COLLEGE BASKETBALL Warriors drop Linn-Benton

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CLACKAMAS - Walla Walla Community College men's basketball team won its opener in the Clackamas Christmas Tournament, dropping Linn-Benton, 79-76, in a hard-fought game that advanced the Warriors in the winner's bracket of the eight-team event.

Walla Walla was led by 27 points from Aaron Corsi, while Jay Payne added 21. Corsi also tallied 16 rebounds and seven assists in one of the most statistically impressive games of the opening round.

"Payne stepped up for us and gave us a boost when we needed it," said WWCC head coach Jeff Reinland. "We needed that because we really didn't shoot that well, especially from the line. When you shoot like we did there isn't a lot of room for error, but we were able to get out of there with a win."

Linn-Benton also got 27 points from Taylor Roos, while Josh Garlington led the squad with nine rebounds.

"I thought Linn-Benton played a good game overall," Reinland said. "We got up on them by eight in the second half, but that didn't last for long, and they really made it a close one."

The Warriors (7-2) took a 39-35 lead into the intermission and relied upon 12 3-pointers to overcome a 15-for-29 night at the line to hold on to the narrow spread.

The win sets up a a second-round tilt against Tacoma, which is currently ranked third in the NWAACC, for WWCC at 5 p.m. today in the semifinals of the tournament.

"It's been tough with how our schedule is to find a rhythm because we have had a lot of long layoffs," Reinland said. "We know that we'll have to play better against Tacoma if we want win. More than anything we just need to shoot better. Hopefully, our shots will start dropping."

WWCC 79, LBCC 76

LBCC (76) - Roos 10-22 4-4 27, M. Kruesi 4-13 1-2 10, Hull 1-3 4-5 6, Kirkwood 4-11 3-5 11, Christensen 0-0 4-4 4, Wolf 1-2 1-2 3, Brock 1-3 0-2 2, K. Kruesi 2-4 1-2 5, Bansemer 0-3 0-0 0, Yundt 2-2 0-0 4, Garlington 2-2 0-0 4. Totals 27-65 18-24 76.

WWCC (79) - Crane 3-5 1-2 8, Arias 0-2 0-0 0, Payne 7-12 1-2 21, Bills 0-1 0-0 0, Schultz 1-3 4-8 6, Smith 2-8 2-2 8, Moore 1-4 0-0 3, Corsi 10-16 7-15 27, Steele 2-7 0-0 6, Stannard 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-58 15-29 79.

Halftime - WWCC 39, LBCC 35. 3-point goals- LBCC 4-11 (Roos 3-5, M. Kruesi 1-2, Kirkwood 0-1, Brock 0-2, Kruesi 0-1), WWCC 12-34 (Crane 1-3, Arias 0-1, Payne 6-11, Schultz 0-1, Smith 2-7, Moore 1-4, Steele 2-7). Total fouls- LBCC 22, WWCC 19. Fouled out- LBCC 1 (Kirkwood). Technical fouls- None. Rebounds- LBCC 39 (Garlington 9), WWCC 43 (Corsi 16). Turnovers- LBCC 9, WWCC 16. Assists- LBCC 11 (Kruesi 4), WWCC 12 (Corsi 7).

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