Whitman Edges Bearcats, 74-69, in Men's Basketball

Whitman Edges Bearcats, 74-69, in Men's Basketball

Mounts Earns Double-Double with 20 Points, 12 Rebounds

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- Whitman College escaped Cone Field House with a 74-69 men's basketball win over Willamette University on Friday, Jan. 14, but the Missionaries almost had to play an extra five minutes to get the win.

Willamette trailed Whitman by six points with just over a minute remaining, but nearly rallied to force overtime. A potential game-tying shot by the Bearcats with two seconds left went in and out off the basket and the Missionaries added the final two points at the free throw line.

A 3-pointer by Justin Artis of Whitman gave the Missionaries a 72-66 lead with 1:12 left. Terrell Malley (So., G, Portland, OR/Roosevelt HS) of Willamette made a 3-pointer with 58 seconds left to cut the lead to three points. Artis missed a 3-pointer for the Missionaries with 17 seconds to go.

Taylor Mounts (Jr., Wing/Post, Kailua, HI/Iolani School) rebounded the miss by Artis and the Bearcats brought the ball down court before calling timeout with 8.5 seconds left. Malley missed a 3-pointer just after the in-bounds pass, but Robbie Kunke (Sr., G, Clackamas, OR/Clackamas HS) of Willamette rebounded and sent the ball back to Malley.

Malley took an open 3-pointer with four seconds left. The shot went in and out of the basket. Whitman rebounded with less than two seconds left and Drew Raher completed the scoring with a pair of free throws for the Missionaries.

Brandon Shaw led Whitman with 16 points, while Artis added 12. Mounts topped Willamette with 20 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Malley and Sean Dart (So., Post, Bend, OR/Mountain View HS/Eastern Oregon Univ.) each scored 15 points. Dart hit 7 of 8 field goals and also contributed nine rebounds.

Willamette shot 41.9% from the floor and scored four more field goals than the Missionaries (26-22). Whitman hit just 36.7% of its field goal attempts, but made 12 of 30 three-pointers (40.0%), while Willamette was 3 of 23 (13.0%) from behind the 3-point arc.

The Missionaries took a 22-9 lead during the game's first 10 minutes including a 10-0 run after holding a 12-9 advantage. Willamette battled back to get within three points, 35-32, with 1:02 left in the half on a layup by Malley. Artis sank two free throws for Whitman with 44 seconds on the clock to give the Missionaries a 37-32 lead at the intermission.

WU pulled within 42-39 with 17:17 left on a 3-pointer by Malley and the Bearcats were within a single point at 47-46, following a layup and foul shot by Mounts at the 14:37 mark. The Bearcats cut the deficit to one point two more times over the next five minutes, but were unable to surge in front.

Even so, Whitman couldn't pull away. The largest lead for the Missionaries in the final nine minutes was 69-62 with 3:02 left, after Ryan Gilkey converted two free throws. Willamette recorded the next four points on a layup by Malley with 2:57 left and a layup from Ryan Meehan (Jr., Wing, Beaverton, OR/Beaverton HS/MSU-Billings) with 1:41 remaining. Artis answered with his 3-pointer with 1:12 to go.

Willamette will host Whitworth University on Saturday, Jan. 15. Game time is scheduled for 6 p.m. (PST). Whitworth, ranked to #3 in NCAA Division III by D3hoops.com, defeated George Fox University on Friday to improve to 14-0 overall, 5-0 in the NWC.

Whitman College 74
Willamette University 69

Taylor Mounts of Willamette led all players with 20 points and 12 rebounds.