By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- Willamette University held Whittier College to 30.9% shooting and blocked seven shots, as the Bearcats downed the Poets, 71-50, at Cone Field House on Friday, Dec. 9. Sarah Heinly (Fr., G, Bend, OR/Summit HS) of Willamette scored a game-high 19 points and was 5 of 9 on 3-pointers.
The Bearcats advanced their record to 7-1 on the season. Whittier fell to 1-4.
Heinly was one of three Bearcats in double figures. Kylie Towry (Sr./Jr., G, Medford, OR/South Medford HS) scored 14 points and was 4 of 9 from 3-point range. Marisa Hamilton (Sr./Jr., F, Beaverton, OR/Southridge HS) added 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
Hamilton, Andresen and Alex Wert (Sr., F, Spokane, WA/St. George's HS) each blocked two shots, while Evans blocked one shot. The Bearcats also forced Whittier into 15 turnovers, while Willamette lost the ball nine times.
Cali Cubel led Whittier with 14 points. She was 5 of 8 from the field. Emily Underwood and Carly Buechler each scored nine points for the Poets. Kaylah Alexander hauled down a team-high eight rebounds.
Willamette's defense limited Whittier to 23.1% shooting through the first three quarters (9 of 39), before the Poets hit 8 of 16 shots in the fourth quarter. For the game, Whittier converted 6 of 14 three-point attempts (42.9%) and sank 10 of 12 free throws (83.3%).
The Bearcats shot 43.1% from the field (25 of 58), including 10 of 27 from 3-point range. WU finished 11 of 16 at the free throw line (68.8%). Willamette gained a 40-35 rebounding edge.
Whittier scored the game's first basket on a 3-pointer by Underwood, but Willamette earned 10 of the next 12 points for a 10-5 lead with 5:11 left in the opening quarter. Evans and Towry assisted each other on 3-point baskets during the run, while Mary Eckenrode (Jr., G, Higley, AZ/Highland HS) and Andresen each contributed a layup.
The Poets battled back to within 12-11 on a 3-pointer by Cubel at the 3:24 mark, and Daniza Rodriguez sank 1 of 2 free throws with 2:47 left to tie the score. Willamette ended the quarter with a 6-0 run on two layups by Hamilton and a layup by Towry.
In the second quarter, the Poets struck first once again with a 3-pointer by Emilee Dy. As in the first quarter, Willamette countered with an offensive run. This time, the Bearcats added 12 consecutive points for a 30-15 advantage with 5:02 remaining in the half. Heinly chipped in a pair of 3-pointers during the run.
WU led 32-16 with 2:05 on the clock, following a pair of free throws by Drew Farmer (Fr., PG, Brookings, OR/Brookings-Harbor HS). Whittier cut the margin to 32-20 after Cubel put through two free throws with 1:19 remaining, but Hamilton scored and hit a foul shot for Willamette with 57 seconds left. The Bearcats led 35-20 at the break.
Solid play by Willamette in the third quarter allowed the Bearcats to outscore the Poets 24-11 and take a 59-31 advantage into the final quarter. The Bearcats shot a sizzling 64.3% in the third quarter (9 of 14), including 57.1% from 3-point range (4 of 7). Towry scored nine points and Heinly added five points.
The Bearcats will return to action with two games at Carroll College in Helena, Montana, later this month. On Monday, Dec. 19, Willamette will battle Montanta State University-Northern at 5 p.m. MST/4 p.m. PST. On Wednesday, Dec. 21, WU will take on Carroll at 12 p.m. MST/11 a.m. PST.