By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
NEWBERG, Ore. -- Willamette University trailed by 10 points entering the fourth quarter, but pulled within a single point at 55-54, before Teeana Cotangco of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Calif.) hit one free throw with 24 seconds left to allow the Athenas to hold off the Bearcats, 56-54, in the first round of the Bruin Classic. CMS started its season at 1-0 with Friday's win at the Wheeler Sports Center on the George Fox University campus. Willamette fell to 0-3 with two of the losses by two points or in overtime.
Elizabeth Logsdon (Jr., F, McMinnville, OR/McMinnville HS) of Willamette topped all scorers with 14 points on 6 of 7 field goals and 2 of 4 free throws. She also provided WU with six rebounds. Kassin Hopkins (Jr., G, Connell, WA/Connell HS/Bellevue College) contributed 12 points, including a pair of 3-pointer. Drew Farmer (Jr., PG, Brookings, OR/Brookings-Harbor HS) provided nine points and three assists, while hitting 4 of 5 field goals.
Britanny Kochenderfer (Sr., G, Klamath Falls, OR/Henley HS/Idaho State Univ.), who entered the game averaging 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Bearcats, was kept off the scoreboard until the fourth quarter, but still finished with 12 rebounds, five points, four assists, one steal and one blocked shot.
"I was very proud of our fight tonight," Willamette Head Coach Peg Swadener said. "CMS is a strong team and they gave us some defensive pressure that we haven't seen yet this year. Our less-experienced players really stepped up and while this wasn't the outcome we were hoping for, I feel good about the things we improved upon that will help us in the future."
Maya Love led the way for Claremont-Mudd-Scripps with 13 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Gloria Bates scored 11 points and connected on 5 of 7 field goals.
CMS owned a 41-31 advantage at the end of the third quarter. The Bearcats outscored the Athenas 9-2 to start the fourth period, as Willamette cut the margin to 43-40 with 6:13 to go. A bit later, CMS held a 48-41 lead following a jumper by Corrine Bogle at the 3:19 mark. Willamette cut the margin to three points two more times, but CMS led 53-47 with 42 seconds left following a piar of free throws by Bogle.
Farmer put in a layup for Willamette at the 38-second mark. After Cotangco made the second of two free throws for CMS, Hoplins sank a 3-pointer for WU to pull the Bearcats within 54-52 with 31 seconds on the clock. Katelynn Nguyen hit just 1 of 2 free throws for the Athenas two seconds later. Farmer scored on a layup with 24 seconds left to pull the Bearcats within 55-54.
Cotangco was fouled by Hopkins immediately after the in-bounds pass. Cotangco made the first of two free throws, but missed the second. Hopkins grabbed the rebound, but a layup by Kochenderfer was blocked by Love with 12 seconds left. Kochenderfer hauled down the rebound, but missed a jumper with eight seconds remaining. Cotangco missed two free throws with six second left, but Bogle grabbed the second rebound and the Athenas ran out the clock.
For the game, Willamette shot 38.8% from the field (19 of 49) and made 5 of 17 three-point attempts (29.4%). The Bearcats went 11 of 19 at the free throw line (57.9%). CMS was limited to 32.8% shooting (22 of 67) and converted only 1 of 13 three-point shots (7.7%). The Athenas matched WU with an 11-for-19 result at the charity stripe.
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps gained an 18-8 edge in points off turnovers. The Athenas forced the Bearcats into 21 turnovers, while CMS committed just 10 turnovers.
The Athenas earned the first five points of the game and outscored Willamette 14-9 in the first quarter. CMS held a 28-22 lead at halftime, led by Love's had 10 points and 12 rebounds. Gloria Bates added 11 pionts for the Athenas in the first half on 5-for-5 field goal shooting, plus 1 for 1 at the free throw line.
A layup by Ellery Koelker-Wolfe to open the third quarter gave CMS an eight-point margin. The Athenas eventually led 39-29 on a layup by Bogle with 3:23 left in the quarter. Hopkins scored next for the Bearcats on a layup at the 2:28 mark, but Lindsey Cleary tallied the final points of the quarter by hitting a layup with 55 seconds remaining.
Willamette will play its second game of the Bruin Classic on Saturday, Nov. 17 in Salem, Oregon, as the Bearcats will battle Evergreen State College (Wash.) at Cone Field House. Game time is scheduled for 4 p.m. (PST).
Big Moment of the Game for Willamette
Drew Farmer provided the Bearcats with two key layups
late in the fourth quarter. First, she scored with 38 seconds
on the clock to pull Willamette within 53-49. A bit later, with
24 seconds left, she scored inside once again to bring the
Bearcats within a single point of the Athenas at 55-54.