Stags Excel on Defense in 70-43 Win over Bearcats at David Wells Classic

Justus Eaglesmith (So., G, Sparks NV/Spanish Springs HS)
Justus Eaglesmith (So., G, Sparks NV/Spanish Springs HS)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

CLAREMONT, Calif. -- Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Calif.) limited Willamette University to 26.5% shooting for the game (13 of 49), as the Stags defeated the Bearcats, 70-43, on Saturday, Nov. 24 in the second round of the David Wells Classic. CMS evened its record at 2-2 on the season, while Willamette fell to 0-4.

The Stags have held their opponents to 35.0% on field goals this season, while allowing just 60.6 points per game. After Willamette shot 36.0% in the first half (9 of 25), CMS limited the Bearcats to 16.7% shooting (4 of 24) during the final 20 minutes. Willamette sank 5 of 9 three-pointers in the first half, but went 0 for 10 from 3-point range in the second half.

CMS went 1-1 in the tournament, including an 84-75 loss to Whitman College on Friday. Willamette fell to Pomona-Pitzer, 85-71, on Friday and finished the tournament at 0-2. Pomona-Pitzer went 2-0 to claim first place after downing Whitman 112-109 in two overtimes on Saturday. Whitman was 1-1 in the tournament.

"Claremont has long been a great defensive team and showed why in the second half," Willamette Head Coach Kip Ioane said. "We played some good defense ourselves, but our inability to rebound those misses we forced killed our chances."

Willamette forced CMS to shoot 45.0% for the game (27 of 60), including 44.0% in the second half (11 of 25). The Stags earned a 52-22 advantage on the boards, including a 19-6 edge in offensive rebounds.

Jordan Jenkins (Sr., F, Placentia, CA/Valencia HS) topped the Bearcats in scoring with 10 points. He also earned three rebounds, two assists and two steals. Justus Eaglesmith (So., G, Sparks NV/Spanish Springs HS) contributed nine points, while connecting on 3 of 4 three-point shots. Eaglesmith was 3 of 5 overall. Jonathan Watts (Fr., G, San Diego, CA/Rancho Bernardo HS) scored seven points to go along with three assists and two steals. Trent Callan (Sr., G, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) added six points, three boards and two steals.

Three CMS players reached double digits for the Stags. Jeremy Horn, a 6' 9" center, led the way with 17 points and 14 rebounds. he also blocked two shots. Horn was 6 of 8 from the field and 5 of 6 at the free throw line. Nicolas Segura Dobja tacked on 16 points, grabbed eight rebounds and supplied three assists. Segura Dobja was 7 of 12 on field goals. Miles President provided the Stags with 13 points and a game-high four assists.

The Bearcats took a 4-3 lead less than two minutes into the game on jumpers by Jenkins and CJ Walker (Jr., P, Placentia, CA/Mayfair HS). CSM answered with a 7-0 run that ended with a basket and a foul shot by Segura Dobja for a 10-4 lead with 16:36 left in the half. A bit later, the Stags were in front, 15-7.

WU reduced the margin to 15-13 after Watts hit a 3-pointer with 14:01 left and Eaglesmith added a 3-pointer at the 13:12 mark. Eaglesmith sank another 3-pointer with 10:51 on the clock to pull the Bearcats within two points once again at 18-16. The Stags tallied the next six points for a 24-16 advantage.

The teams then exchanged points for several minutes, with CMS eventually grabbing a 38-27 lead on a 3-pointer from Mark Sul with 1:50 remaining in the half. Caleb Roberts (Sr., W, Salem, OR/North HS) earned the final basket of the half for the Bearcats on a 3-pointer with 54 seconds to go. Willamette trailed 38-30 at the break.

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps powerful defense in the second half allowed the Stags to control the game over the final 20 minutes. The Stags opened the half with a 12-1 run that increased their lead to 50-31 with 17:01 remaining. Miles started the run with a 3-pointer and Segura Dobja completed the run by hitting a 3-pointer. Callan scored next for Willamette on a jump shot, but the Bearcats were unable to get closer.

Willamette will begin Northwest Conference play on Friday, Nov. 30 at Whitworth University. Game time in Spokane, Washington, is set for 8 p.m. (PST).

Justus Eaglesmith (So., G, Sparks NV/Spanish Springs HS)

Big Moment of the Game for Willamette

The Bearcats trailed by eight points with 14:29 left in the
first half, but battled to within two points twice. Each time,
Justus Eaglesmith sank a 3-point shot, helping Willamette
reduce the lead to 15-13 and then 18-16. Eaglesmith was
3 of 4 on 3-point shots during the game.