Lewis & Clark Shuts Down Willamette, 68-50

Brown Leads Bearcats with 15 Points

By Timothy Walsh, Assistant Athletics Communications Director

PORTLAND, ORE. -- Lewis & Clark College held Willamette University to just 21.7% shooting in the first half, then broke the game open after halftime, defeating the Bearcats 68-50 in a Northwest Conference game on Saturday, Jan. 18 at the Pamplin Sports Center.

The Pioneers improved to 12-3 on the year and joined Whitworth University and Whitman College atop the NWC standings. Whitworth, Whitman and L&C are all 5-1 in NWC play.

Willamette dropped to 3-12 on the season, 1-5 in the NWC.

Alex Brown (Jr., F, Happy Valley, OR/Clackamas HS) led the Bearcats with 15 points on 6 of 10 shooting from the field. Avery Manu (Sr., W, Pocatello, ID/Highland HS) was the only other Willamette player in double figures, scoring 10 points.

For L&C, Kurt Parker's 18 points topped all scorers, while Jason Luhnow added 14.

Despite limiting the Pioneers to just 7 of 30 shooting (23.3%) in the first half -- including just 4 of 19 (21.1%) from three-point range -- Willamette trailed by 13 points at the halftime break. The Bearcats connected on just 5 of 23 attempts from the field (21.7%) in the opening period.

Luhnow opened the game with a three-pointer for L&C, but from there, both teams went cold. The Pioneers missed their next nine shots from the field, while Willamette's first field goal came on a layup from Brown at the 15:37 mark.

Still, L&C pieced together a 12-1 over the following seven minutes, taking a 15-4 lead on a free throw from Parker with 8:01 left in the half. Manu finally snapped the run with a driving layup with 7:29 remaining.

The Bearcats cut the deficit to 19-11 on another layup from Brown with 2:58 left, but the Pioneers responded with a 7-0 run to push the lead back to 15. Alex Hansen (Sr., W, Reno, NV/Galena HS) responded, hitting a floater in the lane with five seconds on the clock to pull WU within 26-13 at halftime.

Willamette came out of the locker room firing, as the Bearcats hit their first three shots of the second half. A steal and layup from Kyle McNally (Jr., F, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) cut the Pioneers' advantage to 31-24 at the 15:50 mark.

But at 15:14, Parker drilled a deep three-pointer with the shot clock all the way down to two, starting a 15-0 Pioneer run over the following three minutes. Jake Stevens (Fr., P, Eagle, ID/Eagle HS) halted the run with a free throw at 11:45, but the Bearcats got no closer than 17 points the rest of the way.

Willamette finished the game shooting 20 of 53 (37.7%) from the field, including 15 of 30 (50.0%) in the second half. Lewis & Clark shot just 42.4% in the second half (14 of 33), but connected on 8 of 15 attempts (53.3%) from three-point range after the break. L&C finished 12 of 34 (35.3%) from distance for the game.

Both teams took care of the ball, with the Bearcats accumulating just 15 turnovers against 11 for the Pioneers. Both teams struggled from the foul line, as Willamette was just 9 of 17 from the charity stripe (52.9%) against 60.9% (14 of 23) for Lewis & Clark. L&C outrebounded WU 49-35.

The Bearcats return to Cone Field House for their next game, an NWC contest against George Fox University, on Friday, Jan. 24. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. (PST).

BOX SCORE

Lewis & Clark College 64
Willamette University 45

Alex Brown led Willamette with 15 points.

Alex Brown led Willamette with 15 points.