SALEM, Ore. - The Lewis & Clark men's basketball team put together a strong second half to take down the Willamette Bearcats 89-78 in Northwest Conference action on Friday night. The Pioneers shot 53% from the field in the second half to defeat the Bearcats in Cone Field House.
The Pioneers improve to 8-6 overall and improve to 2-3 in NWC action. The Bearcats slip to 5-8 overall and 2-2 in league play.
Five Pioneer finished in double figures, with Connor Freeberg leading the way with 15 points. Justin Leathers concluded the evening with 13 points, while seniors Ross Erickson and James Hollins each knocked down 12 points. Senior Dexter Pearce concluded his night with 11 points.
Elliot Babcock-Krenk, Sean Dart and Terrell Malley each finished with 15 points for Willamette.
The Pioneers trailed most of the first half, but tied the game with 1:49 on the clock thanks to a Kurt Parker three pointer. Willamette managed to respond, taking a lead with them into the half.
Freshman Jason Luhnow tied the contest at 57 all with 14:02 remaining in the second half. Leathers added three more points with 12:30 to go, handing the Pios their first lead of the game. An 11-2 run by the Pios gave them the advantage. Freeberg ended the run with a layup at the 9:23 mark.
With 2:14 remaining, Babcock-Krenk cut the Bearcat deficit to 81-71, but that would be as close as Willamette would manage to pull.
The Pioneers return home for their next contest on Saturday, Jan. 12 at 8 p.m. as they host Puget Sound.