By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director
SALEM, Ore. -- Senior forward Brandon Luedtke (Meridian, ID/Mountain View HS) produced a double-double with career highs of 28 points and 16 rebounds to lead Willamette University to a 78-69 victory over Macalester College (Minn.) on Friday, Nov. 13 at Cone Field House. It was the season opener for both teams, leaving Willamette at 1-0 and Macalester at 0-1.
Luedtke's previous career high for scoring was 26 points against University of Redlands on Dec. 19, 2013. He previously grabbed 15 rebounds in three different games -- twice in 2013-14 and once in 2014-15.
Dylan Kilgour topped Macalester's lineup with 27 points. He hit 6 of 10 field goals, including 3 of 6 on 3-point shots. He connected on 12 of 12 free throws and grabbed five rebounds.
The Bearcats led for nearly the entire game after breaking a 4-4 tie on a 3-pointer by Bridger Harlington (Sr., W, Lake Tapps, WA/Auburn Riverside HS) with 17:06 left in the first half. Willamette held a slim 13-12 advantage with 13:29 remaining in the half, but went on a 11-1 run to extend the margin to 11 points at 24-13 at the 8:29 mark.
Willamette's run included baskets by Conin Oishi (So., G, Lake Forest Park, WA/Shorecrest HS), Bridger Harlington (Sr., W, Lake Tapps, WA/Auburn Riverside HS) and Luedtke, plus a 3-pointer by Hayden Russell (Jr., W, Woodland, CA/Da Vinci Charter Academy). Luedtke completed the run with a pair of free throws.
The Scots pulled within 24-18 after Kilgour hit a 3-pointer and Wyatt Ferm added a layup, but WU countered with a 3-pointer by Russell. Willamette owned a 43-32 lead at halftime.
At the break Luedtke had 13 points, eight rebounds and three steals for the Bearcats. Kilgour scored 12 points in the first half for Macalester.
Jordan Black put in a layup for the Scots to open the scoring in the second half. Willamette's lead stayed between eight and 10 points for the first seven minutes of the period.
A jumper and foul shot by Wyatt Ferm with 12:58 remaining cut Macalester's deficit to seven points at 50-43.
Luedtke tacked on a layup for Willamete at the 12:40 mark, but the Scots moved within seven points two more times.
Alex Brown (Sr., F, Happy Valley, OR/Clackamas HS) sank a 3-pointer for the Bearcats with 10:03 to go, increasing the lead to 57-47. The margin reached 12 points at 64-52 following a jumper and a foul shot by Luedtke with 6:45 remaining.
WU also led 66-54 after Luedtke scored on a put-back with 6:18 left. The Scots answered with a 5-0 run that reduced the lead to 66-59 when Kyle Bernhard hit a 3-pointer at the 5:41 mark.
The Bearcats countered with a 9-1 run to surge out to a 75-60 advantage with just 3:09 on the clock. The run six points by Luedtke and ended with a 3-point basket by Nico Troplent (So., W, Los Angeles, CA/Cathedral HS).
Macalester cut the margin to 76-69 on a layup by Bernhard with 48 second left, but couldn't get closer.
Troplent joined Luedtke in double figures for the Bearcats with 10 points. Russell finished with eight points. A total of 11 Willamette players scored during the game. WU shot 44.3% from the field (27 of 61) and hit 19 of 28 free throws (67.9%).
Kilgour was one of two Scots with double-digit scoring. Kareem Ismail tallied 17 points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. He made of 12 free throws before fouling out with 1:57 left. Ferm scored nine points for the Scots.
The game included 63 total fouls. Willamette was charged with 35 fouls and 28 fouls were called on Macalester. Two players fouled out for each team.
WU limited Macalester to 34.5% shooting (19 of 55), including just 27.6% (8 of 29) in the second half. The Scots converted 27 of 39 free throws (69.2%).
The Bearcats finished with a 41-39 rebounding edge and committed 19 turnovers, while Macalester lost the ball 20 times. Willamette recorded 12 steals.
Willamette will remain at home to take on Southern Oregon University on Saturday, Nov. 14. Tipoff at Cone Field House is scheduled for 7 p.m. (PST).