By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
LINCOLN, Neb. -- Willamette University first-year point guard Daniel Plumer (North Las Vegas, NV/Democracy Preparatory Academy) set a quality standard for his career-best in scoring, as he earned 30 points against Nebraska Wesleyan University on Saturday, Nov. 30 in his sixth college game, but the Wolves downed the Bearcats, 101-84, at the Snyder Classic. Plumer, who scored 18 points against Buena Vista University (Iowa) in the Snyder Classic on Friday, was named to the All-Tournament Team.
The Bearcats battled the Wolves for most of the game, and held a 64-63 lead following a fast-break layup by Plumer with 13:24 left in the second half. NWU scored the next eight points, ending with 3-point shots by Nate Bahe and Nate Schimonitz, to claim a 71-64 advantage at the 11:33 mark. The 8-0 surge opened a 20-2 run for the Wolves that created an 83-66 lead with 8:14 to go.
Nebraska Wesleyan, which won the NCAA Division III National Championship in 2017-18 and qualified for the 2018-19 NCAA Division III Tournament, improved to 7-1 overall. It was the Wolves' 18th consecutive victory in the Snyder Classic. Willamette fell to 1-5. The Bearcats' opponents in their five losses have achieved a combined record of 27-9.
On Saturday, Plumer scored 20 of his 30 points in the first half. For the game, he was 11 of 20 on field goals, including 6 of 11 from 3-point range. He also contributed seven rebounds, six assists and two steals. In two games at the Snyder Classic, averaged 24.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 3.5 steals. For the season, he is Willamette's top scorer with 19.7 points per game to go along with 4.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. He is shooting 56.6% from the field (43 of 76).
Against Nebraska Wesleyan, Plumer was one of three Bearcats with double-digit scoring. Ben Sutton (Jr., F, Seattle, WA/Ingraham HS) hit 8 of 12 field goals on his way to 19 points. Sutton led Willamette with eight rebounds. Alec Barba (Jr., G, Dallas, OR/Central HS) chipped in 18 points, while going 4 for 9 on 3-point shots and sinking 6 of 7 free throws. Cade Whicker (Fy., F, Fruit Heights, UT/Davis HS) produced eight points, five boards and two assists. Joshua Stubbs (Sr./Jr., W, Eugene, OR/Churchill HS) supplied five rebounds.
Jack Hiller of NWU nearly matched Plumer in scoring, but finished with 27 points, as he connected on 10 of 17 field goals, including 7 of 13 on 3-point shots. Hiller's seven 3-pointers tied a Snyder Classic record. He also registered six rebounds, four assists, one blocked shot and one steal. Hiller was named MVP of the tournament.
Schimonitz added 22 points for the Wolves on 8-of-13 shooting, and provided NWU with eight assists and three rebounds. Dylan Dirks scored 15 points and grabbed six boards, while Clay Reimers earned 14 points, five rebounds and four steals.
The Bearcats opened the game with an 8-2 run that featured a 3-pointer each by Whicker and Plumer. A bit later, WU tallied eight unanswered points for an 18-9 lead. The string of points ended with a 3-pointer by Barba. The Wolves countered with a 10-0 run, as Nebraska Wesleyan took its first lead at 19-18 on a 3-pointer by Hiller with 10:14 to go in the half.
Willamette moved back in front just 25 seconds later at 20-19 on a layup by Ryan Peterson (Jr., P, Edmonds, WA/Edmonds-Woodway HS). Peyton Priest hit a 3-pointer for NWU to give the Wolves a 23-20 edge, but the Bearcats eventually held a 27-26 lead following a four-point play from Barba on a 3-pointer and a foul shot with 7:36 on the clock.
The Wolves scored eight of the next 11 points to grab a 34-29 lead with 5:16 left in the half. WU pulled within a single point at 36-35 after Sutton provided a traditional three-point play with 3:05 to go, but Nebraska Wesleyan expanded the lead to eight points before taking a 48-43 advantage into the break.
Schimonitz recorded the first points of the second half on a layup for NWU. The Bearcats responded with a 13-7 run, led by two 3-pointers from Plumer plus two layups by Sutton, to reduce the margin to 57-56 with 16:10 to play. After pulling within one point three more times, Willamette took the lead at 64-63 on Plumer's fast-break layup at the 13:24 mark. NWU's decisive run followed Plumer's go-ahead basket.
NWU shot 58.3% for the game (35 of 60) and converted 13 of 26 shots from 3-point range (50.0%). The Wolves hit just 18 fo 33 free throws (54.5%), while the Bearcats were 11 of 15 (73.3%) at the free throw line. Willamette made 30 of 65 field goals (46.2%) and put through 13 of 32 three-point shots (40.6%). The Bearcats attained a 37-36 rebounding edge.
The Bearcats will battle Lewis & Clark College in the Northwest Conference opener for both teams at Cone Field House on Saturday, Dec. 7. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. (PST).