Bearcats Look to Build Momentum as Northwest Conference Action Resumes

Brandon Luedtke (Sr., F, Meridian, OH/Mountain View HS)
Brandon Luedtke (Sr., F, Meridian, OH/Mountain View HS)

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director

SALEM, Ore. -- The Bearcats will look to gain momentum in men's basketball this weekend, as Willamette University resumes Northwest Conference action with a road game at University of Puget Sound and a home game against archrival Linfield College.

Willamette is set to take on the Loggers in Tacoma, Washington, on Friday, Jan. 8 at 8 p.m. (PST). The Bearcats will return to Cone Field House to battle Linfield on Saturday, Jan. 9 at 6 p.m.

So far this season, the Bearcats are 3-8 overall and 0-2 in the NWC. Two of the losses were by three points or less, two losses were against Chapman University which is 8-2 on the season, and one loss was to nationally ranked Western Oregon University of NCAA Division II.

Brandon Luedtke (Sr., F, Meridian, ID/Mountain View HS) continues to lead Willamette with 13.5 points, 9.6 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game. He leads the NWC in rebounding and is tied for 11th in scoring.

Luedtke has reached double digits in scoring in nine of 11 games this season. He scored a career-high 28 points in the season opener, a 78-69 victory over Macalester College (Minn.). He grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds in an 84-71 win over Whittier College on Dec. 29.

In his career, Luedtke has scored 786 points to go along with 587 rebounds and 128 steals. He owns a 54.0% career field goal percentage.

Also for Willamette, Nico Troplent (So., W, Los Angeles, CA/Cathedral HS) is averaging 11.0 points per game and Alex Brown (Sr., F, Happy Valley, OR/Clackamas HS) is contributing 10.2 points per contest.

Brown has returned to action after missing most of the 2014-15 season due to an injury. He has scored in double figures in five of WU's last seven games, including a career-high 24 points in a 74-68 win over Occidental College on Dec. 19.

During his seasons with the Bearcats, Brown has produced 590 points and grabbed 205 rebounds. His has achieved a 58.2% career field goal percentage.

Bridger Harlington (Sr., W, Lake Tapps, WA/Auburn Riverside HS), who scored a career-high 22 points in the win over Whittier, leads Willamette with 22 three-pointers while shooting 42.3% from 3-point range.

The top scorer for Puget Sound is Carlos Mancasola (Jr., G) with 13.2 points per game. He has connected on 26 of 63 three-point shots (41.3%) for the Loggers. Kohl Meyer (Sr./Jr., G) has provided 12.5 points per game. The Loggers are 6-5 overall and 1-1 in the NWC.

Linfield's offense has received 13.7 points per contest from Kyle Maloof (Jr., G). Maloof also leads the Wildcats with 6.3 rebounds per game. Vince Romeo (Fr., G) has added 10.7 points per game. Linfield is 5-5 overall and 0-2 in the NWC. The Wildcats will host Pacific Lutheran University on Friday.