By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- For the second consecutive day, the Willamette University men's basketball team scored more than 100 points at Cone Field House, as the Bearcats downed West Coast Baptist College (Calif.), 111-89, on Saturday, Nov. 13. On Friday, the Bearcats routed Portland Bible College, 102-59. Willamette placed five players in doubles figures against West Coast Baptist, led by Cedric Coward (Fy., F, Fresno, CA/Central HS) with 26 points. The Bearcats improved to 2-1, with WCBC falling to 0-1.
In addition to leading all scorers, Coward supplied 13 rebounds, three assists, and three blocked shots in just 19 minutes played. He was 10 of 13 on field goals, including 2 for 3 on 3-point shots.
Josiah Frank (Fy., G, Turlock, CA/John H. Pitman HS) earned 15 points and three assists for WU, while Daniel Plumer (Jr., PG, North Las Vegas, NV/Democracy Preparatory Academy) tacked on 13 points and five assists. Joshua Perez (Jr., W, Los Angeles, CA/John Marshall HS) scored 12 points. Terry Sherman (Fy., Lake Charles, LA/St. Louis Catholic HS) finished with 10 points and five boards.
Frank led the Bearcats with four 3-point baskets, while Plumer and Perez each hit three trifectas. Willamette connected on 42 of 85 field goals (49.4%) and sank 15 of 49 three-pointers (30.6%). The Bearcats achieved a 50-39 rebounding margin and earned 11 steals.
"Our starting five really set the tone early on with their defensive effort, which was something we challenged them to do," Willamette Head Men's Basketball Coach Kip Ioane said. "Guys are recognizing that if we compete defensively, we can have a ton of fun offensively."
Job Sichting of West Coast Baptist scored 25 points to lead the Eagles. He was 8 of 16 from the field, hit 3 of 6 three-pointers, and made 6 of 7 free throws. He also provided WCBC with four assists and two steals. David Goweh earned 17 points and eight rebounds while scoring on 7 of 9 field goal attempts. Ethan Delaney added 12 points, while Jonah Rawlings grabbed six rebounds. The Eagles shot 47.9% on field goals (34 of 71) and put through 6 of 19 three-pointers (31.6%). WCBC converted 15 of 25 field goals (60.0%).
Willamette scored the first seven points of the game on a 3-pointer by Perez followed by a layup and a jumper by Sherman. After Goweh sank 1 of 2 free throws, the Bearcats added 16 unanswered points for a 23-1 advantage with 17:01 left in the half. The 16-0 surge ended with a trio of 3-pointers provided by Plumer, Frank, and Coward. Willamette's lead reached 29-5 when Ryder Hsiung (Fy., G, Honolulu, HI/Punahou School) hit a 3-pointer at the 14:03 mark.
The Eagles battled back to within 16 points a 29-13 following a layup by LJ Desoto with 10:46 to play in the half. WU answered with a layup by Coward and eventually regained a 24-point cushion. The Bearcats were in front by 18 or more points for the rest of the half and took a 65-46 lead into the intermission. Coward had 16 points, eight rebounds, and three blocks at halftime, while Sichting led West Coast Baptist with 18 points.
Willamette continued to hold a comfortable lead throughout the second half while rotating players into the game. The biggest lead for the Bearcats was 32 points at 91-59 on a layup by Sherman with 12:01 remaining.
It was the Bearcats' fourth game this week and the third game in three days. WU began the week with the season opener against Bushnell University on Tuesday, before playing an exhibition game at the University of Portland on Thursday, taking on Portland Bible on Friday, and playing West Coast Baptist on Saturday.
The Bearcats will play at the Midway Classic in Chicago, Illinois, next weekend. Willamette will take on the host, University of Chicago, in the first round on Saturday, Nov. 20 at 12 p.m. CST/10 a.m. PST. The other first round game will match Pomona-Pitzer (Calif.) against Denison University (Ohio). First round results will determine who the Bearcats face in the second round on Sunday, Nov. 21, but the game will be at 12 p.m. CST/10 a.m. PST) regardless of the opponent.