By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- Willamette University surged out to a 22-6 lead in the first quarter, and Kylie Towry (Sr./Jr., G, Medford, OR/South Medford HS) scored a game-high 23 points, as the Bearcats defeated University of Redlands (Calif.), 59-47, at Cone Field House on Friday, Nov. 25. Willamette improved to 4-0 on the season, while Redlands dropped to 1-3.
Redlands entered the game after battling nationally-ranked George Fox University in a 70-62 loss to the Bruins on Wednesday (Nov. 23). GFU is ranked #8 in the D3Hoops.com Preseason Top 25.
Towry's 23 points included 5-of-9 shooting from 3-point range. Towry now has scored 173 career 3-pointers and is just one 3-pointer away from tying Alex Zennan ('11) and Amy Ulrey ('96) for first place on Willamette's all-time list.
Overall, Towry was 7 of 12 from the field and 4 for 4 at the free throw line against Redlands. Towry and Madi Andresen (Jr., P, Forest Grove, OR/Forest Grove HS/Clackamas CC) each grabbed seven rebounds for the Bearcats, while Alex Wert (Sr., F, Spokane, WA/St. George's HS) scored nine points. Marisa Hamilton (Sr./Jr., F, Beaverton, OR/Southridge HS) chipped in eight points.
Jade Cheldelin of Redlands earned 12 points and six boards. Allison Siksnus added 11 points and a game-high nine rebounds for the Bulldogs.
Redlands scored the game's first two points on free throws by Cheldelin just 10 seconds after the opening tip. Willamette responded with five unanswered points on a jumper by Wert and a 3-pointer by Towry. UR pulled within 5-4 on a jumper by Cheldelin with 8:33 on the clock.
The Bearcats then went on an 11-0 run for a 16-4 lead at the 3:02 mark. Willamette's run started with a 3-pointer by Ashley Evans (Jr., PG, Canby, OR/Canby HS). Four other Bearcats contributed to the surge, as Wert added a jump shot, Towry sank a 3-pointer and Hamilton completed the run with another 3-pointer.
Cheldelin ended a scoreless streak of 6:12 for the Bulldogs, when she cut the marign to 16-6 with a jumper with 2:21 left in the quarter. Willamette tallied the five six points of the period for a 16-point lead.
The Bearcats shot 53.3% in the first quarter (8 of 15), including 5 of 10 on 3-point shots. Redlands connected on just 2 of 14 shots (14.3%) during the quarter, while going 0 for 4 from 3-point range.
Redlands continued to struggle on offense during the second quarter, as the Bulldogs made only 2 of 15 shots (13.3%). Willamette slipped to 36.4% in the second quarter (4 of 11), but increased the lead to 19 points when Towry scored the first points of the period on a 3-poitr with 8:32 left.
Willamette led by at least 16 points for the remainder of the half, and held leads of 30-11 at the 3:52 mark and 32-13 with 1:11 to go. Mariana Ecija hit a 3-pointer for Redlands with four seconds on the clock to reduce WU's advantage to 32-16 at the break.
The margin reached a game-high 20 points on three occasions in the third quarter. The Bearcats held a 38-18 lead after Wert put through a jumper at the 7:39 mark. Two free throws by Towry with 6:42 on the clock gave WU a 40-20 edge, and the Bearcats took a 48-28 lead on a layup by Towry with 22 seconds left.
Redlands trailed 48-30 after three quarters, but the Bulldogs got as close as 50-41 following a layup by Ecija with 3:50 remaining in the game. Willamette scored the first points of the quarter on a jumper by Celine Gregoire (So., P, Woodburn, OR/ Woodburn Academy), but Redlands answered with an 11-0 run.
After Ecija's layup reduced the lead to single digits, Willamette scored the next seven points to take control. The 7-0 run began with two free throws by Towry with 3:24 to go, and continued with a 3-pointer by Towry at the 3:05 mark. A layup by Gregoire gave the Bearcats a 57-41 advantage with 2:02 on the clock.
Willamette finished the game 21 of 53 (39.6%) on field goals. The Bearcats connected on 8 of 26 three-pointers (30.8%) and went 9 for 12 (75.0%) at the free throw line. Redlands was 17 of 63 (27.0%) on field goals, including 2 of 13 (15.4%) from 3-point range.
The Bulldogs earned a 42-37 rebounding margin, including 25-16 in the second half. Redlands grabbed 21 offensive boards (12 in the second half), compared to 10 offensive rebounds for Willamette. The Bearcats committed 17 turnovers, while Redlands lost the ball 14 times.
Willamette will remain at home to take on Walla Walla University on Saturday, Nov. 26. Game time is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. (PST).