Jan. 15, 2014
BELLINGHAM, Wash. -
Western Washington University's school-record 36-game home winning streak came to an end Wednesday as Seattle Pacific University claimed a 76-60 victory over the Vikings in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference men's basketball contest at Sam Carver Gymnasium on the WWU campus.
The game was regionally televised live on ROOT Sports.
WWU, ranked No.19 in this week's National Association of Basketball Coaches/NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll, fell to 10-4 overall and 4-2 in the GNAC. Forward Anye Turner (Jr., Tumwater/Black Hills) led the Vikings with 15 points, and center Austin Bragg (Sr., Longview/Mark Morris) added 14.
Forward Patrick Simon had a game-high 29 points for the Falcons, who are 14-4 overall and moved into first place in the GNAC at 5-2. Center Cory Hutsen and guard David Downs each had 18 points.
The Falcons took control of a tight contest by hitting eight consecutive field-goal attempts over the last seven minutes of the first half, enabling SPU to turn a 23-19 edge into a 41-28 advantage at halftime. Simon had nine points in the run, including a 3-pointer and a dunk on consecutive possessions.
SPU shot 63.0 percent (17-of-27) from the field in the first half, and finished the game at 56.8 percent (25-of-44).
Simon was 8-of-9 in the opening half, including 4-of-4 on 3-pointers. He finished 10-of-13 from the floor, going 5-of-6 on threes, and also added seven rebounds and three steals.
Neither team made a big run in the second half, as the Falcon lead fluctuated between 11 and 19 the entire period.
It was the first home loss for WWU since an 83-73 defeat to Western Oregon on Jan. 7, 2012. The defeat also snapped a string of 19 straight home victories against GNAC opponents, which was one short of the conference record set by WWU in 2004-07.
It was just the second SPU victory over WWU in eight meetings since the start of the 2011-12 season.
The Vikings host Montana State University Billings on Saturday (7 p.m.) in a GNAC counter.
Seattle Pacific Ends Western Washington Home Streak at 36
Cory Hutsen connected on nine of 13 shots in producing 18 points Wednesday
Patrick Simon scored 29 points, including 20 during the first half, as Seattle Pacific ended Western Washington's GNAC and school-record 36-game men's basketball home winning streak with a 76-60 victory Wednesday night.
The win also moved the Falcons (14-4, 5-2) into first place in the GNAC one-half game ahead of the Vikings (10-4, 4-2).
The two clubs are now among five GNAC teams all with two losses. Three other teams have only three conference losses.
Three of the two-loss teams play tonight in Alaska as Alaska Fairbanks (8-5, 3-2) entertains Central Washington (7-6, 3-2) at The Patty Center and Northwest Nazarene (5-8, 3-2) faces Alaska Anchorage (9-7, 2-3) at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex.
Also on tonight's men's schedule is a game in Canada between Montana State Billings (7-7, 3-3) and Simon Fraser (7-6, 0-5).
There are four games tonight on the women's slate including a contest in Lacey between first-place Saint Martin's (10-4, 4-1) and Simon Fraser (9-4, 3-2).
Elswhere tonight Montana State Billings (10-5, 3-2) plays at Central Washington (6-8, 1-5), Northwest Nazarene (10-4, 3-3) hosts Seattle Pacific (9-4, 2-3) and Western Washington (7-6, 3-2) plays at Western Oregon (5-8, 2-3).
Western Washington, which is ranked 19th in the latest NABC national poll, hadn't lost in Carver Gymnasium since Jan. 7, 2012, when Western Oregon prevailed 83-73.
Of the 36 wins, 14 were by single-digit margins, including one-point decisions over Central Washington (86-85 on Jan. 10, 2013) and Western Oregon (67-66 on Dec. 5, 2013). One was in overtime (83-76 over Seattle Pacific on Feb. 2, 2013).
Nineteen of the victories were conference games (one short of WWU's own GNAC record) and six were West Regional playoff contests, including two regional title games against the Seatttle Pacific (56-50 in 2012 and 62-58 in 2013).
SPU's last win against Western Washington in Bellingham was 84-70 on Feb. 22, 2011.
Guard David Downs and forward Cory Hutsen scored 18 points apiece in Wednesday's victory which was televised on ROOT SPORTS.
Anye Turner led Western Washington with 15 points and Austin Bragg added 14. Bragg also had five rebounds. Turner also had five rebounds and a team-high four steals.
Seattle Pacific, which hit their final eight shots of the first half (over a 7 minutes, 12 second stretch) had a 41-28 lead at halftime and kept it in double digits throughout the second half. The closest the Vikings came was 11 points after getting the initial basket of the half.
The Falcons were at least 13 points up the rest of the way and extended it to as many as 19 late in the game.
Simon, who came within four points of his career high of 33 set earlier this season against San Francisco State, hit 10 of 13 from the field. He was 5 of 6 from behind the 3-point line. At one point he made 10 consecutive field goals, five of them from three-point range.
Simon, who started his collegiate career at Washington State, also grabbed seven rebounds, as did guard Matt Borton. Borton also had seven rebounds to tie Simon for high game honors and four steals to tie Turner in that category.
Simon's point output was more than double his season average of 12.8 points per game.