Andresen Scores 17 Points, Bearcats Roll Past Whitworth, 72-48

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 (So., C, Forest Grove, OR/Forest Grove HS/Clackamas CC) scored a game-high 17 points, and Willamette University outrebounded Whitworth University, 41-26, as the Bearcats rolled to a 72-48 victory over the Pirates at Cone Field House on Saturday, Dec. 3. Willamette advanced its record to 6-1 on the season, 1-1 in the Northwest Conference. Whitworth slipped to 1-3 overall, 0-1 in the NWC.

The Bearcats ended a string of 14 consecutive wins by Whitworth over Willamette. Prior to Saturday, the last win by the Bearcats against the Pirates was a 73-64 triumph in Spokane, Washington, on Feb. 6, 2009. Willamette's last home win against Whitworth was 64-58 on Jan. 19, 2007.

In Saturday's win, Andresen was 7 for 11 on field goals and went 3 for 4 at the free throw line. She also grabbed six rebounds.

Mary Eckenrode (Jr., G, Higley, AZ/Highland HS) added 13 points and six boards, while Whitney Anderson (Jr., G, Willamina, OR/Willamina HS) contributed 12 points and three assists. Celine Gregoire (Jr./So., P, Woodburn, OR/ Woodburn Academy) scored nine points and led Willamette with seven rebounds.

For Whitworth, Callie Harwood registered 14 points. Madison Moffat scored nine points to go with five rebounds, one assist, one block and one steal.

The first five minutes of the game ended with Willamette holding an 11-10 lead after Andresen scored on a layup at the 5:24 mark. Whitworth moved in front 12-11 on a layup by Grace Douglas just over a minute later.

Willamette added the next five points to the scoreboard on a 3-pointer by Ashley Evans (Jr., PG, Canby, OR/Canby HS) and a layup by Kylie Towry (Sr./Jr., G, Medford, OR/South Medford HS) for a 16-12 advantage. The Bearcats held a 20-16 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Whitworth never led the rest of the way, but got within two points when Jessica Thoens scored the first basket in the second quarter. Willamette responded with an 11-1 run for a 31-19 lead with 4:23 left in the half.

The run started with a jumper by Andresen and a layup by Anderson. After Lexi Tinney hit 1 of 2 free throws, Gregoire scored the next two baskets for Willamette with 6:33 and 5:36 on the clock. Towry completed the run when she converted three free throws after she was fouled on a 3-point shot.

Later in the second quarter, Willamette increased its lead to 35-21. The Bearcats were in front, 40-26, at halftime. Willamette outrebounded Whitworth 21-9 over the first 20 minutes.

The Pirates scored the first basket of the third quarter on a layup by Harwood, and also trailed by just 12 points at the 8:06 mark following another basket by Harwood. Willamette countered with a 9-4 run for a 51-34 lead at the 4:37 mark. Eckenrode scored the final points of the run on a 3-point basket.

Early in the fourth quarter, Whitworth reduced the deficit to 57-46 on a layup by Alli Kieckbusch with 9:18 to go. Willamette answered by putting together a string of 11 unanswered points to take control at 68-46 with 5:54 remaining.

Anderson began the run with a jumper, and then tacked on a traditional three-point play on a layup and a foul shot. Three more layups -- by Eckenrode, Anderson and Andresen -- completed the run.

Willamette shot 45.6% for the game (26 of 57) and made 6 of 17 three-pointers (35.3%.). The Bearcats went 14 of 18 at the free throw line (77.8%).

The Pirates were 21 of 53 from the field (39.6%) and 3 of 13 from 3-point range (23.1%). Whitworth finished 3 for 8 on free throws. Whitworth committed 13 turnovers, while the Bearcats lost the ball 10 times.

Willamette recorded seven steals, with two by Gregoire and one each by six different players.

The Bearcats will take on Whittier College (Calif.) in a non-conference game at Cone Field House on Friday, Dec. 9. Game time is scheduled for 8 p.m. (PST).