Malley Scores 20 Points; Dart Earns 14 Points and 14 Boards
SALEM, ORE. -- Terrell Malley (Sr., G, Portland, OR/Roosevelt HS) scored 20 points, while Sean Dart (Sr., Post, Bend, OR/Mountain View HS/Eastern Oregon Univ.) added 14 points and 14 rebounds, leading Willamette University to an 85-74 victory over visiting George Fox University on Saturday, Jan. 5 at Cone Field House.
Willamette improved to 5-7 overall, 2-1 in the Northwest Conference, while George Fox slipped to 6-5 overall, 2-1 in the NWC.
The Bearcats led 40-28 at halftime and by as many as 22 points in the second half, but had to hold off a late rally by the Bruins.
Willamette was in front by just five points, 73-68, with 1:38 remaining, but the Bearcats sank 12 of 14 free throws the rest of the way, with five different players contributing at the line.
Malley and Dart led four Bearcats in double figures. Elliot Babcock-Krenk (Sr., Wing, Lake Oswego, OR/Lake Oswego HS/Humboldt State Univ.) and Alex Brown (So., Wing/Post, Happy Valley, OR/Clackamas HS) contributed 10 points each.
Kyle McNally (So., Post, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) tacked on nine points and grabbed seven boards, while Trevor Bos (Sr., G, Lakewood, CA/St. John Bosco HS) earned six points, four assists and two steals.
GFU was topped by Spencer Bolte, who scored 23 points and sank 10 of 13 free throws. Anthony Sanchez tallied 11 points and dished out five assists. Sean Atkins supplied 10 points, while Seth Brent earned 12 rebounds.
Willamette shot 50.0% (17 of 34) in the first half, while limiting George Fox to 34.4% (11 of 32). The Bearcats trailed 5-3 less than two minutes into the game, but went on an 8-0 run to surge past the Bruins, 11-5. WU's largest lead of the half was 35-19 with 5:59 on the clock.
Malley put up 11 points in the first half, while hitting three of his 3-pointers. Brown added eight points and McNally provided seven.
Jon Adrian opened the second half with a 3-pointer for the Bruins, but Willamette countered with a 9-2 run that included five points from Malley on two free throws and a 3-point basket. The Bearcats held a 49-33 lead with 16:56 remaining.
WU eventually upped the lead to 22 points at 57-35 following a 3-pointer by Oliver Hughes (Sr., Wing, Salt Lake City, UT/Judge Memorial HS) with 13:48 left. An 11-0 run by George Fox reduced the lead to 57-46 with 9:50 on the clock. The run by GFU featured scoring by five players.
Babcock-Krenk sank an open 3-point shot at the 8:48 mark to end the Bruins' run and give Willamette a 60-46 edge. The Bearcats continued to lead by double digits until Jason Martin hit a 3-pointer for GFU to cut the margin to 67-59 with 4:33 left in the game.
The Bruins ultimately got as close as four points at 69-65 when Adrian made the first of two free throws with 3:19 to go. Adrian missed the second shot and Dart hauled down the rebound for Willamette.
Dart was fouled on the play. He hit two free throws to give WU a 71-65 advantage. The lead slipped to five points when Bolte converted 1 of 2 free throws for GFU with 2:12 left, but Dart answered with a jump shot with 1:46 on the clock. Bolte put through a jump shot eight seconds later, as the Bruins cut the margin to 73-68.
Willamette then secured the win with solid free throw shooting. Dart made 1 of 2 foul shots at the 1:11 mark and Avery Manu (Jr., Wing, Pocatello, ID/Highland HS) sank 1 for 2 with 54 seconds remaining to move the lead to 75-68.
Sanchez hit 1 of 2 free throws for George Fox a few seconds later, but the Bruins never got closer, as Willamette went 10 for 10 at the line the rest of the way. Bos began the string of free throws with 42 seconds left, while Malley, McNally, Babcock-Krenk and Dart also went 2 for 2 in the closing seconds.
The Bearcats shot just 32.3% (10 of 31) from the field in the second half to finish the game at 41.5% (27 of 65). WU was 7 of 20 on 3-pointers (35.0%) to go along with a stellar 24 of 29 (82.8%) at the line, including 22 of 27 in the second half. Willamette achieved a 49-40 rebounding margin.
George Fox upped its shooting to 37.8% in the second half (14 of 37), as the Bruins went 25 of 69 (36.2%) for the night. GFU was 5 of 26 (19.2%) from behind the 3-point line and connected on 19 of 30 free throws (63.3%).
Willamette will play at home again on Friday, Jan. 11, when the Bearcats will host Lewis & Clark College. Game time at Cone Field House is set for 8 p.m. (PST).