By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- Kylie Towry (Sr., G, Medford, OR/South Medford HS) of Willamette University connected on seven 3-point shots on her way to a game-high 25 points, as she led the Bearcats to a 74-65 victory over Lewis & Clark College on Friday, Dec. 1 at Cone Field House. It was the Northwest Conference opener for both teams. The Bearcats advanced their record to 4-2 on the season, 1-0 in the NWC. The Pioneers fell to 4-3 overall, 0-1 in the NWC.
Willamette hit 12 three-point shots as a team. In addition to Towry providing seven 3-pointers (7 of 12), Ashley Evans (Sr., PG, Canby, OR/Canby HS) added four and Mary Eckenrode (Sr., G, Higley, AZ/Highland HS) sank one. The Bearcats were 12 for 27 from 3-point range (44.4%).
It was the fifth time that a Willamette player has finished with seven 3-pointers in a game and it was the second time for Towry. She also made seven trifectas against Warner Pacific College on Nov. 15, 2016. The Willamette individual record is nine 3-pointers in a game, set by Towry against California Institute of Technology on Nov. 21, 2014 and by Evans against Warner Pacific in 2016.
The team record is 19 three-pointers in the win over Warner Pacific to start the 2016 season. Willamette's 12 three-pointers against L&C tied for seventh all-time.
Towry's 25 points moved her into sole possession of seventh place on Willamette's career scoring list with 1,052 points. She entered the game tied for seventh with Laura Payne (2004-08) at 1,027 points. Natalie Marth (1983-87) is sixth all-time for the Bearcts with 1,057 points. The school record of 1,309 points was set by Jenny Joseph from 1993-97.
On Friday, Towry was joined in double figures by Evans with 14 points and by Drew Farmer (So., PG, Brookings, OR/Brookings-Harbor HS) with 13 points. Evans led WU with five assists, while Jada Leonard (Fr., G, Kent, WA/Kentlake HS) grabbed a team-high eight boards to go along with seven points.
The Bearcats trailed 32-29 at halftime, but outscored the Pioneers 25-9 in the third quarter to take charge of the game. WU shot 41.7% on field goals during the game (25 of 60), including 53.8% in the second half (14 of 26) and 58.8% in the third quarter (10 of 17).
L&C was led by Lauren Wood with 18 points and eight rebounds. She was 6 of 8 from the field and 6 of 8 at the free throw stripe. Alyx Crager tacked on 15 points and also sank 6 of 8 field goals. Miyah Leith provided the Pioneers with 13 points and four assists.
Willamette took a 5-3 lead on a jump shot by Britanny Kochenderfer (Jr., G, Klamath Falls, OR/Henley HS/Idaho State Univ.) with 8:02 left in the first quarter. The Pioneers responded by going on a 10-0 run, with the final six points scored on a layup and a foul shot by Wood and a 3-point basket from Crager. L&C owned a 13-5 advantage with 4:45 remaining in the quarter.
The Bearcats rallied behind the outside shooting of Towry, who sank a trio of 3-point shots to tie the game, 14-14, at the 1:41 mark. The only score for L&C during Towry's run was a free throw by Leith. Another 1-for-2 effort by Leith moved the Pioneers in front 15-14, but Farmer put through a jumper with 55 seconds on the clock to give WU a 16-15 lead.
Lewis & Clark gained a 17-13 scoring margin in the second quarter. The Bearcats scored first on a jumper by Farmer with 7:39 remaining in the half. Rachel Cox supplied a basket for the Pioneers 15 seconds later, and Crager added a layup with 6:20 to go, as L&C claimed a 19-18 lead. Later, the Pioneers were in front 25-20 and 29-23. A free throw by Tori Eichten gave L&C a 32-25 edge with 1:22 left. Willamette scored the last four points of the half on a layup by Leonard and two free throws by Towry.
WU tied the game at 34-34 early in the second half on a 3-pointer by Evans. The teams were tied two more times in the first four minutes of the third quarter, but the Bearcats grabbed the lead for good at 41-39 on a layup by Elizabeth Logsdon (So., F, McMinnville, OR/McMinnville HS) with 5:56 on the clock. Logsdon's basket opened a 13-0 offensive surge by the Bearcats for a 52-39 lead with 1:38 to be played in the quarter. Towry contributed a 3-pointer and two free throws to the run.
Wood ended 5:42 of game time without a point for the Pioneers when she scored on a layup at the 42-second mark. Farmer made a layup for Willamette 19 seconds later, as the Bearcats gained a 54-41 advantage.
The Pioneers trailed by 14 points just over two minutes into the fourth quarter, but pulled within 63-55 on two free throws by Wood with 5:00 to go. L&C got as close as six points at 69-63 on a layup by Janessa Willie with 1:32 left. Leonard sank two free throws for Willamette 14 seconds later, and the Farmer went 3 for 4 on free throws the rest of the way.
Up next for the Bearcats is a match-up with George Fox University at Cone Field House on Saturday, Dec. 2. The Bruins are 3-2 overall, 1-0 in the NWC. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. (PST).