McMINNVILLE, Ore. – A collective team effort by the Linfield Wildcats earned Coach Larry Doty a monumental victory Saturday night during a wire-to-wire 93-69 explosion over Northwest Conference rival Willamette at Ted Wilson Gymnasium.
Doty notched his 324th career victory as Wildcats coach, tying Wilson, his college coach, for most coaching victories at Linfield.
Zach Anderson led a parade of five double-digit scorers, pocketing a double-double with 30 points and 10 rebounds. His 30 points were three shy of his season-high output of 33. The lanky forward from nearby Carlton, Ore., sank 10-of-18 shots, including five 3-pointers, in 30 strong minutes of action.
It wasn’t just Anderson who enjoyed a productive night. Three Wildcats achieved season-high scoring outputs, led by Zach Meikle, who poured in 15 on 6-of-9 shooting. Guard Cory Hendryx (Sr., Scappoose, Ore.) topped his previous best scoring total with 11 points while adding four assists, center David Lee added a dozen points, four rebounds and three assists, and freshman Andrew Batiuk contributed 11 points and five assists for the ‘Cats.
Linfield, 3-10 overall and 1-3 in the NWC, extinguished a five-game losing skid while earning its first conference win of the season. Willamette, struggling through a difficult season as well, dropped to 2-10 and fell into last place in the NWC standings.
Fueled by 19 first-half points by Anderson, the Wildcats got off to a good start and never relinquished. Linfield scored the game’s first seven points on its way to a 17-point bulge at the break, 52-35.
Anderson connected on 6-of-9 shots in the period and Meikle had 11. Linfield hit five 3-pointers, surrendered the ball just six times, and shot .559 to the Bearcats’ .367 in the opening half.
After scoring 52 points in a wide-open first period, the pace slowed during the final 20 minutes. Linfield was nonetheless able to outscore Willamette 43-36.
Taylor Mounts totaled a team-best 16 points and Ryan Meehan had 14 points to pace the Bearcats. Willamette coughed up 18 turnovers and shot .364 for the game.
‘CAT SCRATCH: In 24 seasons, Doty’s record as coach stands at 324-316. . Wilson achieved a 324-239 record across 20 seasons. . . Linfield enjoyed a season-high crowd of 400 spectators. . . the Wildcats’ 95 points were a season-high. . . 11 'Cats scored in the game.
AHEAD: Linfield heads to eastern Washington for its longest bus trip of the season. Friday night, the Wildcats visit Whitman at Walla Walla’s Sherwood Center, then trek to Spokane for a Saturday night encounter at the Whitworth Fieldhouse. Both games will be broadcast live on www.linfield.edu/sports starting at approximately 7:50 p.m.
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