By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- Justus Eaglesmith (Jr., G, Sparks NV/Spanish Springs HS) and Daniel Plumer (Fy., PG, North Las Vegas, NV/Democracy Preparatory Academy) both scored 16 points for Willamette University, but Concordia University (Texas) built a 49-35 halftime lead and pulled away in the second half for a 106-79 win over the Bearcats, on Sunday, Nov. 24 at Cone Field House. Concordia Texas improved to 3-2 on the season, while Willamette fell to 1-3.
The Bearcats placed four players in double-digit scoring. In addition to Eaglesmith and Plumer, other top scorers for Willamette were Cade Whicker (Fy., F, Fruit Heights, UT/Davis HS) with 12 points and Ben Sutton (Jr., F, Seattle, WA/Ingraham HS) with 10 points. Dylan Streett (Fr., G, Santa Barbara, CA/Bishop Diego HS) added nine points.
Eaglesmith was 5 of 11 on field goals and hit a team-high three shots from 3-point range. Plumer connected on 6 of 8 field goals, including 2 of 3 on 3-pointers, and led WU with four steals. Sutton and Ryan Peterson (Jr., P, Edmonds, WA/Edmonds-Woodway HS) each grabbed five boards for the Bearcats, while Joshua Stubbs (Sr./Jr., W, Eugene, OR/Churchill HS) earned five assists.
Philip Meikle of Concordia Texas provided the Tornados with a game-high 21 points, as he sank 7 of 12 field goals, including 4 of 5 on 3-point shots. Tommy Holiday went 7 for 7 on field goals and concluded the game with 17 points and a team-high nine rebounds. Trevon Hester scored 12 points for the Tornados. Christian Hammett recorded four steals, and Zaid Harris was credited with four assists to along with three steals.
Concordia Texas achieved the game's first eight points, but the Bearcats rallied to take a 10-9 lead with 16:12 remaining in the half. Plumer and Sutton each scored on a layup to start the run, while Plumer and Whicker each hit a 3-pointer to complete the run.
The Tornados led 16-12 with 14:46 on the clock after Hammett converted a 3-point shot. A free throw by Hester with 11:30 to go gave Concordia Texas a seven-point margin at 21-14. The Bearcats pulled within three points at 23-20 on a 3-point basket by Whicker and were as close as 28-24 following a fast-break jumper by Stubbs. The Tornados countered with an 8-0 run, starting with back-to-back 3-pointers by Meikle and ending with a layup by Hester, to grab a 36-24 advantage at the 6:15 mark.
Willamette went on a 5-1 run in 51 seconds, ending with a free throw by Micah Fleming (Jr./So., PG, Orland, CA/Orland HS), to cut the margin to 37-29 with 3:55 to go in the half. Concordia Texas outscored the Bearcats 12-6 heading into halftime, as the Tornados increased their lead to 14 points.
At the start of the second half, Concordia Texas put together a 18-6 run to surge out to a 67-41 lead. Holiday tallied five points and Meilke scored four points during the run.
The Tornadoes shot 56.3% for the game (40 of 71), including 61.5% (24 of 39) in the second half. Concordia Texas connected on 11 of 23 shots (47.8%) from 3-point range. The Tornados attained a 37-35 rebounding edge and forced Willamette into 30 turnovers, while Concordia Texas lost the ball 19 times. CTX earned a 47-24 advantage in points off turnovers.
Willamette hit 45.8% of its field goals (27 of 59) and made 10 of 25 three-point shots (40.0%). The Bearcats were 15 of 25 at the free throw line (60.0%), while Concordia Texas sank 15 of 21 free throws (71.4%).
The Bearcats will return to action on Friday, Nov. 29 against Buena Vista University (Iowa) during the Snyder Classic at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, Nebraska. Game time is set for 5 p.m. CST/3 p.m. PST. Willamette will take on Nebraska Wesleyan on Saturday, Nov. 30, also at 6 p.m. CST/3 p.m. PST.