Willamette Knocks Off Pioneers, 76-73, as Mounts Scores 25 Points

Willamette Knocks Off Pioneers, 76-73, as Mounts Scores 25 Points

Bos Hits Two Free Throws in 1-and-1 with 12 Seconds Left

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

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University men's basketball team rallied past visiting Lewis & Clark College to defeat the Pioneers, 76-73, in a Northwest Conference game at Cone Field House on Saturday, Feb. 19.

The Bearcats led 74-73 before Trevor Bos (Fr., G, Lakewood, CA/St. John Bosco HS) sank both free throws in a 1-and-1 situation for Willamette with 12 seconds left. Lewis and Clark missed two desperation 3-pointers in the closing seconds.

Willamette concluded its season at 7-18, 4-12 in the Northwest Conference. Lewis & Clark fell to 18-7 overall, 11-5 in the NWC.

The Pioneers finished the regular season tied with Whitman College for second place in the NWC standings. Whitman, which earned the tie-breaker, will host the Pioneers on Thursday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. (PST) in one of the NWC semifinals.

In Saturday's game, Willamette senior guard Robbie Kunke (Clackamas, OR/Clackamas HS) almost put together a triple-double before fouling out with about six minutes remaining. He left the game with 11 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. He increased his Willamette record for career assists to 523.

Taylor Mounts (Jr., Wing/Post, Kailua, HI/Iolani School) of Willamette led all scorers with 25 points and also grabbed 11 rebounds.

Mounts and Kunke were joined in double figures by three other Bearcats. Terrell Malley (So., G, Portland, OR/Roosevelt HS) and Sean Dart (So., Post, Bend, OR/Mountain View HS/Eastern Oregon Univ.) each tallied 12 points. Meehan ended the game with 10 points and five rebounds.

PJ Taylor topped Lewis & Clark with 19 points, while Kyle Meeuwsen added 12 points and 11 boards. Marcus Wells scored 13 points and Kelly Edwards chipped in 11 points.

Willamette rallied from a 44-37 halftime deficit. WU opened the second half with a 10-5 run that cut the L&C lead to 49-47 following a 3-pointer by Malley with 13:45 remaining.

Lewis & Clark scored the next five points for a 54-47 advantage and also led by seven points, 56-49, after Kelly Edwards sank a jumper for the Pioneers with 10:34 to go. The Bearcats answered with a 10-1 run to take a two-point lead.

Kunke started the run with a 3-pointer. After Taylor made one of two free throws for the Pioneers, Willamette continued the run with a 3-pointer from Meehan with 9:46 on the clock. Meehan tied the game one minute later with a jump shot and Mounts gave WU the lead, 59-57, on a jumper at the 8:13 mark.

One tie and three lead changes later, Marcus Wells sank a free throw to give L&C a 65-62 advantage with 6:17 left. WU tied the game 10 seconds later on a 3-pointer by Mounts and never trailed again.

The Bearcats took the lead for good, 67-65, when Mounts added a jumper with 5:10 on the clock. The lead reached four points twice, before the Pioneers pulled within 70-69 on a 3-point basket by Donato Perconti.

A jumper by Mounts at the 2:05 mark and two free throws by Malley with 1:32 left created a 74-69 margin for Willamette. L&C cut the lead to a single point after Meeuwsen sank a layup and Kelly Edwards tacked on two free throws with 51 seconds to go.

Neither team scored again until the clinching free throws by Bos with 12 seconds remaining.

The first half was played at a fast tempo with the teams combining for four ties and eight lead changes. Mounts of WU led all scorers at halftime with 13 points, while Wells scored 12 and Taylor earned 11 for L&C.

Willamette hit 50% of its field goals in both halves to finish 28 of 56 on the night. The Bearcat made 8 of 17 three-pointers (47.1%) and converted 12 of 18 free throws. WU gained a huge rebounding edge by a 46-30 margin.

Lewis & Clark shot 43.6% (17 of 39) in the first half. Willamette limited the Pioneers to 28.1% shooting (9 of 32) in the second half.

The Pioneers drained 9 of 23 three-pointers in the opening period, but found the net on just 2 of 19 attempts from behind the arc in the final 20 minutes. L&C gained a sizable margin in takeaways, forcing WU to lose possession 26 times, while the Pioneers committed just 10 turnovers.

Before the game, Willamette honored its three seniors: Robbie Kunke, Cory Lowe (Grad., Post, Beaverton, OR/Beaverton HS) and Matt Winterscheid (Sr., Wing, Seattle, WA/Seattle Prep).

Willamette University 76
Lewis & Clark College 73

Robbie Kunke almost had a triple-double with 11 points, 10 boards and eight assists.

Trevor Bos sank two free throws with 12 seconds left to give WU its final margin of victory.