Willamette Trails Lewis & Clark Early, Falls to Pioneers, 73-57

Brendon McCullough (Jr., G, San Antonio, TX/Home Schooled)
Brendon McCullough (Jr., G, San Antonio, TX/Home Schooled)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

SALEM, Ore. -- Andrew Vickers scored a career-high 23 points, all in the first half, and teammate Leonard Markel tallied 12 points, all in the second half, for Lewis & Clark College on Friday, Feb. 10 at Cone Field House. The combined efforts of Vickers and Markel led the Pioneers to a 73-57 victory over Willamette University in a Northwest Conference men's basketball game.

L&C improved to 9-13 on the season, 6-7 in the NWC. Willamette fell to 3-19 overall, 1-12 in the NWC.

The Pioneers zoomed out to a 22-6 lead in the first 6:16 of the game, and led by double digits the rest of the night. Lewis & Clark owned its largest lead at 58-32 with 12:19 left in the second half.

Willamette reduced the lead to 68-53 with 2:51 remaining, as the Bearcats ended the game with a 25-15 run. Each team earned 31 points in the second half.

In addition to the scoring of Vickers and Markel, Lewis & Clark also received double-figures from Nico Bricker and Ales Jones. Bricker contributed 14 points, while Joins hit the nets for 11 points. Vickers supplied the Pioneers with nine rebounds, three assists, four steals and one blocked shot.

Jordan Jenkins (So., F, Placentia, CA/Valencia HS) and Brendon McCullough (Jr., G, San Antonio, TX/Home Schooled) each scored 10 points for the Bearcats. Jenkins was 5 for 10 from the field.

Casey Thornton (Jr., F, Santa Rosa, CA/Maria Carrillo HS) provided a team-high six rebounds. Willamette went 10 for 10 at line, led by McCullough, who went 4 for 4 on free throw attempts. CJ Walker (So., P, Placentia, CA/Mayfair HS) and Thornton each blocked two L&C shots for the Bearcats. Jenkins also blocked a shot.

The early offensive success by L&C included four 3-point baskets, with two by Jones, one by Vickers and one by Kyle Owens. Vickers tallied seven points for the Pioneers on the way to their 22-6 advantage.

Willamette registered the next four points on a jumper by Conin Oishi (Jr., G, Lake Forest Park, WA/Shorecrest HS) and a jumper by Johnny Verduin (Sr./So., F, Seattle, WA/Ballard HS) to cut the lead to 22-10 with 11:37 to go in the first half.

Each team tacked on five points, with Vickers scoring all five for L&C. Reuben Williams (Fr., PG, Long Beach, CA/Long Beach Poly HS) sank a 3-pointer and Trent Callan (So., G, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) earned a layup for Willamette. L&C was in front 27-15 with 7:11 left.

The Pioneers added a 9-2 run, starting with a 3-pointer by Vickers and a layup from Vickers. After McCullough scored on a jumper for the Bearcats, Bricker added a jumper and a layup for L&C, increasing the margin to 36-17.

WU used a 6-1 run to lower the deficit to 14 points at 37-23, and the Bearcats trailed 39-26 following a 3-pointer by Oishi with 55 seconds on the clock. Vickers moved off a deep screen and hit a 3-point shot with six second left, giving the Pioneers a 42-26 halftime edge.

L&C started quickly in the second half. A 3-pointer by Jones increased the lead to 47-26 with 18:16 to play. A bit later, Leonard scored on a 3-pointer for a 54-30 advantage.

The Pioneers shot 46.4% for the game (26 of 56), including 57.7% (15 of 26) in the first half. Lewis & Clark finished the game 12 of 25 on 3-pointers (48.0%). L&C was 7 of 12 (58.3%) on 3-point shots in the first half. Vickers led the way with four 3-pointers, while Jones scored on three long-range shots.

Willamette was 22 of 60 on field goals (36.7%) and hit just 3 of 16 shots (18.8%) from behind the 3-point arc.

The Bearcats will play at George Fox University on Saturday, Feb. 11. Game time in Newberg, Oregon, is scheduled for 6 p.m. (PS).