Strong Second Half Lifts Vikings to 77-67 Win over CWU

Jan. 6, 2018

Box Score

BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- Trey Drechsel, Daulton Hommes and Deandre Dickson all recorded double-doubles to lead the Western Washington University men's basketball team to a 77-67 Great Northwest Athletic Conference victory over Central Washington Saturday night in front of 2,175 fans on WECU Court in Carver Gym.

The Vikings won their sixth consecutive game to improve to 11-3 overall and remain perfect in GNAC play at 6-0 to keep sole possession of first place in the standings. Central Washington went 0-2 on their road trip to Simon Fraser and WWU, falling to 7-6 overall and 2-4 in league play.

"I felt like we played with more energy in the second half and as the game went along, we started to find our groove, started connecting and rolled with it," said head coach Tony Dominguez in the postgame show. "We played smarter in the second half, and Trey, Daulton and Deandre kind of took over."

Western trailed by two points at the half, 38-36, but opened the second half on a 7-0 run to set the stage for a dominating final half of the game. The Vikings out-scored the Wildcats 41-29 over the final 20 minutes en route to the 10-point victory, trailing only once after taking the lead on Trevor Jasinsky's 3-pointer less than 20 seconds into the half.

WWU had three players record a double-double (points/rebounds) for the first time during the 20 seasons playing at the NCAA Division II level.

Drechsel (Woodinville, WA/Cedar Park Christian) led the Vikings with 18 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Hommes (Lynden, WA/Lynden Christian) added 17 points and 10 rebounds and Dickson (Easton, CA/Bakersfield College) added 15 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Sophomore guard Trevor Jasinsky (Camas, WA) also reached double figures with 12 points, connecting on 3-for-4 from 3-point range.

"Trey is a force on both ends of the court," said Dominguez on his junior guard. "He is very versatile. When he is rolling, we are playing our best."

Entering the game as the No. 3-ranked rebound margin team in NCAA II, WWU dominated the boards out-rebounding CWU 54-33, including a 19-8 edge in offensive rebounds.

The Wildcats had four players reach double figures in scoring, led by 14 points from guard Naim Ladd and 13 points each from forward Jerome Bryant and guard Sage Woodruff. CWU received 30 of its 67 points from bench players.

WWU trailed Central 38-36 at the half, but battled back after trailing by as many as 9 points with less than 7 minutes remaining. Trailing 31-22, the Vikings closed out the half going on a 14-7 run, including an 8-0 run to gain the lead at 34-33. Ladd gave the Wildcats the two-point halftime advantage with a short jumper with 3 seconds left on the clock. Dickson and Drechsel led the Vikings with 8 points apiece, while Woodruff led CWU with 10 points. The Vikings shot 33.3% from the floor, and were 11-for-21 from the free throw line (52.4%).

The Vikings carried the late first-half momentum into the second half, when they scored the first seven points to take a 43-38 lead. Central battled back going on a 8-2 run to grab a 46-45 lead on a Woodruff 3-pointer, but WWU answered with a Drechsel jumper that would give the Vikings the lead for good. Central closed to within one point at 55-54 with 8:39 remaining, but WWU answered with an 11-5 spurt to grow the lead to seven points at 66-59. Jasinsky hit a 3-pointer, his third of the game, with 2:15 remaining to put WWU ahead by 9 points at 71-62, putting the Wildcats out of reach. Hommes and Drechsel each scored 10 points in the second half to lead the Vikings

The Vikings (11-3, 6-0) continue GNAC play with a quick turnaround traveling to play Simon Fraser on Tuesday in Burnaby, BC (7 pm). WWU will then travel to face Montana State Billings next Saturday at 7:30 pm MT/6:30 pm PT in Alterowitz Gymnasium. Both games will be streamed live online and feature live statistical updates at GNAC.tv.

Game Notes: The Vikings recorded a season-high 54 rebounds, the most since a 63-rebound game Jan. 7, 2016 at Alaska Fairbanks (overtime)...WWU was 20-for-33 from the free throw line (60.6%), but 9-for-12 (75.0%) in the second half...Daulton Hommes has scored in double-digits in 13 of 14 games this season and leads the Vikings averaging 18.8 points per game (2nd in the GNAC)...WWU is 16-4 in the last 20 games against Central Washington dating back to 2008-09, and 10-1 vs. the Wildcats in the last 11 meetings in Bellingham.

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