Corban Edges Willamette in Closing Seconds, 75-74

Bridger Harlington (Sr., W, Lake Tapps, WA/Auburn Riverside HS)
Bridger Harlington (Sr., W, Lake Tapps, WA/Auburn Riverside HS)

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director

SALEM, Ore. -- AJ Monterossi of Corban University scored on a 16-foot jumper with 10 seconds left and the Warriors went on to edge Willamette University 75-74 in a crosstown rivalry game on Saturday, Nov. 28 at Cone Field House.

After Willamette called timeout with 5.9 seconds to go, Brandon Luedtke (Sr., F, Meridian, ID/Mountain View HS) shot a 10-foot jumper from just outside the lane with three seconds left. The ball rolled around part of the rim before falling off. Joel Johnson of Corban tapped the rebound toward mid-court to end the game.

Corban upped it record to 4-2 on the season. Willamette fell to 1-4.

Cyrus Ward of Corban led all players with 22 points and 13 rebounds. He was 9 of 17 from the field and 4 for 6 at the free throw line. Caleb Dozier provided the Warriors with 13 points and five boards, while Cody Crowe added 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds.

Bridger Harlington (Sr., W, Lake Tapps, WA/Auburn Riverside HS) was Willamette's top scorer with 16 points, including four 3-point shots. Luedtke finished with 12 points and a team-high nine rebounds. Alex Brown contributed 10 points for the Bearcats.

Willamette held the lead for most of the first half. The score was tied at 14-14 with 13:21 left in the half following a layup by Ward for the Warriors. Conin Oishi (So., G, Lake Forest Park, WA/Shorecrest HS) scored the next two baskets for Willamette, but Taylor Fox hit a 3-pointer to pull Corban within 18-17 at the 11:20 mark.

The Bearcats surged out to a 30-21 advantage with 7:29 remaining before halftime. WU's 12-4 run started with a four-point play by Harlington on a 3-pointer and a foul shot.

A bit later in the run, Harlington hit another 3-pointer for a 27-19 lead. Crowe scored on a jumper for Corban, and then Nathan Sherfey (So., W, Chehalis, WA/W.F. West HS) completed the runwith a 3-point basket for the Bearcats.

WU eventually took a 37-27 lead on a layup and a free throw by Harlington with 3:33 to go. Corban went on a 12-4 run to pull within 41-39 on a layup by Monterossi with 30 seconds left. Hayden Russell (Jr., W, Woodland, CA/Da Vinci Charter Academy) of Willamette scored the final points of the half on a layup with 12 seconds remaining.

A layup by Ludetke with 15:33 left in the game extended Willamette's margin to 52-43. the Bearcats held a 58-51 margin after another inside basket by Luedtke at the 10:55 mark.

The Warriors gradually rallied and tied the game at 62-62 on a jumper by Caleb Herzberg with 6:59 on the clock. Herzberg also scored on a 3-pointer during the rally, while Ward chipped in a jumper and a layup.

Willamette and Corban were close the rest of the way, including four more ties to go along with nine lead changes.

Brendon McCullough (So., G, San Antonio, TX/Home Schooled) sank two free throws for the Bearcats with 2:07 left to give the home team a 70-69 lead. Crowe put in a layup with 1:03 to go, giving Corban a 71-70 edge.

WU responded with a layup by Dylan Critchfield (So., P, Broomfield, CO/Standley Lake HS) that was assisted by McCullough at the 38-second mark. The lead changed hands again when Ward made two free throws for Corban with 20 seconds remaining. McCullough connected on two free throws five seconds later, as the Bearcats regained the lead at 74-73.

Monterossi scored the final go-ahead basket after taking the ball down the floor.

Corban shot 51.6% for the game (32 of 52) and connected on 3 of 9 three-point shots. The Warriors sank 8 of 13 free throws and recorded a 41-32 rebounding advantage.

The Bearcats shot 41.2% overall (28 of 68), while hitting 6 of 26 3-pointers. WU converted 12 of 16 free throws. Willamette forced 16 turnovers, while the Bearcats lost the ball 12 times.

Willamette will play at Boise State University from NCAA Division I on Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. MST/6 p.m. PST. The contest will be an exhibition game for the Bearcats.