Bearcats Lead 12th-Rank Puget Sound in Third Quarter, but Loggers Win, 76-64

Sarah Heinly (Fr., G, Bend, OR/Summit HS)
Sarah Heinly (Fr., G, Bend, OR/Summit HS)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

SALEM, Ore. -- Willamette University led 12th-ranked University of Puget Sound, 49-44, with 5:31 left in the third quarter, but the Loggers rallied to win the game, 76-64, at Cone Field House on Saturday, Feb. 4. Jamie Lange led Puget Sound with a double-double, as she scored 21 points and grabbed a game-high 18 rebounds.

Puget Sound, listed at #12 in the Top 25, upped its record to 20-1 on the season, 12-0 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette slipped to 11-10 overall, 4-8 in the NWC.

Samone Jackson of Puget Sound led all players with 25 points, including 6 for 10 on 3-pointers. Jackson also earned six rebounds. Catilin Malvar tallied 19 points for the Loggers and went 4 of 5 on 3-pointers. As a team, Puget Sound hit 11 of 21 shots (52.4%) from behind the 3-point arc.

For Willamette, Sarah Heinly (Fr., G, Bend, OR/Summit HS) scored 14 points, hit four 3-point shots and hauled down five rebounds for the Bearcats. Alex Wert (Sr., F, Spokane, WA/St. George's HS) contributed 12 points, grabbed nine rebounds and registered four assists.

Ashley Evans (Jr., PG, Canby, OR/Canby HS) scored nine points, while Drew Farmer (Fr., PG, Brookings, OR/Brookings-Harbor HS) led all players with six assists. A total of six Bearcats made at least one 3-point shot. Willamette was 14 of 33 (42.4%) on 3-point attempts.

Willamette has connected on 10 or more 3-pointers eight times this season for a 6-2 record. Both losses have been to Puget Sound. The Loggers downed Willamette, 95-82, on Jan. 6 in Tacoma, Washington, despite 11 three-point baskets by the Bearcats.

On Saturday, Willamette zoomed out to an 8-0 lead, including a 3-pointer by Evans and a 3-pointer by Farmer. The Bearcats held an 11-2 lead with 6:04 left in the opening quarter following a 3-point shot by Kylie Towry (Sr./Jr., G, Medford, OR/South Medford HS).

When Marisa Hamilton (Jr., Beaverton, OR/Southridge HS) also scored from 3-point range at the 5:26 mark, the Bearcats owned a 14-5 advantage. Puget Sound responded with 3-point baskets by Elizabeth Prewitt and Malvar to reduce the lead to 14-11.

Lange added a jumper with 2:50 left to pull the Loggers within 14-13. After the teams exchanged baskets, Wert recorded the next five points on a layup and a 3-pointer. Willamette led 21-15 with 27 seconds on the clock. Malvar tallied the final two points of the quarter on a jumper for the Loggers.

Evans sank a 3-pointer for WU less than 30 seconds into the second quarter for a 24-17 lead. Later, the Bearcats held a 29-22 margin on a jumper by Hamilton with 5:50 remaining. The Loggers tied the score withe a 7-0 run that started and ended with 3-pointers by Jackson.

Heinly broke the tie with a 3-pointer for Willamette, but Puget Sound concluded the half with an 8-2 run. The Loggers were in front 37-34 at the break.

A layup by Madi Andresen (Jr., P, Forest Grove, OR/Forest Grove HS/Clackamas CC) and a 3-pointer from Farmer allowed the Bearcats to grab a 39-37 lead less than one minute into the second half. Malvar countered with a 3-pointer for the Loggers, but 3-pointers by Heinly and Wert gave the Bearcats a 45-40 advantage.

Later, Heinly hit a 3-pointer with 5:31 left in the quarter to give WU a 49-44 lead. Puget Sound replied with a 13-0 run, starting with two layups by Lange. Jackson tacked on two 3-pointers, and Malvar hit a 3-pointer to complete the run, as the Loggers took a 57-49 lead with 2:31 remaining.

Puget Sound owned a 60-50 lead after a layup by Jackson late in the quarter. Hamilton put through a jumper for Willamette with six seconds on the clock to reduce the margin to eight points.

Wert sank her third 3-pointer of the game -- she was 3 for 3 from long-range -- to pull the Bearcats within 60-55 with 9:34 to go. Willamette never got closer, as Puget Sound scored 12 of the next 14 points.

The Loggers were 27 of 58 from the field (46.6%) and converted 11 of 16 free throws (68.8%). Willamette shot 40.0% on field goals (24 of 60). The Bearcats made 2 of 4 free throws.

Bolstered by Lange's 18 boards, Puget Sound achieved a 42-26 rebounding margin. Prewitt grabbed seven rebounds.

Willamette earned 19 assists on the Bearcats' 24 baskets. The Bearcats forced 12 turnovers and earned 10 steals, while recording a 15-11 advantage in points off turnovers. Willamette lost the ball 11 times.

The Bearcats will play at Cone Field House again on Friday, Feb. 10, when they are scheduled to host Lewis & Clark College. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. (PST).