By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
FOREST GROVE, Ore. -- Jordan Jenkins (Jr., F, Placentia, CA/Valencia HS) scored a career-high 22 points and hauled down 13 rebounds to lead Willamette University to a 70-64 win over Pacific University in Northwest Conference action on Friday, Feb. 9. The double-double by Jordan was one of two double-doubles for the Bearcats. Nico Troplent (Sr., W, Guadaloupe, France/Cathedral HS) contributed 17 points and 10 boards.
Willamette upped its record to 10-12 on the season, 5-8 in the NWC. Pacific dropped to 11-1 overall, 5-8 int he conference.
Jenkins hit 9 of 20 field goals and was 2 for 3 from 3-point distance. His all-around effort not only led to a double-double, but also allowed him to earn three assists, four blocks and a steal. Troplent was 6 of 10 from the field and sank 4 of 4 free throws. Nathan Sherfey (Sr., F, Chehalis, WA/W.F. West HS) also reached double digits for Willamette, as he scored 13 points, including a game-high four 3-point baskets on five attempts. Brendon McCullough (Sr., G, San Antonio, TX/Home Schooled) registered six assists.
"I'm very happy that all of our seniors made contributions to the win," Willamette Head Coach Kip Ioane said. "Jordan and Nico each with a double-double. Nathan Sherfey from 3-point range. Conin Oishi (Sr., G, Lake Forest Park, WA/Shorecrest HS) and McCullough with clutch baskets down the stretch, and Dylan Critchfield (Sr., P, Broomfield, CO/Standley Lake HS) and Casey Thornton (Sr., W, Santa Rosa, CA/Maria Carrillo HS) playing defense."
Nate Olowo topped Pacific with 18 points, 12 rebounds, two assists, three blocks and three steals. He was 9 of 13 from the field. Davis Holly provided the Boxers with 15 points and six assists, while Jay Merriweather added 12 points on 6-for-9 shooting.
The first half featured three ties and three lead changes. WU led 7-4 following a 3-pointer by Troplent just under four minutes into the game. The Boxers scored the next six points on baskets by Chris Evans, Olowo and Merriweather to move in front, 10-7. Later, Pacific held a 21-13 advantage after Holly was successful on a jump shot with 9:17 remainng. Willamette answered with a 13-2 run, including three 3-pointers by Sherfey, to take a 26-23 lead with 3:04 to go in the half.
Pacific eventually tied the game at 30-30 on three free throws by Brown at the 46-second mark following a foul on a 3-point shot. Willamette added a layup by Trent Callan (Jr., G, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) for a two-point with 29 seconds left. The Boxers prepared to take the last shot of the half, but McCullough stole the ball from Evans with about six seconds left. Callan missed a layup several seconds later, but Jenkins grabbed the rebound and scored just before the buzzer to give WU a 34-30 halftime edge.
Three-pointers by Sherfey and Jenkins expanded the lead to 40-30 just 19 seconds into the second half. The Boxers trimmed the margin to 45-44 with 13:11 left on a dunk by Olowo. Troplent hit two free throws for Willamette to give the Bearcats a 47-44 lead, but the Boxers produced the next six points, ending with a layup by Holly.
WU responded with four consecutive points by Troplent on two free throws with 11:16 on the clock and a tip-in with 10:10 left. Jenkins added a free throw with 9:43 to go, giving Willamette a 52-50 lead. The Boxers tied the score four times in the next seven minutes, but the Bearcats broke the tie each time.
The game's final deadlock was at 61-61 after Jordan Lind hit two free throws for Pacific with 2:51 remaining. Jenkins put Willamette in front, 63-61, on a layup 15 seconds later. He then rebounded a miss by the Boxers at the other end of the court. Callan scored on a layup late in the ensuing possession. Jenkins blocked a layup by Pacific with 1:29 left to give WU the ball again. Callan sank a jump shot as the clock reached the 1:02 mark, increasing the Bearcats' lead to 67-61.
Brevin Brown scored on a 3-pointer for Pacific with 39 seconds still to be played, but one free throw by Jenkins and two free throws by McCullough closed out the scoring for the Bearcats.
Willamette shot just 39.7% for the game (25 of 63), but hit 12 of 24 field goals in the second half (50.0%). The Bearcats sank 8 of 18 three-pointers (44.4%) and held Pacific to just 3 of 13 on long-range shots (23.1%). WU converted 12 of 19 free throws, while the Boxers went 5 of 6 at the line. Pacific connected on 45.9% of its field goal attempts (28 of 61).
The Bearcats gained a 41-35 rebounding margin, including 11-4 on the offensive glass, on their way to a 13-4 advantage in second-chance points. The teams combined for nine blocked shots, with five by Pacific and four by Willamette.
On Saturday, Feb. 10, the Bearcats will host Pacific Lutheran University at Cone Field House. Game time is scheduled for 6 p.m. (PST). It will be Senior Night and the Bearcats will honor their six seniors prior to the game.