SALEM, Ore. – Long-range shooters Ryan Potter (Fr., Molalla, Ore.) and Adam Myren (Jr., Carmichael, Calif.) combined for 11 3-pointers but Linfield could not produce the defensive stops it needed down the stretch of a 78-70 Northwest Conference loss to the Willamette Bearcats Friday night at Cone Field House.
Together, Linfield and Willamette combined for 25 3-point baskets. The Wildcats shot 45 percent from beyond the arc (14-of-31) while the Bearcats hit for 64 percent (11-of-17) of their 3-point shots.
With the game only 71 seconds old, Potter connected on a 3-point bucket to cast aside a nasty 0-for-19 shooting slump that spanned his previous three games. The slender freshman guard finished with a game-high 23 points, including seven 3-pointers. Myren was hot from the field as well, scoring 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Vinnie Toor (Jr., Fremont, Calif.) added 10 points and three assists for the Wildcats, who saw their best opportunity for ending a seven-game losing slide fade away in the closing 10 minutes of the second half.
Potter swished the first of seven 3-pointers for the game's first points. The Wildcats' leading scorer netted 11 points by the break, setting the table for a season-high 23.
Willamette took control midway through the first half when Joseph Jackson's 3-pointer sliced through the net to make the score 11-9 in favor of the Bearcats. It was the first of four long threes in the period and six in the game by Jackson. WU's 52-percent shooting effort over the opening 20 minutes enabled the Bearcats to surge in front 33-20 at the intermission.
Linfield answered with a 5-0 run to start the second half, cutting the margin to single digits.
The Wildcats clawed to within 44-40 on a jumper by Myren with 12:48 to play, but two 3-pointers by Jackson extended Willamette's lead back to 50-40. Linfield still had hope with 1:26 left following two free throws from Ryan Cali (Jr., San Jose, Calif.) that cut the WU lead to seven, but Alex Hansen sank five free throws in the time remaining to close the game out.
The Bearcats outrebounded the Wildcats by a sizable 34-19 margin, with 10 of those caroms coming at the offensive end of the floor. WU also owned a 20-4 edge in points produced in the paint.
Jackson came off the bench to lead Willamette with 19 points. Hansen and Brandon Luedtke each scored 14 points and Avery Manu had 13 more to pace a balanced attack.
Luedtke nearly equaled Linfield's total rebounding effort by himself, snatching 15 rebounds, four steals and three assists for Willamette.
NEXT: Linfield (2-10, 0-3 NWC) is at home Saturday night to battle the Lewis & Clark Pioneers starting at 8 p.m. Live video webcast coverage from Ted Wilson Gymnasium starts at approximately 7:50 p.m.
7-for-8 from 3-point range
Director of Sports Information
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