The men’s basketball team fell to LeTourneau University on a last-minute three-pointer in their first pre-season game of the season on Friday, Nov. 9. Last season, the Bearcats held an overall record of 11-14 record and 6-10 in the Northwest Conference (NWC). Women’s basketball also kicked off their season against Warner Pacific College on Saturday, Nov. 10 and Northwest Christian University on Monday, Nov. 12. They lost the first game against Warner Pacific 81-76 in overtime and lost the second game 62-5.
The men’s game started off evenly and stayed that way throughout most of the first half. WU held the lead in the beginning 9-7 following two lay-ups courtesy of senior Jordan Jenkins. The Yellowjackets answered with a 10-point run to change the momentum of the game, 17-9. Senior Trent Callan brought the Bearcats within two points on a jump shot, 20-18. Sophomore Justus Eaglesmith hit a three-pointer to take the lead 23-22 with just over six minutes remaining in the first half. WU increased their lead to 38-31 by the time the clock expired for the first half. First-year Jonathan Watts sunk the final point of the first half on a buzzer-beating three-pointer.
WU quickly extended their lead in the first few minutes of the second half by 10 points on a jump shot by Jenkins and three-pointer by sophomore Alec Barba. Eventually, the Yellowjackets fought back to pull within five points at 50-45. They continued to chip away until they found themselves trailing only by one point, 57-56. The Bearcats lost the lead with eight minutes left in the game following a layup by a LeTourneau player, 58-57. The score bounced back and forth between the teams. WU trailed at 63-59 but took the lead back at 70-65. With only 29 seconds left, LeTourneau tied the game with a three-pointer, 70-70. Jenkins was fouled with just under seven seconds remaining. With two free throw attempts, Jenkins nailed both of them to take a two-point lead, 72-70. On the final play of the game, the Yellowjackets converted on a three-point shot from the top of the key to win the game, 73-72. WU fell to 0-1 on the season and LeTourneau improved to 1-0. Jenkins finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds on the day. Callan scored a team-high 17 points and contributed six assists. Barba and Eaglesmith scored double digits for WU. Barba had 15 points while making four of nine three-point attempts and Eaglesmith had 13 points. On Friday, Nov. 16, the Bearcats will take on Concordia University in Walla Walla, Washington at 6 p.m. (PST).
The women’s team started their season strong against Warner Pacific, but fell to the Knights in overtime, 81-76. The first quarter was very competitive and included five ties and seven lead changes, resulting in a 22-22 score. Sophomore Amanda Carpenter scored nine of the 22 points on two three-pointers, while senior Britanny Kochenderfer contributed five points. WU trailed early in the second quarter, 27-22, but battled back to take the lead 39-36 on a three-point shot by Kochenderfer. Senior Kali Vickery and junior Elizabeth Logsdon contributed to the efforts, getting the Bearcats the lead. Vickery was successful on two free throws and a three-pointer, and Logsdon was successful on a layup. With only 11 seconds left in the half, the Knights took a one-point lead, 40-39.
By the end of the third quarter, the Bearcats took an eight-point lead, 59-51. The Bearcats outscored the Knights, 12-4, after being tied at 47-47 with five minutes left. Logsdon and Kochenderfer combined for a total of 14 points in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, the score narrowed with the Knights scoring the first seven points of the quarter to make the score 59-57. First-year Morgan Yamane scored on a lay-up but Warner Pacific answered back with a 5-0 run to claim the lead, 62-61. With only 27 seconds left in the quarter, the Knights held a four-point lead, 67-63. Junior Drew Farmer was fouled with 26 seconds remaining and was successful on both free throw attempts to bring the Bearcats within two points. With seven seconds remaining, the Knights extended their lead to three points on a free throw. The Bearcats didn’t count themselves out just yet. First-year Madison Ballard made a game-tying three-pointer with only one second remaining in the game, causing the game to go into overtime. The Bearcats were outscored 13-8 at the end of overtime, causing them to fall to 0-1 on the season. Warner Pacific advanced to 2-0.
Kochenderfer finished with 21 points on the day, including four successful three-point attempts out of eight. Carpenter followed with 12 points on the day and six rebounds. Vickery and Farmer both had 10 points. Farmer also had eight assists and Vickery contributed five rebounds.
On Monday, Nov. 12, WU lost by seven points to Northwest Christian College, 62-55. Kochenderfer led the Bearcats with 19 points on the day in addition to 10 rebounds. Carpenter was the next leading scorer for WU with 10 points where she was two-for-four from the three-point line. Farmer and Logsdon had seven points on the day. Farmer also led the team with five assists.
In the first quarter, WU trailed by a mere four points 15-11. The Bearcats came back strong in the second quarter to take a two-point lead just before the half, 30-28. Carpenter provided the three-pointer that allowed WU to take the lead after being down 28-27. In the third and fourth quarter, Northwest Christian outscored WU by nine points, allowing them to take the victory.
Northwest Christian improved to 3-4 on the season while WU fell to 0-2. This Friday, Nov. 16, the Bearcats will travel to Newberg, OR to compete in the Bruin Classic, hosted by George Fox University. They will play Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Friday at 7 p.m. and Evergreen St. on Saturday at 4 p.m. (PST).