Hopkins Scores 22 Points, Bearcats Finish Strong in 72-58 Win over Sagehens

Kassin Hopkins (Sr., G, Connell, WA/Connell HS/Bellevue College)
Kassin Hopkins (Sr., G, Connell, WA/Connell HS/Bellevue College)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

SALEM, Ore. -- Kassin Hopkins of Willamette scored 22 points and was 7 of 11 on field goals, including 5 of 8 on 3-pointers, to lead the Bearcats past Pomona-Pitzer, 72-58, in a non-conference game at Cone Field House on Friday, Nov. 15. The Bearcats shot 52.8% from the field (28 of 53) and made 10 of 17 three-pointers (58.8%), while holding the Sagehens to 32.3% on field goals (20 of 62), including 22.2% from 3-point range (4 of 18).

Willamette improved to 2-1 on the season. Pomona-Pitzer, playing in its regular season opener, fell to 0-1.

The game was tied 36-36 at halftime, but Willamette gained a 36-22 scoring advantage in the second half. The Bearcats owned a 43-42 lead with 5:07 remaining in the quarter, and then finished strong at both ends of the court to outscore the Sagehens 28-16 the rest of the way. The Bearcats excelled on defense in the fourth quarter, holding the Sagehens to 4-for-19 shooting (21.1%), including 0 for 7 on 3-pointers. The Bearcats outrebounded Pomona-Pitzer 16-8 over the final 10 minutes to end the game with a 42-27 rebounding margin.

"I was very proud of our effort tonight. It was fun to see our offense come together, but I was most pleased with our defense. Pomona-Pitzer is a very talented team, so to keep them under 35% shooting shows we are heading in the right direction."
— Willamette Head Coach Peg Swadener

In addition to leading Willamette in scoring, Hopkins also contributed six rebounds. Sami Riggs (Fy., G, La Verne, CA/Bonita HS) chipped in 11 points and was 5 of 7 from the floor. Ava Kitchin (Fy., F, Redmond, OR/Redmond HS) supplied 10 points, grabbed five boards and matched Riggs with 5-for-7 shooting. Elizabeth Logsdon (Sr., F, McMinnville, OR/McMinnville HS) led WU with eight rebounds.

Amanda Carpenter (Jr., G, Beaverton, OR/Sunset HS) and Madison Ballard (So., G, Monroe, OR/Monroe HS) each scored nine points for the Bearcats, with Carpenter also hauling down five boards. Drew Farmer (Sr., PG, Brookings, OR/Brookings-Harbor HS) earned seven points, seven rebounds, six assists and three steals.

Renae Tamura topped the Sagehens with 12 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals. Kamil English provided the Sagehens with 11 points, while Carly Leung tallied nine points. Madison Quan scored eight points and was credited with a game-high five steals. Amara Chidom achieved five rebounds for Pomona-Pitzer.

The Sagehens led 8-6 in the first quarter, but Hopkins connected on a 3-pointer to give the Bearcats a 9-8 lead. A 3-pointer by Cameron Edward with 5:00 left in the quarter put Pomona-Pitzer in front, 11-9. The battle of 3-pointers continued when Carpenter sank a long-range shot to give WU a 12-11 margin with 4:04 to go.

Hopkins tacked on another 3-pointer to increase Willamette's lead to 15-11 with 3:01 on the clock. Pomona-Pitzer registered the next four points to tie the score, but Logsdon put through a layup at the 31-second mark, providing WU with a 17-15 lead at the end of the quarter.

Carpenter earned the first basket in the second period, but Pomona-Pitzer countered with a layup by Chidom and a 3-pointer by Leong to take a 20-19 lead. WU responded with a 7-0 run that ended with a jumper by Hopkins for a 26-20 advantage with 6:57 remaining in the half. English and Quan each scored a 3-pointer for the Sagehens to tie the score less than two minutes later. The teams were tied three more times during the half, including 36-36 following a layup by Kitchin of Willamette with eight seconds left.

WU and Pomona-Pitzer were tied twice in the third quarter, and then Willamette went on a 15-2 run that turned a 40-40 deadlock into a 55-42 lead for the Bearcats. After Hopkins broke the tie with a 3-pointer at the 5:29 mark, Vaness Hsia scored on a jumper for the Sagehens to cut the margin to 43-42. Willamette registered the next 12 points, starting with a traditional three-point play by Hopkins and a 3-point basket by Riggs.

The Sagehens managed to reduce the margin to 58-50 at the end of the third quarter following two free throws by English with 30 seconds on the clock. Leung added a jumper 12 seconds into the fourth quarter, as Pomona-Pitzer got as close as six points at 58-52. A bit later, Willamette led by six points again at 60-54 after a jumper by Leung with 8:18 to play.

The Bearcats took control with an 8-0 run for a 68-54 margin with 2:25 left. The run started with three consecutive baskets by Kitchin and ended with a jumper by Riggs.

Willamette will remain at home on Saturday, Nov. 16 to take on the University of California, Santa Cruz at Cone Field House. Tipoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. (PST).