By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- Willamette University connected on a school record 19 three-point baskets on its way to a 90-70 victory over Warner Pacific College on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at Cone Field House. Ashley Evans (Jr., PG, Canby, OR/Canby HS) led the way for the Bearcats, as she tied a school record with nine 3-point baskets and scored a game-high 29 points.
Willamette, playing its regular season opener, moved to 1-0. WPC fell to 1-2 on the season.
Evans tied the record set by teammate Kylie Towry (Sr./Jr., G, Medford, OR/South Medford HS) on Nov. 21, 2014 versus California Institute of Technology. The previous team record for 3-pointers in a game was 16, also set agaisnt Caltech in 2014.
In Tuesday's game against Warner Pacific, Towry hit seven 3-pointers and finished with 26 points. Madi Andresen (Jr., P, Forest Grove, OR/Forest Grove HS/Clackamas CC) added 15 points and eight rebounds for the Bearcats.
Airianna Sesma led the Knights with 18 points. Michaela Pin provided Warner Pacific with 15 points and eight rebounds, while Darbi Pink scored 14 points. Pink hit four 3-point baskets and Pin made two, but the Knights went 6 of 17 from 3-point range (35.3%)
Willamette passed the ball well and finished the night with 25 assists on 32 baskets. Towry topped all players with eight assists, while Evans, Drew Farmer (Fr., PG, Brookings, OR/Brookings-Harbor HS) and Whitney Anderson (Jr., G, Willamina, OR/Willamina HS) each supplied four assists.
Ironically, the game began with a 3-point basket by Warner Pacific on a shot by Pin just five seconds after the opening tip. The Knights led 5-2 after 54 seconds, but Willamette answered with an 11-2 run to take a 13-7 lead at the 5:24 mark. Evans hit two 3-pointers during the run.
WPC cut the margin to a single point at 13-12 and 15-14, but another surge by the Bearcats gave Willamette a 25-16 lead after Towry made her first 3-pointer with 46 seconds on the clock. The Bearcats owned a 28-21 advantage at the end of the quarter.
Sesma sank a jump shot for Warner Pacific to open the second quarter with 8:57 left, but Willamette tallied the next 17 points to take charge of the game. Five of the six baskets by the Bearcats were from 3-point range, including two by Towry. Farmer scored on a layup to complete the run with 1:35 remaining in the half, giving WU a 45-23 lead.
Kyeli Hendrix of WPC ended the Knights' scoring drought when she hit 1 of 2 free throws with 40 seconds left to end the scoring in the first half.
The Knights pulled within 14 points, 55-41, on two free throws by Sesma with 3:52 left in the third quarter. Willamette answered with a four-point play by Towry, who hit a 3-point shot and was fouled at the 3:16 mark. Evans sank the free throw.
Warner Pacific reduced the deficit to 59-44 on a layup by Sesma with 1:44 on the clock. The Bearcats closed the quarter with a 7-1 run for a 66-45 advantage. Towry started the run with a 3-pointer, while Celine Gregoire (So., P, Woodburn, OR/ Woodburn Academy) tacked on two free throws and a layup.
Willamette led by at least 17 points throughout the fourth quarter. The Bearcats shot 47.1% for the game (32 of 68), including 19 of 38 (50.0%) from 3-point range. WU also hit 7 of 9 free throws. The Bearcats earned a 36-32 rebounding edge and forced WPC into 17 turnovers.
Although Warner Pacific shot just 35.7% in the first half, the Knights improved to 55.6% in the second half (15 of 27) to end the game at 45.5% overall (25 of 55). Warner Pacific outscored the Bearcats 46-45 over the final 20 minutes, but couldn't overcome Willamette's sizable halftime lead.
The Bearcats will be back in action on Friday, Nov. 18 against Pacific Union College. Game time is set for 12 p.m. PST (noon) at Cone Field House.