By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- Linfield College shot 51.8% from the field and limited Willamette University to 28.8% shooting, as the Wildcats defeated the Bearcats, 73-55, in a Northwest Conference women's basketball game on Friday, Jan. 20. Linfield evened its record at 8-8 on the season, including 2-5 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette fell to 10-6 overall, 3-4 in the NWC.
The Wildcats connected on 29 of 56 field goals and made 8 of 14 three-point attempts (57.1%). Linfield also hit 7 of 7 free throws.
Willamette hit just 17 of 59 shots from the field, and made 2 of 13 three-pointers (15.4%). Kylie Towry (Sr./Jr., G, Medford, OR/South Medford HS), who made both of the Bearcats' 3-pointers, now has 201 three-point baskets in her career.
Audrey McMillan led Linfield with 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting. She also earned six rebounds and blocked three shots. Dani Krier contributed 13 points, led the Wildcats with three 3-point baskets, and registered a game-high three steals. Quincey Gibson tacked on 12 points.
Madi Andresen (So., C, Forest Grove, OR/Forest Grove HS/Clackamas CC) topped Willamette with 18 points and a game-high nine rebounds. She was 6 of 12 from the field.
Willamette took a 6-4 lead on a layup by Andresen with 6:55 left in the first quarter. Willamette also held a 13-8 advantage following a 3-pointer by Towry at the 5:13 mark and a jumper by Mary Eckenrode (Jr., G, Higley, AZ/Highland HS) with 4:17 on the clock.
Linfield pulled within 13-12 on a layup by Annalise Beshers, but WU earned the next four points on two free throws by Andresen and a jumper by Hamilton. McMillan scored the final basket of the first quarter for Linfield with nine seconds remaining, reducing WU's lead to 17-14.
Towry picked up her second foul with 3:33 left in the first quarter and saw limited action for the remainder of the half.
With Towry on the bench, Linfield controlled the second quarter, outscoring the Bearcats 16-6. Willamette held a 19-14 edge following a jumper by Hamilton with 9:07 left in the half, but Linfield tied the game at 21-21 on a 3-pointer by Paige Graham just over two minutes later.
The Wildcats took the lead at 23-22 a bit later on a jumper by Gibson, but Andresen hit 1 of 2 free throws for the Bearcats with 4:47 to go, locking the score at 23-23. Linfield moved in front again on a layup by Graham at the 3:40 mark.
Graham's basket started a 7-0 run by Linfield that gave the Wildcats a 30-23 lead at the break. Linfield was 7 of 15 from the field in the second quarter, while the Bearcats connected on just 2 of 15 shots.
Linfield shot 64.3% in the third quarter, hitting 9 of 14 attempts, while going 3 for 3 from behind the 3-point arc.
The teams exchanged baskets in the first few minutes of the second half. After Wert put through a jumper for Willamette with 6:50 remaining, the Bearcats trailed 40-33. Linfield scored the next seven points, ending with a 3-pointer by Gibson, to extend the margin to 47-33 with 5:25 left
Willamette battled back and pulled within 52-43 when Drew Farmer (Fr., PG, Brookings, OR/Brookings-Harbor HS) sank a pair of free throws with 1:44 on the clock.
Just 30 seconds later, Towry cut the margin to 54-46 on a 3-point basket. McMillan recorded the final points of the quarter on a jump shot for Linfield with 18 seconds remaining.
The Wildcats opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer by Krier. After Towry hit two free throws for the Bearcats, Krier sank another 3-pointer. McMillan tacked on a layup with 7;43 to go, giving Linfield a 64-48 lead.
Willamette gained a 38-32 rebounding margin, including a 14-3 advantage in offensive boards. Andresen led the way with her nine rebounds. Wert hauled down seven rebounds.
The Bearcats will take on NWC rival Pacific University on Saturday, Jan. 21. Game time in Forest Grove, Oregon, is set for 4 p.m. (PST).