By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Lewis & Clark College hit a trio of 3-point baskets in the final 1:36 of the first half to fuel an 11-0 run for a 40-23 halftime lead, and the Pioneers went on to defeat Willamette University, 74-56, at the Pamplin Sports Center on Saturday, Jan. 14. L&C finished the game with 11 three-pointers overall. The Northwest Conference win moved L&C to 7-8 on the season, 4-2 in the NWC. Willamette fell to 2-13 overall, 0-6 in the NWC.
The Pioneers led 29-18 on a layup by Cannen Roberson with 4:43 left in the first half. Willamette scored the next five points to pull within 29-23 on a free throw by Nico Troplent (Jr., W, Los Angeles, CA/Cathedral HS), a long two-point jumper by Johnny Verduin (Sr./So., F, Seattle, WA/Ballard HS), and a pair of free throws by Brendon McCullough (Jr., G, San Antonio, TX/Home Schooled).
L&C's run to close the half started with a layup by Alex Jones, before Kyle Owens, Cory Coombe and Markel Leonard each sank a 3-pointer. Cannen Roberson led the Pioneers with 15 points at halftime.
Willamette cut the margin to 14 points two times early in the second half, including 45-31 on a layup by Jordan Jenkins (So., F, Placentia, CA/Valencia HS) with 16:03 left. L&C took a 54-35 lead on a 3-pointer by Owens at the 13:24 mark.
The Bearcats scored the next basket on a fast-break layup by McCullough, but Lewis & Clark extended its lead to 70-41 with a 16-4 run that ended with 11 unanswered points. WU went 4:48 without scoring.
For the game, Jenkins and Verduin provided the Bearcats with nine points each. Jenkins also led Willamette with five rebounds. Five Willamette players each blocked one shot by Lewis & Clark.
Roberson netted a game-high 19 points and topped all players wiht 11 rebounds. He was 8 of 15 on field goals. Markel Leonard supplied 15 points on 10-of-12 shooting. Ownes accumulated 12 points and hit 4 of 5 three-point shots. Andrew Vickers was credited with eight points, five assists and two steals.
L&C shot 45.0% from the field (27 of 60) and made 11 of 23 three-point attempts. The Pioneers missed their last four 3-pointers after hitting 11 of 19 in the first 32 minutes. L&C held a 39-36 rebounding edge.
The Bearcats were 17 of 45 on field goals (37.8%) and converted just 1 of 12 three-point tries. WU went 21 for 33 at the free throw line.
Willamette's next game will be against archrival Linfield College on Friday, Jan. 20 at Cone Field House. Game time is slated for 8 p.m. (PST).