By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications, (503)
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Willamette University senior Jordan Jenkins (F, Placentia, CA/Valencia HS) scored a career-high 25 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, but #6-ranked Whitman College defeated the Bearcats, 104-59, at the Sherwood Center on Saturday, Dec. 1. Whitman improved to 6-1 overall and to 2-0 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette fell to 0-6 overall, 0-2 in the NWC.
Jenkins was the game's top scorer and top rebounder. He was 9 for 10 on field goals, including 1 for 1 from 3-point range, and converted 6 of 6 free throws. He provided the Bearcats with five assists and earned one steal. His previous career high for scoring was 22 points, set against Pacific University on Feb. 9, 2018 and against Pomona-Pitzer (Calif.) earlier this season on Nov. 23.
During his career, Jenkins has scored 714 points in 61 games played, an average of 11.7 points per game. He is Willamette's leading scorer this year with 17.7 points per game.
Joining Jenkins in double figures on Saturday was Caleb Roberts (Sr., W, Salem, OR/North HS) with 10 points. Roberts sank 4 of 7 field goals and was 2 for 5 from behind the 3-point line. Jonathan Watts (Fr., G, San Diego, CA/Rancho Bernardo HS) contributed eight points and seven rebounds.
Joey Hewitt led Whitman with 15 points, while earning three assists and three steals. Jack Stewart produced 14 points for the Blues and hit 4 of 8 on 3-point shots. Cedric Jacobs-Jones chipped in 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Trevor Osborne and Michael Gutierrez each achieved 11 points, while Austin Butler and Robert Colton each grabbed six boards.
Willamettte shot 50.0% for the game (21 of 42) and converted 4 of 13 three-point shots (30.8%). Whitman shot 49.3% for the game (37 of 75). The Blues made 14 of 34 three-point attempts (41.2%).
The factor that created a big game for the Blues was Whitman's non-stop pressure defense. The Blues earned 18 steals and forced Willamette into 32 turnovers, as Whitman finished the night with a 39-10 advantage in points off turnovers. Whitman committed just 10 turnovers.
Whitman held a 7-2 lead with 16:37 remaining in the first half following a layup by Cedric Jacobs-Jones. Jenkins answered with a dunk for the Bearcats 12 seconds later. Jase Harrison added a layup for the Blues, before Jenkins scored on a layup and added a foul shot at the 15:46 mark to pull the Bearcats within two points of the Blues at 9-7.
The next nine points were scored by Whitman, as the Blues grabbed an 18-7 lead. Willamette got as close as 18-13 on a jumper by Joshua Stubbs (Jr., W, Eugene, OR/Churchill HS) with 11:40 left in the half, but Whitman countered with a 9-2 run for a 27-15 lead after Harrison sank a 3-pointer with 9:25 on the clock. The Blues led 47-28 at halftime.
Jenkins had a first half that was as impressive as his game totals. He scored 15 points during the first 20 minutes, while hitting 6 of 7 shots. He was 3 for 3 at the line, grabbed seven boards, supplied three assists and attained one steal. Gutierrez had nine points at halftime for the Blues, including a 3-for-6 performance from 3-point range.
Whitman extended its lead to 55-28 with an 8-0 run to open the third quarter. The Blues continued to pull away, and passed the 100-point mark for the fifth time in seven games. Whitman entered the game averaging 107.7 points per contest.
Willamette will return to action on Thursday, Dec. 6 against crosstown rival Corban University. The game will be played on the Corban campus in Salem, Oregon, with tipoff set for 8 p.m. (PST).