By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director
SALEM, Ore. -- The Willamette University men's basketball team returns to action this weekend with afternoon games on Saturday, Dec. 19 and Sunday, Dec. 20. The Bearcats will play at Cone Field House on Saturday at 1 p.m. (PST) against Occidental College (Calif.). Willamette will make the short trip to Western Oregon University on Sunday for a game set to begin at 2 p.m. in Monmouth.
So far, the Bearcats are 1-6 on the season. Four of the six losses have been by 10 points or less, including a three-point loss at University of La Verne (Calif.) and a one-point loss at Chapman University (Calif.).
Brandon Luedtke (Sr., F, Meridian, ID/Mountain View HS) tops the WU scoring chart and is eighth in the Northwest Conference with 15.1 points per game. He is shooting 58.0% from the field (40 of 69). Luedtke also leads the team and ranks second in the NWC with 9.1 rebounds per game.
Luedtke has played in 77 gmaes with 50 starts in his career. He has scored 743 career points to along with 545 career rebounds. He was named First Team All-NWC and Second Team All-West Region in 2014-15.
Sophomores Brendon McCullough (G, San Antonio, TX/Home Schooled) and Nico Troplent (So., W, Los Angeles, CA/Cathedral HS) are tied for second place on the team with 10.6 points per game. McCullough is among the team leaders with 16 assists. Troplent leads the team with 87.5% free throw accuracy (14 of 16) and has made 10 three-pointers.
Bridger Harlington (Sr., W, Lake Tapps, WA/Auburn Riverside HS) is averaging 8.9 points per game. He is the Bearcats' top 3-pointer shooter with 13 three-point baskets on 35.1% long-range shooting.
Harlington is tied for sixth in the NWC with 11 steals (1.6 avg.). He is followed closing by Luedtke and McCullough, each with 10 steals (1.4 avg.).
Conin Oishi (So., G, Lake Forest Park, WA/Shorecrest HS), in just 15.1 minutes played per game, ranks first on the Willamette roster with 19 assists. He is 10th in the NWC with 2.7 assists per game.
Occidental's leading scorer is Spencer Levy with 17.5 points per game. Andrew Johnson follows with 17.0 points per contest, while Jay Miller is averaging 15.8 points per night. The Tigers, who are 5-1 overall, have scored 81.3 points per game on 50.4% field goal shooting. Even so, Occidental lost the season opener to California Institute of Technology, which is 2-4 on the season. The Tigers host Bristol University (Calif.) on Dec. 16.
Western Oregon is 10-0 overall and ranked #3 in the latest NCAA Division III Poll released by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). The Wolves have averaged 83.5 points per game, while allowing opponents only 66.6 points per night.
The top scorer for Western Oregon is Andy Avgi with 21.1 points per game. Devon Alexander adds 11.2 points per game and Alex Roth has contributed 11.1 points per contest. A total of six WOU players are averaging in double figures.
Avgi leads the Wolves with 5.6 rebounds per game and is shooting 62.5% from the field. Tanner Omlid is shooting 65.5% on field goals.