By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- For the second time in five days, Jordan Jenkins (Sr., F, Placentia, CA/Valencia HS) of Willamette University scored a carer-high point total for the Bearcats. Early in the week on Tuesday, Feb. 5, he scored 31 points against Pacific University. He followed up on Saturday, Feb. 9 by setting a new career-high of 32 points, as Willamette downed University of Puget Sound, 98-87, at Cone Field House.
Jenkins passed the 1,000-point mark in Tuesday's game. Including Saturday's output, he now has 1,059 career points. He leads the Bearcats this season with 19.6 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. He is shooting 59.2% from the field.
The Bearcats went into the halftime break with a 47-42 lead and never trailed in the second half.
Jenkins headlined a strong night for the Bearcats, but he was not alone. Willamette shot 56.9% from the field (37 of 65), made 10 of 21 three-pointers (47.6%), and sank 14 of 17 free throws (82.4%). Ben Sutton (So., F, Seattle, WA/Ingraham HS) also scored a career-high with 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting. Sutton's previous high was 18 points against Northwest Indian College on Dec. 17, 2017.
"The way we were able to play inside and out was the difference in the game," said Willamette Head Coach Kip Ioane. "Jordan and Ben were fantastic."
Other double-digit scorers for Willamette versus Puget Sound on Saturday were Jonathan Watts (Fr., G, San Diego, CA/Rancho Bernardo HS) with 19 points and Justus Eaglesmith (So., G, Sparks NV/Spanish Springs HS) with 10 points.
Willamette earned a 41-27 advantage on the boards, led by Jenkins with 12 rebounds. Sutton and Watts each hauled down six boards, and Trent Callan (Sr., G, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) added five. Jenkins and Watts each hit three 3-point shots. Jenkins also supplied six assists.
Stellan Roberts was the Loggers' leading scorer with 31 points and topped all players with five steals. Jimmy Wohrer amassed 20 points, while Cal Hansen scored 12 and Gabriel Chaikin ended the game with 10. Hansen grabbed a team-high nine rebounds. The Loggers shot 45.6% overall (31 of 68), but made only 9 of 29 three-pointers (31.0%). Puget Sound put through 16 of 17 free throws.
The Bearcats took a 10-5 lead when Sutton scored on a layup assisted by Jenkins with 14:43 left in the half. The Loggers tied the Bearcats at 10-10 on a jumper by Roberts and at 13-13 on a traditional 3-pointer play by Chaikin at the 11:51 mark. Willamette moved into the lead for good on a jump shot by Sutton with 11:23 to go in the first half.
Athough Willamette never lost the lead the rest of the way, the Loggers still stayed within striking distance for most of the contest.
Sutton's jumper opened a 13-4 run by the Bearcats that also included a basket and a foul shot by Jenkins, a layup from Jenkins and two 3-pointers by Watts. Willamette held a 26-17 advantage with 6:57 to go in the half.
Puget Sound reduced the lead to two points at 32-30 on a 3-pointer by Chaikin at the 4:03 mark, but WU tallied the next five points on a jumper by Watts and a 3-pointer by Jenkins. The lead moved between three points and six points until the first half ended.
Jenkins, who led all scorers with 17 points at halftime, opened the second half with a layup. The Loggers answered with four consecutive points by Roberts to get as close as 49-46. The Bearcats surged out to a 66-55 lead with 13:57 to go following a 17-9 run that ended with a layup by CJ Walker (Sr., P, Placentia, CA/Mayfair HS).
The Loggers eventually reduced the margin to 66-62 on a fast-break jump shot by Roberts with 12:15 remaining. Willamette answered with a 9-2 run for a 75-64 lead with 8:29 left. WU led by a smany as 13 points over the next seven minutes.
Puget Sound scored six quick points to pull within 89-82 with 1:21 on the clock. Chaikin started the mini-run with a 3-pointer at the 1:26 mark. Roberts stole the ball just after the in-bounds pass and was fouled on a 3-point shot with 1:21 to go. He sank all three free throws. The Bearcats tallied the next six points on 6-for-6 shooting at the line.
Willamette will take on George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon, on Friday, Feb. 15. Game time is scheduled for 8 p.m. (PST).
Big Moment of the Game for Willamette
Several players could be chosen for the Big Moment since nearly
everyone who played for the Bearcats provided more than one key play.
The Big Moment goes to Ben Sutton on a layup just over five minutes
into the game that was assisted by Jordan Jenkins. The positioning was
great by both players, which allowed for the pass and an easy score.
Sutton had perhaps his best game for Willamette, as he finished with
a career-high 21 points.