Andresen Scores 19 Points as Bearcats Defeat Pacific Union, 86-69

Madi Andresen (Jr., P, Forest Grove, OR/Forest Grove HS)
Madi Andresen (Jr., P, Forest Grove, OR/Forest Grove HS)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

SALEM, Ore. -- Madi Andresen (Jr., P, Forest Grove, OR/Forest Grove HS/Clackamas CC) scored 19 points and Kylie Towry (Sr./Jr., G, Medford, OR/South Medford HS) added 16 points, as Willamette University defeated Pacific Union College in an early afternoon game on Friday, Nov. 18 at Cone Field House. Willamette improved to 2-0 on the season. Pacific Union fell to 0-4.

The Bearcats shot 49.3% from the field (34 fo 69) and sank 13 three-point shots. WU pulled way late in the first half to take a 43-34 halftime lead. The Bearcats led 63-46 entering the fourth quarter.

Andresen not only led the Bearcats in scoring, she also tied for the team lead with six rebounds. Towry hit 4 of 8 three-point shots and is now 11 of 22 on 3-pointers this season. Marisa Hamilton (Sr./Jr., F, Beaverton, OR/Southridge HS) contributed 12 points and six boards, while Mary Eckenrode (Jr., PG, Higley, AZ/Highland HS) earned six assists and five rebounds.

For Pacific Union, Imari Clinton scored 19 points on 9 of 17 field goals. Natalya Stepanchik followed with 14 points, including 3 of 6 from 3-point range. Celina Ewing finished with 13 points and eight boards. Alexis Lyers scored 10 points and grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds.

Willamette opened the game with a 10-3 run that started and ended with a 3-pointer by Towry. Pacific Union pulled within 10-7 on a layup by Lyers with 7:14 to go in the first quarter.

The Bearcats claimed a 17-11 advantage on another 3-pointer by Towry with 3:58 on the clock, but the Pioneers cut the margin to 19-16 on a basket and foul shot by Clinton at the 2:54 mark. Willamette ended the first quarter with a 25-21 lead.

Whitney Anderson (Jr., G, Willamina, OR/Willamina HS) scored for Willamette with 8:08 left in the half, but the Pioneers countered with a 7-0 run to move in front, 28-27. The run included one 3-pointer each by Kayelea McGrew and Stepanchik, before Kaylie Grandell sank 1 of 2 free throws with 6:45 remaining.

On WU's next possession, Towry connected from 3-point range as the Bearcats regained the lead.

Towry's basket opened up a 16-2 run for a 43-30 advantage with 1:45 left in the half. Five Willamette players scored during the run, including five points by Ashley Evans (Jr., PG, Canby, OR/Canby HS) and four points on layups by Andresen. A jumper by Clinton and a  layup from Grandell pulled Pacific Union within nine points at the break.

Evans started the second half with a 3-pointer for WU. A bit later, Alex Wert (Sr., F, Spokane, WA/St. George's HS) sank a jump shot to give the Bearcats a 49-36 lead with 7:05 left in the quarter.

The Bearcats extended the margin to 16 points at 56-40 when Drew Farmer (Fr., PG, Brookings, OR/Brookings-Harbor HS) hit a 3-point basket at the 3:51 mark. Pacific Union cut the lead to 56-46 on a traditional 3-point play by Ewing with 1:44 on the clock. Willamette tallied the final seven points of the quarter, including a jumper by Farmer as time expired.

Pacific Union went on an 11-5 run to reduce the deficit to 68-57 with 6:24 remaining. Hamilton answered with a jump shot 22 seconds later, and the Bearcats increased the lead to 73-57 following a free throw by Towry with 4:53 to go and a layup by Andresen with 4:25 left.

Each team finished the game with 37 rebounds. The Pioneers committed 12 turnovers, while Willamette lost the ball just seven times. Evans, Towry and Andresen each recorded two steals.

Willmette has connected on 32 three-pointers in its first two games. The Bearcats set a school record with 19 three-pointers in the season opener against Warner Pacific College on Tuesday (Nov. 15). On Friday, the Bearcats were 13 of 32 from 3-point range (40.6%).

Pacific Union made 27 of 65 field goals (41.5%) and put through 7 of 25 three-point shots (28.0%). The Pioneers sank 8 of 12 free throws.

The Bearcats will travel to Eugene, Oregon, to take on Northwest Christian University on Tuesday, Nov. 22. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m. (PST).