go.

Mayorga-Overtone added a 3-pointer 24 second later and a jumper at the 1:33 mark, as the Boxers reduced the lead to 63-62. Neither team scored again until Kalugin's free throws with six seconds left.

Willamette shot 41.2% for the game (21 of 51), including 50.0% in the second half (10 of 20). The Bearcats were 10 of 24 on 3-pointers (41.7%) and 13 for 15 (86.7%) at the free throw line.

Pacific shot 39.6% on field goals (21 of 53), but make only 3 of 13 from 3-point range (23.1%). The Boxers sank 17 of 24 free throws and earned a 39-29 edge on the glass, but WU forced more turnovers (16 to 14).

The Bearcats will host archrival Linfield College on Friday, Jan. 10. Tip-off at Cone Field House is set for 6 p.m. (PST).

BOX SCORE

Willamette University 65
Pacific University 62

Post-game Interviews

Jojo DeLong scored a game-high 18 points. She was 7 of 14 from the field, including 4 of 8 on 3-pointers.

Jojo DeLong scored a game-high 18 points. She was 7 of 14 from the field, including 4 of 8 on 3-pointers.