By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- The Willamette University men's basketball team set a school record by making 23 three-point baskets, and Alec Barba (So., W, Dallas, OR/Central HS) came close to tying the school record for individual three-point baskets in a game, as the Bearcats rolled past Northwest Indian College, 126-60, on Saturday, Jan. 12 at Cone Field House.
Barba finished with a game-high 24 points, while connecting on 8 of 14 three-point shots. The Willamette individual single game record of nine 3-pointers was set by Nik Lubisich two times during the 2000-01 season. Barba became the fifth Willamette player to earn eight 3-pointers in a game. The previous team high for 3-pointers was set at 15 against Concordia University (Texas) earlier this season on Nov. 16. Prior to that game, the school record was 13 in numerous games.
Willamette placed five players in double figures on Saturday -- all off the bench -- as 12 Bearcats contributed to the score. The 126 points is the third-highest in Willamette history, trailing only 137 scored at University of Puget Sound on Dec. 1, 2006 and 127 versus Concordia University (Ore.) on Dec. 13, 1985.
Barba's 24 points were closely followed by the contributions of Justus Eaglesmith (So., G, Sparks NV/Spanish Springs HS), who scored 23 points and hit 6 of 7 three-point attempts. Dylan Streett (Fr., G, Santa Barbara, CA/Bishop Diego HS) tacked on 11 points, while Ben Sutton (So., F, Seattle, WA/Ingraham HS) and Will Huntington (So., P, Oakland, CA/Bishop O'Dowd HS) each scored 10 points. Barba, Eaglesmith and Streett each set a career high for scoring. Sutton and Huntington set career highs of 18 points and 13 points, respectively, in last year's 103-74 win against Northwest Indian on Dec. 10, 2017.
The starters saw limited playing time, but Caleb Roberts (Sr., W, Salem, OR/North HS) provided nine points, while Jordan Jenkins (Sr., F, Placentia, CA/Valencia HS) and Trent Callan (Sr., G, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) chipped in eight points apiece. CJ Walker (Sr., P, Placentia, CA/Mayfair HS) earned seven points, while Jonathan Watts (Fr., G, San Diego, CA/Rancho Bernardo HS) registered five points.
Leading rebounders for WU were Sutton with nine, and both Walker and Jeff Sutherland (Sr., F, Seattle, WA/Seattle Christian HS) with eight. Sutherland also scored six points, while Joshua Stubbs (Jr., W, Eugene, OR/Churchill HS) finished with five points and a game-high six assists. Streett and Huntington each supplied the Bearcats with five assists.
"We wanted to be sure in a game like this that we didn't lose sight of the things that will transfer to the rest of league play ... taking care of the ball, being unselfish and making open shots," Willamette Head Coach Kip Ioane said. "It was the second night in a row that we made only five turnovers, plus we had 28 assists and made 23 three's. I'm proud of the entire roster for having a part in that."
For Northwest Indian, Samuel Marqueda scored 18 points and was 7 of 13 from the field. Tyrone Dorris produced 12 points, five boards and two assists. Jaryn Valerio and Mike Jones each finished with eight points for the Eagles.
Willamette's success from 3-point range began at the start of the game when Roberts hit from long-range just 25 seconds after the tipoff to give the Bearcats a 3-0 lead. WU surged out to a 13-3 margin at the 17:25 mark on a jumper by Watts. Six of Willamette's first nine baskets were from 3-point range, as the Bearcats built a 24-9 lead in the opening five minutes.
A bit later, WU grabbed a 34-12 advantage on a 3-pointer by Roberts. The margin reached 30 points at 43-13 when Callan put through a layup with 10:14 left in the first half. Willamette's starters soon left, and the bench began to score. The Bearcats held a 68-25 lead at halftime, including 14-for-18 shooting from 3-point range. Willamette continued to lead by more than 40 points throughout the second half, and outscored the Eagles 58-35 over the final 20 minutes.
During the game, the Bearcats shot 55.2% from the field (48 of 87) and made 50.0% of their 3-point attempts (23 of 46). The 46 attempts is a school record. Northwest Indian connected on 45.3% of its shots (24 of 53), including 7 of 12 on 3-pointers (58.3%). WU was 7 of 13 at the line, while the Eagles sank 5 of 12 free throws. The Bearcats gained a 55-20 rebounding margin.
The Bearcats, who have played five games in the last nine days, will not play again until Friday, Jan. 18 in a Northwest Conference game at Lewis & Clark College. Game time in Portland, Oregon, is set for 8 p.m. (PST).
Big Moment of the Game for Willamette
It was a high-scoring night and everyone played well for the Bearcats. It's a special
night for the Big Moment as well, with two players sharing the honor. They are
Dylan Streett (left) and Will Huntington (right). Head Coach Kip Ioane was pleased
with the efforts of both players in setting up teammates to score. Ioane mentioned
how well Streett created plays for WU's forwards and posts in the paint. Ioane also
noted that Huntington sent the ball out to the perimeter players to beat the Eagles'
zone defense. In addition, Streett scored 11 points and Huntington added 10.