By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- Kylie Towry (Sr., G, Medford, OR/South Medford HS) moved into fifth place on Willamette University's all-time scoring list by recording a game-high 22 points as the Bearcats defeated Vancouver Island University (B.C., Canada), 79-49, on Saturday, Dec. 30 at Cone Field House. Towry increased her career total to 1,137 points after moving past Alex Zennan, who scored 1,123 points for the Bearcats from 2007-11.
Willamette improved to 5-6 on the season. Vancouver Island dropped to 9-3.
Towry earned a double-double against the Mariners. In addition to leading all players with 22 points, she grabbed 10 rebounds and provided five assists. She was 8 of 17 from the field, including 6 of 13 from 3-point range. She extended her Willamette record to 256 career 3-point baskets. Towry is now nine points from fourth place in career scoring (1,146 by Amy Ulrey, 1992-96) and 19 points from third place (1,156, Kathy Wiese-Marshall, 1990-94). Jenny Joseph (1993-97) is Willamette's career scoring leader with 1,309 points.
Ashley Evans (Sr., PG, Canby, OR/Canby HS) scored 11 points and was 3 of 6 on 3-point shots for the Bearcats on Saturday. She also contributed four assists and a game-high three steals. Evans is seventh on Willamette's career 3-point chart with 137 successful attempts.
Against Vancouver Island, the Bearcats received nine points and four assists from Amanda Carpenter (Fr., G, Beaverton, OR/Sunset HS). Britanny Kochenderfer (Jr., G, Klamath Falls, OR/Henley HS/Idaho State Univ.) achieved eight points, six rebounds, five assists, three blocks and one steal. Elizabeth Logsdon (So., F, McMinnville, OR/McMinnville HS) provided WU with six points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots.
"I'm very pleased with our performance tonight," said Willamette Head Coach Peg Swadener. "After playing such a tough preseason schedule, it was nice to get back on the court and play with some confidence. We had great energy and shared the ball well. We look forward to having that carry over into conference play."
Juliet King led Vancouver Island with 12 points. She also grabbed six rebounds. Maddy Hart tacked on 11 points to go with six boards and two steals. Emily Clark hauled down a team-high seven rebounds.
Willamette shot 45.7% for the game (32 of 70) and made a season-high 13 three-points shots on 32 attempts (40.6%). The Bearcats limited the Mariners to 30.5% accuracy from the field (18 of 59). VIU connected on just 2 of 15 three-point shots (13.3%). WU gained a 42-40 rebound edge and lost the ball just 10 times, while forcing the Mariners into 17 turnovers. The Bearcats blocked seven shots.
The 13 three-pointers by Willamette tied the Bearcats for fifth on WU's list of single game records. The Willamette record is 19 three-pointers, set against Warner Pacific College on Nov. 15, 2016.
Vancouver Island scored the game's first basket on a layup by Olivia Mjaaland. Willamette answered with a 7-2 run, before the Mariners added five consecutive points to tie the score at 7-7 with 5:50 left in the first quarter. King completed the 5-0 run with a traditional three-point play. The bearcats pulled in front 10-7 on Towry's second 3-pointer of the game.
A bit later, WU held a slim 12-11 lead following a jumper by VIU's Celina Guadagni with 2:19 on the clock. The Bearcats ended the quarter with an 8-0 run on a 3-pointer by Carpenter, a layup from Towry, and a 3-pionter by Evans with just three seconds left.
The Mariners tallied the opening four points of the second quarter to pull within 20-15, but Willamette responded with a 14-0 run to take charge. The run began with a 3-pointer by Towry and included points from five players overall. Kochenderfer scored on a jumper and a layup during the run, while Mary Eckenrode (Sr., G, Higley, AZ/Highland HS) provided a jumper and Evans hit a 3-point shot. The Bearcats held a 34-15 lead with 3:29 remaining after Logdson put though a layup. Willamette owned a 40-19 lead at halftime, including 14 points from Towry.
Willamette was in front by more than 20 points throughout the third quarter. After taking a 48-21 lead on a jumper by Evans with 7:03 left, the Bearcats saw Vancouver Island score six consecutive points. The Bearcats then went on a 12-6 run, including 3-pointers by Carpenter and Towry, to build a 60-33 lead with 1:08 to go. Willamette's advantage was 60-35 at the start of the fourth quarter.
The Bearcats will take on their archrivals from Linfield College on Wednesday, Jan. 3 in McMinnville, Oregon. Game time for the Northwest Conference match-up is set for 6 p.m. (PST) at Ted Wilson Gymnasium.