Led by Clark's 18 Points and Seven Boards, Linfield Outscores Bearcats, 77-61

Trent Callan (So., G, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS)
Trent Callan (So., G, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

SALEM, Ore. -- Jordan Clark scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead Linfield College to a 77-61 road victory over Willamette University, on Friday, Jan. 20 in a Northwest Conference men's basketball game at Cone Field House. Clark hit 8 of 10 field goals.

Linfield upped its record to 10-6, 4-3 in the NWC. Willamette dropped to 2-14 overall, 0-7 in the NWC.

Clark helped Linfield shoot 62.0% (31 of 50) for the game, including 65.4% (17 of 26) in the first half. Willamette was 20 of 51 (39.2%) from the field.

Two other Wildcats joined Clark in double figures. Kyle Maloof tallied 12 points and hit all five of his field goal attempts. Vince Romeo chipped in 10 points to go along with three steals.

Willamette was led by Trent Callan (So., G, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) with 14 points. Jordan Jenkins (So., F, Placentia, CA/Valencia HS) added 12 points and was 5 for 8 from the field. Johnny Verduin (Sr./So., F, Seattle, WA/Ballard HS) scored nine points.

The Bearcats scored the game's first six points on two 3-point baskets by Callan. Linfield countered with a 9-0 run, that began with a jumper by Matt Woods and a 3-pointer by Riley Bruil, before Clark scored on two layups.

Conin Oishi (Jr., G, Lake Forest Park, WA/Shorecrest HS) of Willamette tied the score at 9-9 with 3-pointer as the clock reached 14:15. The Wildcats surged back in front with a layup by Clark and a basket by Daniels for a 13-9 lead.

Willamette trailed by just two point, 15-13, after Jenkins scored on a jump shot for the Bearcats at the 11:40 mark. Linfield scored seven unanswered points to extend the lead to 22-13 on a layup by Woods with 9:32 to go.

The Bearcats responded with a 7-0 run of their own to get within 22-20 at the 8:06 mark. The run started with a 3-pointer by Jenkins and continued with two free throws by Nico Troplent (Jr., W, Los Angeles, CA/Cathedral HS) and a jumper by Verduin.

Linfield put in the next five points to gain a 28-21 advantage. Troplent answered with a 3-pointer, but the Wildcats went on a 9-2 run for a 37-26 lead with 3:17 left.

The Wildcats held their largest lead of the half at 40-28 after Romeo hit 1 of 2 free throws at the 2:06 mark. A layup by Callan and a free throw by Verduin cut Willamette's deficit to 40-31, but Maloof scored the final basket of the half with six seconds remaining.

After Linfield scored the first two baskets of the second half on a jumper by Mason Rodby and a fast-break layup by Romeo, the Wildcats held a 46-31 advantage. Willamette went on a 6-2 run to reduce the lead to 48-37 on a layup by Verduin with 15:52 on the clock.

A bit later, Jenkins converted a traditional three-point play with a layup and a foul shot to cut the margin to 52-42 with 13:31 to play. Willamette got as close as nine points at 64-45 following a 3-pointer by Hayden Russell (Jr., W, Woodland, CA/Da Vinci Charter Academy) with 12:26 left.

The Bearcats were unable to get closer, but trailed just 61-50 after a layup by Callan with 9:20 to go. Linfield scored the next six points on a jumper by Clark, a dunk by Woods and a fast-break layup by Rmeo to take a 67-50 lead.

Linfield finished the game with a 35-27 rebounding margin. Clark's seven boards led all players. Woods and Rodby each grabbed five rebounds for the Wildcats. Four Bearcats -- Jenkins, Callan, Russell and Jared Baumgartner (Sr., W, Albany, OR/Crescent Valley HS) -- tied for Willamette's rebounding lead, each with four boards.

WU committed just 12 turnovers, compared to 15 turnovers by the Wildcats. Even so, Linfield gained a 15-13 edge in points off turnovers.

The Bearcats will be back in action on Saturday, Jan. 20 with a Northwest Conference game against Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. (PST).