By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- New Willamette University men's basketball player Cedric Coward (Fy., F, Fresno, CA/Central HS) led the Bearcats by scoring 25 points, grabbing 13 rebounds, and blocking seven shots, but Corban University won the exhibition game between crosstown rivals, 95-78, on Thursday, Nov. 4 at the C.E. Jeffers Sports Center. Coward hit 10 of 14 field goals, including 3 of 5 on 3-point shots. He earned 10 of his rebounds on the defensive end of the court.
Coward was joined in double figures by teammates Daniel Plumer (Jr., PG, North Las Vegas, NV/Democracy Preparatory Academy) and Jack Boydell (Jr., F, Sonoma, CA/Sonoma Valley HS). Plumer scored 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting and made 3 of 6 attempts from 3-point range. Boydell tallied 16 points by hitting 6 of 13 field goals, including 2 of 4 from 3-point range, to go along with six boards. Joshua Perez (Jr., W, Los Angeles, CA/John Marshall HS) contributed seven points for the Bearcats, while Ryder Hsiung (Fy., G, Honolulu, HI/Punahou School) provided seven points and three assists.
Willamette will open the regular season on Tuesday, Nov. 9 at Cone Field House against Bushnell University. Game time is set for 7 p.m. (PST). Corban, which entered the game with regular season wins over Park University (Ariz.) and Rocky Mountain College (Mont.), remained 2-0 overall.
Taylor Anderson topped the Warriors with 20 points as he connected on 9 of 15 field goals. Kendall Moore added 17 points and was 7 of 14 shooting. Psalm Maduakor chipped in 12 points and eight rebounds, while hitting 6 of 8 shots from the field. Denis Kirichenko scored 10 points.
The Warriors surged out to an 8-0 lead in the first two minutes, but Willamette ended the run with a 3-pointer by Plumer as the clock reached 17:44. Corban remained in front for several minutes, including a 20-8 advantage after a jumper by Anderson at the 14:27 mark. The Bearcats responded with an 18-5 run to grab a 26-25 lead on a 3-pointer and a free throw by Perez -- as he completed a 4-point play -- with 10:49 left in the half.
Corban regained the lead at 27-26 on a layup by Moore 27 seconds later and the Warriors added a free throw with 9:28 to go. The Bearcats moved in front 29-28 when Boydell sank a 3-point shot with 9:01 left. Coward put through another 3-pointer less than a minute later to extend Willamette's margin to four points at 32-28. A bit later, Coward gave the Bearcats a 34-31 lead with a dunk assisted by Kenny Wright Jr. (Jr., PG, Dallas, TX/R.L. Turner HS).
Jordan Newt tied the score on a 3-pointer for the Warriors, and Corban moved in front for good at 36-34 on a layup by Anderson with 4:14 on the clock. Corban owned a slim 40-39 lead following a free throw by Plumer with 2:14 left, but the Warriors closed the half with an 8-2 run for a 48-41 edge at the break.
The Warriors scored the first basket of the second half on a layup from Moore. Willamette cut the nine-point lead down to 50-46 at the 19:01 mark after Coward hit a 3-pointer by Coward and Boydell added a jumper. Corban gained a 56-48 lead, but WU pulled within 58-54 on a layup by Hsiung with 14:58 to play. The Bearcats were unable to get closer, as the Warriors tallied the four points and eventually claimed a 68-56 lead on a jump shot by Reece Van Lierop with 13:27 to go.
Willamette was within nine points, 74-65, after Boydell put in a layup with 10:19 left. Corban led by 10 to 13 points for nearly the remainder of the game, before pulling out to the final margin.
Corban shot 51.4% from the field (38 of 74) and hit 6 of 14 three-pointers (42.9%). The Warriors went 13 for 20 at the free throw line (65.0%). Willamette connected on 29 of 69 field goals (42.0%) and made 10 of 31 three-pointers (32.3%). WU converted 10 of 15 free throws (66.7%). Corban finished with a 47-38 rebounding margin. The Bearcats held an 8-7 edge in blocked shots.