By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications, (503) 370-6110
REDLANDS, Calif. -- Three Willamette University players earned double-digit scoring as the Bearcats defeated Chapman University (Calif.), 60-47, in the second round of the Bulldog-Panther Classic on Saturday, Nov. 20 at Currier Gym. Amanda Carpenter (Grad., G, Beaverton, OR/Sunset HS) led the Bearcats with 14 points, while Carolyn Ho (So., G, Parker, CO/Ponderosa HS) scored 13 and Sami Riggs (Jr., G, La Verne, CA/Bonita HS) added 11. Willamette improved to 3-2 on the season. Chapman dropped to 1-3.
In the other second round game, Wheaton College (Illinois) defeated the University of Redlands (Calif.), 69-57. Wheaton remained undefeated at 6-0, while Redlands fell to 2-1. Wheaton won the Bulldog-Panther Classic with a 2-0 record.
Willamette owned a 21-9 advantage at the end of the first quarter and held a 38-21 lead at halftime. The Bearcats were in front 45-34 after three quarters on their way to the 13-point victory.
Carpenter shot 5 of 9 from the field and hit a pair of 3-point baskets on her way to 14 points. She also hauled down eight rebounds, provided three assists, and recorded three steals. Ho connected on 6 of 7 shots while scoring her 13 points. She contributed five assists and five boards. Ho also blocked a shot and was credited with one steal.
In addition to scoring 11 points, Riggs supplied the Bearcats with a team-high six steals, plus four rebounds and three assists. CarolAnn Edwards (So., F, Spokane, WA/University HS) topped WU with eight boards, while Ava Kitchin (So., F, Redmond, OR/Redmond HS) earned five rebounds. Willamette achieved 22 assists on 23 baskets, while shooting 47.9% from the field (23 of 48). The Bearcats were 5 of 14 on 3-pointers (35.7%) and sank 9 of 14 free throws (64.3%).
Willamette held Chapman to 30.5% shooting (18 of 59) and limited the Panthers to 3 of 12 on 3-point attempts (23.1%). Chapman converted 8 of 9 free throws (88.9%). Willamette registered a 40-34 rebounding margin, including 34 defensive boards.
"This was a great team win today," Willamette Head Women's Basketball Coach Peg Swadener said. "Chapman is a tough defensive team and I thought we did a great job managing our tempo. Offensively, 22 assists on 23 baskets show we are really coming together as a team. But it was our defensive effort that really stood out tonight. I just love the grit and determination this team showed."
Brittany McPherson led Chapman with 11 points and a game-high seven steals. She also grabbed six rebounds. Julianna Campas and Katie Kubo each scored nine points. Sammie Inana recorded six points and eight rebounds.
The high-scoring first quarter for Willamette began with the Bearcats scoring five of the first seven points and taking a 10-5 lead when Claire Bonnet (Jr., G, Boise, ID/Boise HS) hit a 3-point basket at the 6:22 mark. Chapman cut the lead to 10-9 a bit later on a jump shot by McPherson, but the Bearcats responded with an 11-0 run for a 21-9 lead. Willamette's offensive surge included scoring by five players, as four Bearcats each contributed a two-point basket and Riggs went 3 of 4 at the free throw line.
Chapman pulled within 23-16 in the second quarter on a 3-pointer by Madison Shigeta with 6:29 on the clock. The Bearcats ended the half by going on a 15-5 run that started with seven consecutive points. At the break, Ho led all players with nine points, while Carpenter and Riggs both had eight points. McPherson topped Chapman with five points.
The Panthers registered a 13-7 scoring edge in the third quarter. Even so, Chapman trailed 45-30 when Willamette scored on a layup by Ho at the 2:45 mark. A jumper by Shigeta with 1:55 to play in the quarter and a jumper by Campas with two seconds remaining, moved the Panthers within 45-34.
A 3-pointer by Ashlyn Ascuena-Mercil (Jr., F, Boise, ID/Timberline HS) gave Willamette a 43-38 lead with 6:47 left in the game. Chapman tallied the next nine points ending with a layup from Grace Song that reduced the margin to 53-47 with 2:14 to go.
Willamette shut down the Panthers the rest of the way, while scoring the final seven points of the game. Carpenter hit layups with 1:14 and 37 seconds remaining to extend the lead to 57-47. Riggs made 1 of 2 free throws with 30 seconds to play, and Carpenter went 2 for 2 at the line with 18 seconds left.
The Bearcats will play at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California, on Tuesday, Nov. 23. Game time is set for 5 p.m. (PST).