During winter break, the women’s basketball team played nine games, going 4-5 during that span. On Dec. 17, they lost at home in a low-scoring exhibition game against Carroll College, 58-33. Junior Drew Farmer provided a strong game in the loss, recording eight points, four rebounds, three assists and one steal. On the weekend after Christmas, the Bearcats took part in the D3Hoops.com Classic, an invitational tournament that took place in Las Vegas, NV.
On the first night, they faced the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. In a fierce match-up that featured eight ties and 16 lead changes, Willamette pulled out the win, 70-66. Junior Kassin Hopkins led the team, scoring a career-high 21 points, including three three-pointers and nine free throws.
The next night, the Bearcats faced Ohio Northern University. In another close game, albeit a lower-scoring one, the Bearcats inched out the win, 43-41. Senior Britanny Kochenderfer scored 13 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. This was Kocenderfer’s seventh double-double of the season. Willamette finished the D3Hoops.com Classic with a record of 2-0.
In the first game of 2019 on Jan. 4, the Bearcats took on Linfield College at Sparks Center. After being down 21-8 early in the game, the Bearcats battled back to eventually grab a 47-42 lead, but eventually fell to the Wildcats, 72-60. Kochenderfer recorded another double-double with 23 points and 15 rebounds.
On the following night, the Bearcats traveled to Tacoma, WA to face Pacific Lutheran University. Despite the efforts of Kochenderfer, who recorded 12 points, and junior Elizabeth Logsdon, who added nine, the Bearcats fell to the Lutes, 61-53.
The Bearcats traveled to Forest Grove, OR in their next game on Jan. 8, facing Pacific University. In a tight contest, Willamette pulled out the win in the final seconds, 51-49. With 17 seconds left in the game, the score was tied 49-49. Logsdon made the game-winning jump shot and the Bearcat’s defense preserved the victory by shutting the Boxers out for the remaining few seconds. Hopkins led the team in scoring with 17 points.
On Friday, Jan. 11, Willamette went to Tacoma, WA to face Puget Sound University. The Bearcats once again battled until the final minutes, but came up short, 66-60. Near the end of the game, Willamette trailed by just two points, 60-58. A late 6-2 run by Puget Sound sealed the win. Sophomore Amanda Carpenter led the team with 19 points, matching her career-high. A week later on Jan. 18, the Bearcats took a trip to Portland, OR to play Lewis & Clark College. With four minutes remaining, the Bearcats trailed 60-58. They finished strong with a 9-2 run and went on to win 69-62. Kochenderfer recorded yet another double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Carpenter scored 14 points and Hopkins added 13. The next night, despite the efforts of Kochenderfer who put up 23 points, the Bearcats fell to George Fox University at home, 75-49.
On Saturday, Jan. 26, the Bearcats played at home against Whitman College. Whitman built a large halftime lead on their way to an 82-59 rout. The Blues gained momentum with several scoring runs, outscoring Willamette 23-15 in the first quarter and then 24-10 in the second. The Bearcats attempted a comeback in the third quarter, outscoring the Blues 24-16. But Whitman finished strong in the fourth quarter, scoring nine points more than the Bearcats, to seal the win. Carpenter led the Bearcats in scoring with 18 points. Kochenderfer scored seven points and recorded seven boards. Hopkins added 15 points and five rebounds, while Logsdon scored 12 points and seven rebounds.
On Sunday, in the Bearcat’s most recent game, they rebounded with a win at home against Whitworth. After Kocenderfer put up a career-high 27 points and 10 rebounds, the Bearcats pulled out an 80-74 victory. Willamette and Whitworth played a tight game, especially in the third quarter when there were four ties and five lead changes. Entering the fourth quarter, the game was tied 69-69. Carpenter assisted Kochenderfer in a scoring play before making a three-point play herself. The Bearcats used this momentum to gain an 80-70 lead before Whitworth scored the game’s last four points. Kocenderfer’s 27 points lifted her career total to 597 points and her career rebounds now sit at 412. She has scored in double digits in all but two games this season. Hopkins scored 17 points and added four assists. Farmer led the team in assists with five, while also recording seven points and six rebounds. Both Logsdon and Carpenter scored 12 points and grabbed four rebounds. The Bearcats moved up to an overall record of 8-11 and 3-7 in the Northwest Conference (NWC). Whitworth is 10-9 overall and 5-5 in the NWC. Willamette’s next game is at home against Pacific Lutheran, on Friday, Feb. 1, at 6:00 p.m. (PST).