Moore Scores Career-High 20, Dean Earns Double-Double, in Loss to Pacific

Caleb Moore goes up for a contested shot.
Caleb Moore (So., G, Wadley, GA/Washington County HS/Bard College)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

SALEM, Ore. -- Caleb Moore (So., G, Wadley, GA/Washington County HS/Bard College) provided Willamette University with a career-high 20 points and D'Ante Dean (Jr., F, Nassau, Bahamas/British Columbia Christian Acad./Peninsula College) added a double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds, but the Bearcats fell to Pacific University, 97-75, at Cone Field House on Tuesday, Feb. 6. The NWC win advanced the Boxers to 13-9 overall, while Willamette slipped to 12-9 on the season.

Both teams ended the game at 7-6 in the Northwest Conference. The Bearcats and Pacific are one-half game behind a tie for third place between George Fox University (7-5) and the University of Puget Sound (7-5). Whitworth University leads the NWC men's basketball standings at 10-2. Whitman College is second at 9-3. The top four teams at the end of the regular season will qualify for the NWC Tournament, set for Feb. 23-24 at the site of the #1 seed.

During the game, Jack Boydell (Grad., W, Sonoma, CA/Sonoma Valley HS) moved into Willamette's top 10 list in career scoring. He entered the game needing eight points to tie Paul Scott (1988-92) for 10th place at 1,352 points. Boydell's 3-point basket with 5:04 left in the first half gave him 10 points in the game and 1,354 points in his career. He added one point in the second half and is currently tied for ninth place with Jeff Novitsky (1976-80) at 1,355 points. Boydell's 3-pointer increased his school record for career 3-pointers to 178.

Moore supplemented his 20 points with six rebounds and five steals. Dean's 14 points included 5 for 10 on field goals and his 14 rebounds featured nine offensive boards. Dean also blocked two shots. Boydell finished with 11 points, six rebounds, and two assists. Gavin Rippere (Sr., F, Salinas, CA/Salinas HS/Clark College) added five boards, while Anujan Tennathur (Fy., G, Cupertino, CA/Saint Francis HS) supplied three assists.

Lucas Winkler paced the Boxers with a game-high 22 points to go along with six boards, five assists, and two steals. Wilfrid Nado tacked on 18 points and Jake Blazona scored 6 points. Blazona also contributed seven rebounds, five assists, and three steals. Deven Fortune scored 10 points.

Pacific built a 58-41 in the first half. The Boxers outscored the Bearcats by five points in the second half, claiming a 39-34 margin.

The game began with a 3-pointer by Blazona of Pacific, followed by the Bearcats scoring seven unanswered points for 7-3 lead at the 16:12 mark. WU's run started with a driving layup by Moore and continued with layups by Dean and Boydell. A bit later, Boydell sank 1 of 2 free throws to complete the offensive surge. Pacific replied with an 11-2 run to grab a 14-9 advantage for the Boxers. Blazona and Lucas Gray each hit a 3-pointer to open the run.

WU battled back within 20-16 on a layup by Kahiau Bruhn (So., W, Waimanalo, HI/Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama) with 12:12 left in the half. Pacific tallied eight of the next 10 points for a 28-18 margin following a 3-pointer by Nado with 10:19 to go. The lead was just nine points several times in the half, including 42-33 after Dean hit two free throws for WU as the clock reached 4:30. The Boxers ended the half with a 16-8 run.

The Boxers scored first in the second half on a layup by Fortune for a 60-41 lead. Willamette gradually rallied until the Bearcats pulled within 65-59 with 12:00 left following a jump shot by Josiah Frank (Jr., G, Turlock, CA/John H. Pitman HS). A layup by Dean a bit later, cut Pacific's lead to 69-60. The Boxers answered with a 13-1 run to extend the margin.

Willamette will host Puget Sound on Saturday, Feb. 10. Game time at Cone Field House is slated for 6 p.m. PST.