By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- Amanda Carpenter (Jr., G, Beaverton, OR/Sunset HS) connected on her fifth 3-pointer of the game with 3:19 remaining in overtime, giving Willamette a 69-67 lead, as the Bearcats defeated Lewis & Clark College, 77-69, on Saturday, Dec. 7 in the Northwest Conference opener for both teams. Willamette advanced its record to 6-3 overall, 1-0 in the NWC. Lewis & Clark fell to 1-5 on the season, 0-1 in the NWC.
Carpenter's go-ahead 3-pointer was soon followed by layups from teammate Elizabeth Logsdon (Sr., F, McMinnville, OR/McMinnville HS) with 2:30 and 1:47 left, increasing Willamette's lead to 73-67. A layup by Hannah Martin of L&C reduced the margin to four points, but Drew Farmer (Sr., PG, Brookings, OR/Brookings-Harbor HS) sank two free throws for Willamette with 28 seconds on the clock, giving the Bearcats a 75-69 advantage. Farmer and Carpenter each added a free throw in the final 15 seconds.
The game was forced into overtime when Martin of L&C scored on a jumper as the buzzer sounded at the end of regulation, tying the score at 66-66. The Pioneers took a 67-66 lead on a free throw by Peyton Romo at the 4:09 mark in overtime, but Carpenter's 3-point basket less than a minute later put Willamette in front for good.
"It's always great to start conference play with a win, and I'm really happy with the toughness we showed in taking control in overtime."
— Willamette Head Coach Peg Swadener
Carpenter led Willamette with 21 points, while hitting 7 of 12 field goals, including 5 of 7 shots from 3-point range. She also provided WU with six rebounds, four assists and four steals. Logsdon chipped in 16 points and put through 8 of 11 field goal attempts.
Farmer ended the game with 12 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals for the Bearcats. Ava Kitchin (Fy., F, Redmond, OR/Redmond HS) scored 11 points and grabbed six rebounds, while Sami Riggs (Fy., G, La Verne, CA/Bonita HS) supplied nine points and eight boards.
Delsie Johnson topped L&C with 24 points, as she converted 8 of 15 shots from the field, including 3 for 6 on 3-pointers. Johnson grabbed eight boards, supplied two assists and recorded one steal. Martin tacked on 18 points. She was 8 of 14 from the field, and also contributed five rebounds and two steals.
Until Willamette pulled away in overtime, the teams played a very close game. Lewis & Clark led by as many as five points in the second quarter and Willamette led by as many as five points in the fourth quarter. There were 14 ties and nine lead changes.
Lewis & Clark took an 8-4 lead on a layup by Johnson with 7:30 left in the first quarter. WU tied the game at 10-10 on Carpenter's first 3-pointer as the clock reached 5:59. The teams were tied again at 12-12 following a jumper by Kitchin. L&C was in front 15-13 at the end of the quarter.
A 3-pointer by Julia Barsocchini gave L&C an 18-13 lead just 14 seconds into the second quarter. Willamette trailed 22-18 at the 6:37 mark, but put together a 6-0 run, completed by a steal and layup from Carpenter, for a 24-22 edge with 3:57 left. The Pioneers scored the next seven points to grab a 29-24 advantage with 2:13 to go.
Willamette countered with a 5-0 run on a 3-pointer by Carpenter and a pair of free throws by Kassin Hopkins (Sr., G, Connell, WA/Connell HS/Bellevue College) to tie the game at 29-29. A 3-pointer by Laurel Marchant of L&C with 0:34 on the clock and a 3-pointer by Carpenter with 10 seconds to play resulted in a 32-32 tie at halftime.
The Bearcats led for much of the third quarter, which also featured five ties. WU held a 46-43 margin with 2:52 left on a 3-pointer by Riggs. L&C cut the deficit to 46-45 on a layup by Martin, and took a 47-46 lead on two free throws by Jessica Cerne with seven seconds to go. Carpenter tied the game when she sank 1 of 2 free throws with two seconds to play.
In the fourth quarter, Willamette trailed 51-49 before Farmer scored in a jumper in the paint, was fouled, and converted the free throw for a 52-51 lead at the 6:58 mark. Farmer's three-point play started a 7-0 run for a 56-51 advantage with 5:42 remaining. A free throw by Johnson 11 seconds later, and a 3-pointer from Johnson with 5:06 on the clock, pulled the Pioneers within 56-55.
Madison Ballard (So., G, Monroe, OR/Monroe HS) sank a 3-point shot with 4:42 left to give the Bearcats a 59-55 edge. Willamette led by five points, 63-58, after Kitchin scored on a jumper with 0:40 left. A 3-pointer by Marchant reduced the margin to 63-61 at the 28-second mark, but Farmer made two free throws for WU three seconds later for a 65-61 lead.
Romo added a 3-pointer for Lewis & Clark with eight seconds left, pulling the Pioneers within one point. Riggs hit the second of two free throws with seven seconds to go, as WU's lead moved to 66-64. Martin's jumper for L&C at the buzzer sent the game into overtime.
For the game, WU shot 42.2% on field goals (27 of 64) and converted 9 of 22 shots (40.9%) from 3-point range. The Pioneers hit 46.2% of their shots (24 of 52), including 7 of 15 (46.7%) on 3-pointers. Willamette struggled at the free throw line, sinking just 14 of 27 attempts (51.9%), but the Bearcats gained a 37-32 rebounding edge and forced L&C to commit 22 turnovers. WU earned a 26-16 advantage in points off turnovers.
Willamette's next action will be on Thursday, Dec. 19 when the Bearcats will take on the University of Portland from NCAA Division I. Game time is set for 5 p.m. (PST) in Portland, Oregon. It will be an exhibition game for the Bearcats, but will count toward the Pilots' regular season record.