McMINNVILLE, Ore. - Taylor Mounts scored a game-high 27 points including a game-winning 3-pointer with 1.4 seconds remaining that lifted Willamette to a thrilling 90-88 win over Linfield Friday evening at Ted Wilson Gymnasium.
Mounts’ game-winner capped off a thrilling final 40 seconds in which both clubs traded clutch shots.
Trailing 85-82 with 39 seconds remaining, Linfield (8-13, 4-8 NWC) tied the game at 85 on a Daniel Teater 3-pointer from the top of the key.
Willamette (5-15, 2-9 NWC) wasted little time, taking an 87-85 lead on a Robbie Kunke driving layup with 29 seconds remaining.
After missing a shot on the ensuing possession, Linfield grabbed one of its 12 offensive rebounds. Linfield swung the ball into the left corner, allowing Cory Hendryx (Jr., Scappoose, Ore.) to knock down a 3-pointer with 10.9 seconds on the clock.
The Bearcats pushed the ball down the floor before Mounts fired up a 3-pointer from the top of the key. Mounts’ shot hit back iron, bounced straight up in the air, and swished through the net.
Mounts made 10-of-14 shots from the floor, including 3-of-4 attempts from beyond the arc. The Bearcats shot 55.2 percent from the field, while knocking down 10-of-19 3-pointers.
K.C. Wiser paced the Wildcats 22 points. Sergio Rosario chipped in with 19 points on 9-of-14 shooting.
Linfield shot a stellar 56.8 percent during the first half, taking a 55-48 lead into the break. The Wildcats knocked down 7-of-12 attempts from behind the arc during the half, with Hendryx and Zach Meikle (Sr., Tacoma, Wash.) making two 3-pointers apiece.
After falling behind 7-2 to start the game, Linfield answered back with a 20-9 run, taking a 22-16 lead on a Rosario jumper with 12:47 remaining in the half.
Linfield controlled the final eight minutes of the half, as the Wildcats never had their lead dip below four.
Coming out of the break Linfield saw its lead dwindle to three in the opening minutes of the second half. The Wildcats turned to Wiser, whose back-to-back scores pushed their lead back out to 62-55 with 16:24.
Ryan Lobdell scored on the ensuing Linfield possession, giving the Wildcats a 64-55 advantage with 15:51 remaining.
After cutting the deficit to four on three separate occasions, the Bearcats finally broke through, tying the score at 78 on consecutive baskets from Mounts with 6:18 remaining. Mounts would give the Bearcats the lead on Willamette’s next possession, burying a 3-pointer from the right corner.
The Wildcats answered back with a score from Rosario, only to have Trevor Bos respond with a 3-pointer from the left wing.
NEXT: Linfield returns to action Friday for a 6 p.m. road game against Puget Sound.
Knocks down three 3-pointers
Director of Sports Information
McMinnville, OR 97128