By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- George Fox University turned a four-point lead into an 18-point advantage with a 22-8 run during a nine-minute span at the end of the first half and the start of the second half, as the Bruins defeated Willamette University, 75-53, in a Northwest Conference game on Friday, Jan. 13. GFU, ranked 20th in the D3hoops.com Top 25, advanced its record to 12-2 on the season, 4-1 in the NWC. Willamette slipped to 9-5 overall, 2-3 in the NWC.
The Bruins held a slim 34-30 advantage after Marisa Hamilton (Sr./Jr., F, Beaverton, OR/Southridge HS) scored on a jumper for the Bearcats with 3:10 left in the second quarter. GFU ended the half with a 10-4 run to take a 44-34 lead at the break.
When the second half began, the Bruins scored the first six points for a 50-34 lead. GFU eventually led 56-38 following a layup by Emily Spencer with 3:59 left in the third quarter.
George Fox held a 19-point lead late in the third quarter and again early in the fourth period, but WU pulled within 62-51 on a layup by Drew Farmer (Fr., PG, Brookings, OR/Brookings-Harbor HS) with 7:04 remaining. The Bruins ended the game with a 13-2 run.
Kaitlin Jamieson led George Fox with 18 points and tied for the team lead with eight rebounds. Kimberly Frost contributed 16 points and four assists for the Bruins. Bailey McDevitt matched Jamieson with eight rebounds, while Kaycee Creech achieved 10 points and four steals for GFU.
Willamette's Madi Andresen (So., C, Forest Grove, OR/Forest Grove HS/Clackamas CC) finished with 13 points and hauled down five rebounds. She was 6 of 9 from the field. Alex Wert (Sr., F, Spokane, WA/St. George's HS) provided 10 points and a team-high eight rebounds to go along iwth three assists and three steals.
Hamilton supplied WU with eight points and six boards, while Farmer registered nine points and five assists. Kylie Towry (Sr./Jr., G, Medford, OR/South Medford HS) hit two 3-point baskets.
GFU led 8-4 with 7:33 left in the first quarter following a layup by Jamieson. Willamette countered with an 8-3 run of its own to claim a 12-11 lead on Towry's first 3-pointer of the night.
A bit later, Hamilton scored on a layup to give WU an 18-15 edge. Hailey Hartney of GFU sank a 3-pointer 11 seconds later to tie the score.
The first quarter featured a total of three ties and six lead changes. The Bruins held a 26-23 lead at the end of the period.
McDevitt tallied the first basket of the second quarter to give GFU a 5-point cushion, but the Bearcats scored the next four points on layups by Farmer and Andresen. A 6-0 run by GFU, including four points by Jamieson on two free throws and jumper, increased the Bruins' margin to 34-27.
Willamette earned the next three points before George Fox began its 22-8 run that carried into the third quarter. Frost and Jamieson each had 10 points for GFU at the break, while Hamilton and Wert registered eight points apiece in the first half for the Bearcats.
George Fox shot 45.0% on field goals during the game (27 of 60). The Bruins made 4 of 13 three-pointers (30.8%) and converted 17 of 23 free throws (73.9%). GFU forced Willamette into 20 turnovers, while the Bruins lost the ball 16 times.
The Bearcats hit 36.5% from the field (23 of 63) and made 3 of 18 three-pointers. WU sank 4 of 6 free thorws. On the boards, GFU recorded 41 rebounds, while Willamette finished with 34.
Northwest Conference action continues for the Bearcats on Saturday, Jan. 14, when they will take on Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Game time is set for 4 p.m. (PST).