By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- University of Puget Sound built a 61-35 hafltime lead against Willamette University on Saturday, Jan. 6, and the Loggers went on to down the Bearcats, 105-87, in a Northwest Conference men's basketball game at Cone Field House. Puget Sound led by just five points, 23-18, with 10:22 remaining in the first half, and held a 31-22 advantage at the 6:55 mark, but the Loggers ended the half with a 30-13 run to take command.
Puget Sound advanced its record to 9-3 on the season, 2-2 in the NWC. Willamette dropped to 6-7 overall, 1-3 in the NWC.
The Loggers placed five players in double figures, led by Stelland Roberts with 22 points. Roberts hit 9 of 12 shots from the field, including 4 of 5 from 3-point range. Jimmy Wohrer provided 15 points, while Jeremiah Hobbs and Easton Driessen each scored 11 points. Anthony Rumasuglia scored 10 points and led the loggers with five rebounds and three assists. He was 4 for 4 on field goals with one 3-pointer, and made his only free throw attempt.
Trent Callan (Jr., G, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) paced the Bearcats with 18 points on 5-of-7 shooting. He was 2 for 2 on 3-pointers and hit 6 of 8 free throws. Callan also grabbed five rebounds and had tow assists. Jordan Jenkins (Jr., F, Placentia, CA/Valencia HS) followed with 17 points, four assists, three rebounds and two steals. Caleb Roberts (Jr., W, Salem, OR/North HS) connected on 4 of 5 shots (2 of 3 from 3-point range) and scored 12 points. CJ Walker (Jr., P, Placentia, CA/Mayfair HS) earned 10 points, two assists and three seals. Nico Troplent (Sr., W, Los Angeles, CA/Cathedral HS) tied Callan for the team lead with five rebounds.
Puget Sound shot 59.7% for the game (40 of 67). The Loggers converted 11 off 22 three-point attempts (50.0%), including 7 of 12 (58.3%) in the first half. On defense, the Loggers blocked four shots and forced Willamette into 25 turnovers. Puget Sound lost the ball 19 times.
The Bearcats were 31 of 64 from the field (48.4%). After shooting 45.2% in the first half, including 2 of 11 (18.2%) from 3-point range, the Bearcats improved to 51.5% from the field (17 of 33) in the second half, including 5 of 10 on 3-point shots.
Willamette held a 6-2 lead just over a minute into the game. Brendon McCullough (Sr., G, San Antonio, TX/Home Schooled) scored on a layup just four seconds after the opening tip. Jenkins added a layup, and tacked on a dunk following a turnover by the Loggers. Puget Sound tied the score at 6-6, but WU took a 9-6 advantage on a 3-pointer by Sherfey with 17:36 remaining in the half.
A layup by Jenkins with 15:53 to go increased Willamette's positive margin to five points at 11-6. After Driessen scored on a layup for Puget Sound, Conin Oishi (Sr., G, Lake Forest Park, WA/Shorecrest HS) put through a 3-pointer for the Bearcats, as Willamette took a 14-8 lead with 15:18 on the clock.
The Loggers responded with a 9-0 run that included scoring from four players, giving Puget Sound a 17-14 lead with 12:35 left in the half. Callen scored on a layup 11 seconds later and tacked on two free throws with 11:31 remaining to send WU back in front at 18-17.
An 11-0 run by Puget Sound followed, starting with a 3-pointer by Walker Shibley-Styer. After Shibley-Styer's basket, Roberts hit a 3-pointer to give Puget Sound a 23-18 edge at the 10:22 mark. Roberts added another 3-pointer, and Wohrer completed the run with a jumper, as the Loggers took a 28-18 lead with 9:18 to go.
Willamette trailed by a 31-22 margin with 6:55 left following a layup by Jenkins. Puget Sound scored 20 of the next 26 points -- including 3-pointers by Roberts, Rumasuglia and Wohrer -- to achieve a 51-28 lead with 2:24 remaining. At halftime, Roberts led all scorers with 16 points, including four 3-point baskets. Jenkins of Willamette, who hit all five of his shots in the first half, had 10 points for the Bearcats.
Callan sank a 3-pointer for WU just 18 seconds into the second half, but the next four points went to the Loggers. Puget Sound claimed its largest lead at 81-50 with 12:07 left. The margin was 86-58 at the 9:12 mark, before the Bearcats went on a 13-0 run to pull within 86-71 after McCullough hit two free throws with 6:56 remaining. Willamette cut the deficit to 15 points to other times, including 89-74 on a layup by Jenkins with 5:26 left, but never got closer.
The Bearcats will travel to Tacoma, Washington, to take on Pacific Lutheran University on Friday, Jan. 12. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. (PST).