Men win, women fall in Linfield basketball home openers


Nathan Herde

Junior Delaney Ragan communicates on the court.

Kate Walkup and Maddie Loverich

Men’s basketball 

The Linfield men’s basketball team soared past George Fox University in a dominant 100-74 win on Saturday night in the Ted Wilson Gym. 

After falling to the Bruins 106-102 in the season opener the previous night, the Wildcats pushed back to win their first game of the season. 

To lead the Wildcats, senior Dempsey Roggenbuck scored the first points of the game, kicking off the 57-32 lead to finish the first half. After shooting a mere 37.5% from the 3-point line the previous night, Linfield improved their percentage to an impressive 71.4% in the first half. 

The starters for Linfield combined for 42 points in the first half, including junior Aaron Baune, senior Matt Berger, Roggenbuck, senior Will Burghardt and junior Max Lommen. Burghardt sent the Wildcats into the locker room with a buzzer-beating three to end the first half. 

Freshman Charlie Powers and senior Ryan Lacey lead the Bruins with six points each to start off the first half of the game. Although the Bruins started to find their rhythm with about five minutes left in the first, their offensive struggles early on ultimately hurt them in the end. 

After starting the game off by shooting over 70% from the 3-point line, Linfield was only able to connect on two of 10 shots in the second half, lowering their total percentage to 41.2%. The Bruins continued their drought by only shooting 35.3% from the field and 25.8% from behind the arch. 

Linfield carried their lead throughout the entire game despite their overall shooting percentage in the second half. The Wildcats beat the Bruins on the boards 43-31 to springboard their offense on the other end of the court. 

Roggenbuck finished with a game-high of 28 points, shooting 64% from the field and 90% from the free-throw line. Powers lead the Bruins with 17 points and six rebounds.  

Linfield will travel to Portland this coming Friday for a non conference game against Warner Pacific, and they will return home the next day for their second game against the Knights.

Nathan Herde

Women’s basketball 

Linfield women’s basketball fell to George Fox University 68-52 late Saturday afternoon in their home opener in Ted Wilson Gym. The loss was almost identical to the first game of the weekend series on Friday night, a 68-51 Bruins victory. 

Linfield had a tough time getting shots to fall, recording a 28.6% field goal percentage compared to GFU’s 61.4%. Senior Shasta Lofgren led the ‘Cats with a season-best 22 points, including four 3-pointers. Junior Brooke Landis and sophomore Paige Lafountain also added nine and seven points, respectively. 

It was a slow first half for the Wildcats. They jumped to a quick 4-0 lead after tipoff, but only managed to score five more points in the rest of the first quarter. Fox took advantage and the first quarter ended 18-9. 

A pair of layups from Landis and junior Delaney Ragan were the sole scoring plays for Linfield in the second quarter. GFU, on the other hand, added 24 points with the help of strong performances from junior Cassidy Posey, who totaled 11 points in the first half.  

At the half, the Wildcats were down 42-13. 

But a renewed Wildcat squad exited the locker room in the next half, outscoring Fox 8-1 in the first five minutes and forcing four turnovers in the quarter. By the beginning of the final quarter, GFU’s lead shrunk to 54-33. 

“We made some adjustments at halftime with our offense, but I just told them to stop looking at the scoreboard,” head coach Casey Bunn Wilson said. “We needed to focus on us, be confident and execute our game plan. It was really our defensive energy that changed the momentum in the second half, we got a few steals in our press and some 5 second calls that really gave us a boost of confidence.”

Again, the Wildcats outscored the Bruins in the final quarter 19-14, but it wasn’t enough to close the deficit. In a late surge to close the scoring gap, Lofgren scored a 3-pointer with less than a minute remaining. 

Lofgren, a senior transfer from Lower Columbia Community College, narrowly missed her career-high performance of 23 points. 

“This weekend was full of so much growth, mentally, physically & relationally,” said Lofgren. “I wrote this quote in our locker room ‘Learn from the past, prepare for the future, perform in the present’ as a reminder for our first weekend back and we plan to do just that.”

Saturday’s matchup was the second and final of the weekend series against Fox, bringing the Wildcat’s record to 0-2 in conference play. In the first game on Friday night, the Wildcats fell 68-51 to the Bruins in Newberg, Ore. 

Friday’s game was the first in over a year for the ‘Cats. Their last matchup was an 87-75 loss against Whitworth on Feb. 22, 2020. 

The Wildcats are back on the hardwood next Friday night in Portland against Warner Pacific University. Their last preseason matchup against the NAIA program in 2019 resulted in a tight 84-78 overtime win for the ‘Cats.