By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- Britanny Kochenderfer (Sr., G, Klamath Falls, OR/Henley HS/Idaho State Univ.) of Willamette University earned an awesome statistical line as the Bearcats defeated Whitworth University, 80-74, at Cone Field House on Saturday, Jan. 26. Kochenderfer scored a career-high 27 points, while recording 10 rebounds, five steals, four blocked shots and two assists. She scored nine points in the third quarter and nine more in the fourth, helping Willamette grab a 60-55 lead through three quarters, before holding off the Pirates over the final 10 minutes.
Willamette advanced to 8-11 on the season, 3-7 in the Northwest Conference. Whitworth fell to 10-9 overall, 5-5 in the NWC.
Kochenderfer's 27 points increased her career scoring total at Willamette to 597 points. She was 10 for 16 from the field, including 3 of 7 on 3-pointers. Her previous scoring high was 24 points against Whitman College on Feb. 16, 2018. She has scored 20 or more points in three of the last four games, and has reached double figures in 17 of 19 games this season. With 10 boards against the Pirates, Kochenderfer now has 412 career rebounds.
The Bearcats also received strong performances form Kassin Hopkins (Jr., Connell, WA/Connell HS/Bellevue College), Elizabeth Logsdon (Jr., F, McMinnville, OR/McMinnville HS), Amanda Carpenter (So., G, Beaverton, OR/Sunset HS) and Drew Farmer (Jr., PG, Brookings, OR/Brookings-Harbor HS) on Saturday. Hopkins contributed 17 points and four assists, while hitting 5 of 9 field goals and going 3 of 6 from 3-point range. Logsdon and Carpenter each ended the game with 12 points and four rebounds. Farmer scored seven points, grabbed six boards and dished out five assists.
For Whitworth, Talia Brandner achieved 17 points and five rebounds. Camy Aguinaldo tacked on 16 points for the Pirates, while Madison Abbot supplied 10 points. Megan Dorney led Whitworth on the glass with six boards.
Willamette's five point lead at the start of the fourth quarter, almost disappeared as Whitworth opened the final stanza with a 6-1 run, pulling the Pirates within 61-60 with 6:43 left. A jumper by Kochenderfer gave Willamette a 63-60 advantage with 5:38 remaining and a pair of free throws by Madison Ballard (Fr., G, Monroe, OR/Monroe HS) increased the lead to 65-60.
The Pirates rallied to tie the game at 67-67 on a 3-pointer by Brandner with 3:07 on the clock. Layups by Logsdon for Willamette and Madison Moffat for Whitworth created another tie at 69-69 with 2:16 left.
A driving layup by Kochenderfer, assisted by Carpenter, with 2:00 to go, put the Bearcats in front for good. Logsdon added a layup with 1:35 left, and Carpenter completed an old-fashioned 3-point play, as the Bearcats extended the margin to 76-69 with 47 seconds left. A bit later, the Bearcats held an 80-70 edge after Kochenderfer sank 1 of 2 free throws with 18 seconds to play. Whitworth scored the last four points of the game.
During the game, Willamette was 27 of 53 from the field (50.9%), including 9 of 12 (75.0%) in the third quarter, when the Bearcats outscored the Pirates, 26-20. The Bearcats converted 7 of 15 three-point shots (46.7%) and sank 19 of 28 free throws (67.9%). Whitworth finished 28 of 63 on field goals (44.4%), including 5 of 13 from 3-point range (38.5%). The Pirates hit 13 of 19 free throw attempts (68.4%). Each team hauled down 34 rebounds.
The first quarter featured three ties and four lead changes. Two free throws by Farmer allowed Willamette to turn a one-point deficit into a one-point lead at 11-10 with 1:35 remaining. Sydney Abbott of Whitworth sank a layup with 53 seconds left to give the Pirates a 12-11 advantage entering the second quarter.
Both team scored 23 points over the next 10 minutes. Whitworth owned a pair of nine-point leads, including 24-15 with 7:07 to go in the half on a jumper by Aguinaldo. The lead was eight points for the Pirates at 29-21 as the clock reached 4:20, but Willamette closed the half with a 13-6 run, including nine points by Hopkins. Whitworth held a slim 35-34 lead at halftime.
Willamette and Whitworth played through four ties and five lead changes in the third quarter. The teams were tied at 55-55 with 1:07 remaining in the period following a layup by Brandner for Whitworth. the Bearcats tallied the final five points of the quarter on a 3-pointer by Kochenderfer and two free throws from Carpenter.
The Bearcats are scheduled to host Pacific Lutheran University at Cone Field House on Friday, Feb. 2. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. (PST).
Big Moment of the Game for Willamette
Although everyone played well for Willamette, it's hard to overlook
senior leadership in choosing the Big Moment, especially when the
leadership seemed to lift the team's overall success in the final minutes
of a conference win. So, tonight's Big Moment is from senior Britanny
Kochenderfer for her driving layup with 2:00 left to give the Bearcats a
71-69 lead. Amanda Carpenter provided a great pass to hit Kochenderfer
in stride and set up the key basket. Willamette led the rest of the way to