By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
McMINNVILLE, Ore. -- Dempsey Roggenbuck scored 16 points, while Jordan Clark contributed 14 points and 10 rebounds, to lead Linfield College past Willamette University, 65-49, in a Northwest Conference men's basketball game on Wednesday, Jan. 3 at Ted Wilson Gymnasium. Linfield upped its record to 8-3, including 2-1 in the NWC. The Bearcats slipped to 6-6 overall, 1-2 in the NWC.
Willamette's top scorer was Brendon McCullough (Sr., G, San Antonio, TX/Home Schooled) with nine points. Jordan Jenkins (Jr., F, Placentia, CA/Valencia HS) provided eight points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three blocked shots. Trent Callan (Jr., G, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) and Nathan Sherfey (Sr., F, Chehalis, WA/W.F. West HS) earned six points apiece.
"Some nights shots just don't fall and tonight was one of those," Willamette Head Coach Kip Ioane said. "Give Linfield credit for keeping us out of rhythm offensively, but we remain confident in our group and look forward to getting back to work on the practice court."
Linfield put up the game's first nine points, only to have the Bearcats respond with a 10-0 run. McCullough started Willamette's run with a 3-pointer. McCoullough then assisted on a fast-break layup by Callan. After Callan scored again, McCullough finished the surge with a 3-pointer from the left elbow with 15:45 remaining in the half.
The Wildcats scored the next four points, but Willamette countered with four points for a 13-13 tie. A bit later, the teams were tied 16-16 following a 3-point basket by Sherfey at the 11:39 mark.
Jordan Clark sank two free throws to move Linfield in front, and Austin Murray put in a layup at the 10:24 mark to give the Wildcats a 20-16 lead. Jenkins scored on a dunk for WU 16 seconds later, but the Bearcats were unable to tie the game.
Linfield closed the half with an 11-6 run for a 31-24 advantage at the break. Roggenbuck led the Wildcats with 11 first-half points, while McCullough topped Willamette with eight points.
CJ Walker (Jr., P, Placentia, CA/Mayfair HS) opened the second half with a layup for Willamette to cut the margin to five points, but the Wildcats went on a 12-1 run to take charge at 43-27 with 15:19 left. The run started with a 3-pointer by Riley Bruil and ended with a trifecta from Eric Daul.
Jenkins provided WU with a traditional three-point play to cut the margin to 43-30, but Linfield answered with an 11-5 run. After Daul sank a 3-point basket with 9:35 to go, the Wildcats owned a 54-35 lead. Willamette never got closer than 13 points the rest of the way.
The Wildcats shot 43.6% from the field (24 of 55), including 50.0% (12 of 24) in the second half. Linfield was 7 for 22 on 3-pointer's (31.8%). Willamette hit 34.7% of its shots (17 of 49), while making 6 of 22 attempts from 3-point range (27.3%). Linfield gained a 37-34 rebounding edge.
Up next for Willamette is an NWC match-up with University of Puget Sound on Saturday, Jan. 6. Game time at Cone Field House is set for 6 p.m. (PST).