McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Sparked by Erik Conrath’s late-game heroics, Corban outscored Linfield 8-0 over the closing 3:35 to pull out a 71-68 nonconference men’s basketball victory over Linfield Tuesday night in the Wildcats’ season-opening game at Ted Wilson Gymnasium.
Konrath hit six of his team-high 18 points in the final 2:22, helping the visiting Warriors (3-2) climb out of a five-point hole.
Linfield’s loss overshadowed a 27-point performance from Wildcats forward Zach Anderson, who hit six 3-pointers in the contest on 9-of-17 shooting.
The game was tight through the opening 12 minutes with neither team gaining more than a three-point advantage. James Green’s free throw and bucket put the Warriors in front 18-13. Corban surged again, taking a 37-27 lead on Jonathan Ramirez’s breakaway basket with 51 seconds left in the half. Josh Rodrigues’ connected on a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession, and a steal and followup hoop by Andrew Batiuk with one second left on the click brought the Wildcats back to within five at the break, 37-32.
Corban led for much of the second half until Linfield tied the game at 61 on Batiuk’s jumper with 5:31 to play.
Anderson’s basket with 3:28 to go put the ‘Cats on top, 68-63, but the lead quickly melted away after a pair of backcourt steals by Corban’s Dustin Moore were converted into field goals at the other end.
Corban shot .500 to the Wildcats’ .451 and outrebounded the hosts by 31-24 count.
Batiuk, a freshman center, scored 15 points and collared nine rebounds in his collegiate debut.
COMING UP: The Wildcats (0-1) are home again Saturday night when the host Concordia-Portland at 8 o’clock. The game is part of a doubleheader with the Linfield women’s team playing at 6.
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