Vikings win 73-68 at Alaska Anchorage, earn second straight Alaska sweep
Jan. 14, 2012
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Forward Rory Blanche (Sr., Ashland, OR) had 18 points and guard John Allen (Jr., Brier/Mountlake Terrace) added 17 as Western Washington University completed an Alaska road trip sweep by defeating University of Alaska Anchorage, 73-68, in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference men's basketball contest Saturday at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex on the UAA campus.
The Vikings improved to 15-3 overall and 6-1 in the GNAC with the triumph. It completed a GNAC-record fourth time WWU has won both legs of the Alaska trip, having defeated Alaska Fairbanks, 101-81, on Thursday.
UAA fell to 11-4 overall and 5-2 in the GNAC. Center Taylor Rohde had game-highs of 26 points and eight rebounds for the Seawolves.
WWU trailed just once in the second half, at 66-65 after two Rohde free throws with 1:49 to play.
But a Blanche three-point play at the other end put the Vikings up by two with 1:35 to go, and after UAA missed a three-pointer, WWU worked the shot clock and Allen iced the game with a three-pointer for a 71-66 advantage with 20 seconds left.
Guard Richard Woodworth (So., Bellevue/Newport) had 11 points and eight assists for WWU, which shot 54.0 percent (27-of-50) from the floor, with Blanche going 8-of-14 and Allen 6-of-9.
WWU trailed, 31-29, at halftime, but opened the second half with nine straight points, seven of them by Allen, to take a 38-31 lead just 2:05 into the period. The Vikings led by 11, 53-42, with 10:52 to play, but the Seawolves rallied to tie the score at 59-59 on a Abebe Demissie three-pointer with 5:28 left.
Travis Thompson had 11 points for UAA, and Kyle Fossman added 10.
Blanche's 18 points took him to 990 for his career.
The Vikings made 9-of-19 treys, 47.4 percent.
WWU became just the second team in GNAC to record sweeps in back-to-back years. Central Washington accomplished the feat the last two seasons.
The Vikings return home to face arch-rival Central Washington on Wednesday (7 p.m.) in a GNAC counter at Sam Carver Gymnasium. The game will be televised live regionally on ROOT Sports.
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