Nationally Ranked George Fox Defeats Bearcats, 71-42

Kalugin Leads Willamette with 15 Points, DeLong Adds 11

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

SALEM, ORE. -- George Fox University, ranked #8 in NCAA Division III by D3hoops.com, grabbed 21 offensive rebounds and scored 36 points off turnovers, as the Bruins defeated Willamette University, 71-42, on Friday, Jan. 24 to improve to 15-1 on the season, 6-1 in the Northwest Conference.

Willamette dropped to 3-13 overall, 1-6 in the NWC. George Fox, which also holds the #12 ranking from the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), returned to the win column after losing to Whitman College, 75-63, on Jan. 18. Whitman is ranked #3 by D3hoops.com and is tied for #4 by the WBCA.

Megan Arnoldy topped GFU with 12 points, as he connected on 6 of 9 field goals. Justine Benner chipped in 10 points.

Jordyn Peacock and Nicole Blizzard each scored nine points for the Bruins. Lauren Codling registered a game-high 17 rebounds to go along with eight points, two assists and two steals.

Katie Kalugin (Jr., G, Woodburn, OR/Woodburn HS) was Willamette's top scorer with 15 points, including a trio of 3-pointers. Kalugin also recorded five rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Jojo DeLong (Jr., PG, Santa Clarita, CA/Canyon HS) provided the Bearcats with 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting, including 3 of 5 on 3-pointers. Alexa Beeson (Sr., G, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) scored six points and led Willamette with six rebounds.

Willamette stayed close to the Bruins during most of the first half.

The Bearcats were tied with GFU at 4-4, and trailed by just three points, 11-8, with 15:43 on the clock. George Fox surged out to a 21-9 advantage, but held only a six-point lead with 9:36 remaining in the half, after Kalugin and DeLong sank back-to-back 3-pointers.

Willamette also trailed by six points, 26-20, after DeLong hit another 3-pointer at the 5:09 mark. George Fox went into halftime on a 14-5 run for a 40-25 lead. The Bruins' run included three baskets by Codling plus 3-pointers by Blizzard and Jamie Roos.

Alex Wert (Fr., F, Spokane, WA/St. George's HS) scored the first basket of the second half for the Bearcats, but the Bruins countered with a 10-2 run for a 50-29 advantage. A 10-4 surge by Willamette cut the lead to 54-39 following a 3-pointer by Savanna Steele (Fr., PG, West Richland, WA/Hanford HS) with 8:37 left. George Fox pulled away by scoring the next 15 points.

For the game, the Bruins used their 21 offensive boards to outscore the Bearcats 18-3 in second-chance points. In addition, the Bruins forced Willamette into 38 turnovers.

GFU shot 42.5% on field goals (31 of 73) and sank 5 of 8 free throws. Willamette connected on 35.0% of its shots (14 of 40), as the Bearcats fell from 42.9% over the first 20 minutes (9 of 21) to 26.3% in the second half (5 of 19). WU connected on just 6 of 15 free throws. GFU achieved an overall rebounding advantage of 43 to 29.

The Bearcats will take on Pacific Lutheran University on Saturday, Jan. 25 in Parkland, Wash. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. (PST).

BOX SCORE

George Fox University 71
Willamette University 42

Post-game Interview

Photo Gallery (Photos by Naomi Stukey, photographer for Willamette Athletics)

Katie Kalugin finished the game with 15 points and five rebounds for the Bearcats.

Katie Kalugin finished the game with 15 points and five rebounds for the Bearcats.