Late Layup Lifts Vikings to 67-66 Victory Over NNU

Jan. 4, 2018

Box Score

BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Senior guard Brad Wallace scored the game-winning layup with 13.9 seconds remaining and senior forward Deandre Dickson blocked the potential go-ahead basket with four seconds left in the game to lift the Western Washington University men’s basketball team to a 67-66 victory over Northwest Nazarene Thursday evening in Great Northwest Athletic Conference action on WECU Court inside Carver Gym.

The Vikings extended their winning streak to five consecutive games to remain perfect in GNAC play at 5-0, improving to 10-3 overall on the season. Northwest Nazarene dropped to 6-5 overall and 2-3 in league play.

The late-game heroics punctuated a tightly-contested game that featured 10 tie scores and 8 lead changes. WWU led by as many as 9 points in the second half, but NNU battled back to tie the game at 64-64 and took the lead at 66-65 on a Maurice Jones layup with 25 seconds remaining in the game.

Trailing by one, Wallace (Lacey, WA/River Ridge/North Idaho College) took a pass from junior guard Trey Drechsel (Woodinville, WA/Cedar Park Christian) near the top of the key and sliced through the lane for a left-handed layup to give the Vikings the 67-66 lead with 13.9 seconds remaining.

After a foul by WWU brought the ball to midcourt, the Nighthawks put the game in the hands of Jones who drove the lane to attempt the game-winning shot, but was met by the out-stretched arms of Dickson (Easton, CA/Bakersfield College) for his fourth blocked shot of the game. After Dickson’s block went out of bounds, Jayden Bezzant tried a desperation three-pointer of an inbounds play that was off the mark at the buzzer sending the Vikings to the one-point victory.

Sophomore forward Daulton Hommes (Lynden, WA/Lynden Christian) scored a game-high 19 points on 7-for-11 shooting, and was 4-for-4 from the free throw line. Dickson scored 18 points on 7-for-16 shooting, also adding 8 rebounds and 4 blocked shots. Junior guard Siaan Rojas (Concord, CA/Santa Rosa JC) added 10 points, all in the second half, and junior center Logan Schilder (Bellingham, WA/Whatcom CC) recorded a team-high 11 rebounds. Wallace finished with 8 points, going 2-for-4 from the field and 4-for-4 from the free throw line.

The Vikings shot 39.3% from the field (22-for-56), but were limited to 4-for-22 (18.2%) from 3-point range and were 19-for-23 from the free throw line. NNU shot 38.1% from the field (24-for-63) and was 10-for-23 (43.5%) from beyond the arc. WWU controlled the boards with a 41-29 advantage in rebounds, and had an 8-1 advantage in blocked shots.

Jones led the Nighthawks with an 18-point, 12-rebound double-double, shooting 7-for-15 from the field. Bezzant added 16 points and was 2-for-5 from 3-point range.

The Vikings used a late 14-7 run to take a three-point lead into halftime, 37-34, overcoming a deficit of as many as 7 points at 23-16. The first 20 minutes of action featured seven tie scores and six lead changes. WWU tied the game at 31-31 and pulled ahead 33-31 on back-to-back layups by Dickson with less than two minutes remaining in the half. NNU pulled to within one point on a three-pointers by Bezzant, but Hommes pulled the Vikings back ahead by three points when he beat the buzzer with a fade-away jump shot.

Dickson led the Vikings with 13 points and 5 rebounds in the first half, followed by 10 points from Hommes and 6 points from Wallace. Jones led the Nighthawks with 11 points on 4-for-9 shooting.

The Vikings return to action Saturday hosting rival Central Washington at 7 pm on WECU Court in Carver Gym.

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