By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- Kylie Towry (Sr./Jr., G, Medford, OR/South Medford HS) and Marisa Hamilton (Sr./Jr., F, Beaverton, OR/Southridge HS) each scored 13 points for the Bearcats, as Willamette University rolled past Pacific Lutheran University, 71-41, at Cone Field House on Friday, Feb. 3. The Northwest Conference win improved Willamette to 11-9 on the season, 4-7 in the NWC. Pacific Lutheran dropped to 1-18 overall, 0-11 in the NWC.
Willamette started slowly, and trailed 4-3 with 5:33 left in the first quarter, but moved in front 8-3 on a 3-pointer by Towry and a jumper by Alex Wert (Sr., F, Spokane, WA/St. George's HS). Willamette never trailed again. The Bearcats led 15-10 after the first quarter.
Pacific Lutheran cut the margin to 18-16 on a layup by Samantha Kelleigh with 5:25 to go in the second quarter. The Bearcats extended their lead with a 14-2 run to end the half.
Towry opened the offensive surge with a 3-point basket. Madi Andresen (Jr., P, Forest Grove, OR/Forest Grove HS/Clackamas CC) added a free throw, and Hamilton hit a 3-pointer for a 25-16 lead with 2:53 left.
After Kaelyn Voss put through a layup for the Lutes, the Bearcats received a a layup and a foul shot from Hamilton at the 37-second mark. Towry tacked on a layup with 14 seconds remaining to give the Bearcats a 32-18 halftime lead.
Ashley Evans (Jr., PG, Canby, OR/Canby HS) of Willamette and Kristin Sturdivan of PLU each hit a 3-pointer early in the third quarter. The Bearcats followed with a 7-0 run, including a traditional three-point play by Sarah Heinly (Fr., G, Bend, OR/Summit HS), to take a 42-21 lead.
Voss scored next for Pacific Lutheran with 3:44 remaining in the third quarter to cut the lead to 19 points. Evans answered with a 3-pointer 24 seconds later, and the Bearcats led by 20 or more points the rest of the way. WU outscored PLU 23-15 in the fourth quarter.
Towry attained her 13 points by hitting 5 of 6 field goals, including 3 of 4 three-point attempts. She led the Bearcats with four steals. Hamilton's 13 points were recorded by converting 4 of 6 field goals, while swishing 2 of 3 three-point shots and sinking 3 of 3 free throws.
Wert topped Willamette with nine rebounds and also had two steals. Drew Farmer (Fr., PG, Brookings, OR/Brookings-Harbor HS) contributed a game-high five assists. Heinly and Evans each scored nine points. Evans was 3 for 5 on 3-point shots.
Sturdivan produced nine points, four rebounds and three steals for the Lutes. Marleisha Cox earned seven points. Lacey Nicholson grabbed a team-high seven rebounds to go along with five points and four steals.
Willamette shot 51.1% for the game (24 of 47) and made 10 of 22 three-point shots (45.5%). The Bearcats have made 10 or more 3-pointers in seven games this season. They are 6-1 in those games.
Against PLU, the Bearcats also converted 13 of 18 free throws (72.2%). Willamette claimed a 34-29 rebounding margin.
Pacific Lutheran finished 17 of 56 from the field (30.4%). The Lutes hit just 2 of 14 three-pointers (14.3%).
The Bearcats will host nationally-ranked University of Puget Sound on Saturday, Feb. 4 at 4 p.m. (PST). The Loggers, who are #12 in the D3hoops.com Top 25, are 19-1 on the season, 11-0 in the NWC.