Ready scores career-high 23 points to lead Western past arch-rival Central Washington
Jan. 23, 2010
ELLENSBURG, Wash. - Guard Andrew Ready (Sr., Chicago, IL/Westinghouse) had a game and career-high 23 points as Western Washington University overcame an early deficit and defeated arch-rival Central Washington University, 84-70, in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference men's basketball contest Saturday at Nicholson Pavilion on the CWU campus.
The Vikings, No.15 in this week's National Association of Basketball Coaches/NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll, improved to 17-3 overall and 4-2 in the GNAC.
Central fell to 9-6 overall and 3-2 in conference play. Guard Humberto Perez had 16 points for the Wildcats, who entered the contest averaging a GNAC-best 88.4 points a game.
Central jumped to an early lead, using a run of 14 straight points to take a 16-5 lead less than seven minutes into the game. But Western chipped away, eventually taking a 35-34 lead with 1:15 left in the first half on two free throws by guard Morris Anderson (Sr., Federal Way), and the Vikings held a 38-34 lead at halftime.
Western led the entire second half, although the Wildcats narrowed the margin to one on four occasions. The last of those was at 56-55 with 10:57 left, but Western went on an 11-2 run, capped by a Ready 3-pointer, to take a 67-57 lead with 7:47 to go. Central never got closer than six points after that, and was never within eight points in the final four minutes.
Anderson had 18 points for Western, and forward Derrick Webb (Sr., Port Orchard/South Kitsap) had 13 points and a team-high 10 rebounds. The Vikings were 32-of-44 (72.7 percent) on free throws, including 22-of-28 in the second half (78.6 percent).
Toussaint Tyler had 12 points for Central, 11 of them in the first half. Chris Sprinker added 11 points, and Roby Clyde had a game-high 15 rebounds, helping the Wildcats hold a 51-38 advantage on the boards.
Ready was 8-of-11 from the floor, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range. He also grabbed five rebounds.
Western reserve guard Harold McAllister (Sr., Vancouver/Mountain View) made all seven of his free throws, giving him 23 straight.
It was the 14th victory for the Vikings, who turned the ball over only six times, in the last 21 meetings between the schools.
Western returns home to host Western Oregon on Thursday (7 p.m.) in a league counter.
Western Washington outpaces Wildcats in GNAC tilt
By COLTER NUANEZ, sports editor, Daily Record
ELLENSBURG -- He came to Nicholson Pavilion ready in more than name alone.
No. 15 Western Washington guard Andrew Ready was nearly flawless on his way to 23 huge points, including an array of 3-point daggers, as WWU defeated rival Central Washington 84-70 Saturday night.
"It's perfect, I couldn't have dreamt it any better than this," said Ready, who hit 8-of-11 shots from the field, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. "You don't just come in here and win and have it be easy. It's always a dog fight, but I like it; the physicalness, the energy in the building, it's perfect."
Central came in to the game against its rivals wanting to initiate a track meet by forcing turnovers and pushing to the pace of the game. But Western wasn't having it. The Vikings concentrated on taking the Wildcats out of their element, turning Saturday's game into somewhat of a half-court affair. WWU turned the ball over just six times and limited CWU to 38-percent shooting on the night, just 33-percent in the second half.
"We tried to force the tempo, and we missed a few defensive rotations that cost us three-balls," said Central Washington coach Greg Sparling. "It's frustrating because it's nothing new, we've done it since day one. We didn't shoot well either. We got up 71 shots, but only made 27 of them. You aren't going to win too many games in the GNAC shooting 57 (percent) from the free throw line, 38 (percent) from the field."
Feeding off the energy of a near-sellout crowd, Central flew out of the starting gates. Humberto Perez hit back-to-back 3-pointers and Roby Clyde had a monster two-handed put-back dunk as Central built a 16-6 lead. Western made just four of its first 20 field goal attempts, but after weathering the storm of the first eight minutes, the Vikings settled into the hostile Nicholson Pavilion environment.
The Vikings hit 9-of-15 shots after their poor start and ended the first half on a 10-1 run. Vikings point guard Morris Anderson was just 1-of-7 when the clock read 2:08, but exploded for seven points in 52 seconds to help the Vikings enter the locker room up 38-34 after trailing by as many as 11.
"There were two parts of that game that were significant for us," said Western Washington head coach Brad Jackson, whose team moved to 4-2 in conference play, 17-3 overall. "The first was the beginning where we didn't shoot well, but we didn't lose our composure and our bench came in and did an excellent job to get the lead going in to halftime. Then in the second, when it became a close game, we hit some huge threes to put them away."
The teams traded blows in the first part of the second half. J.C. Cook, back after three games out with a severely hyper-extended knee sprain, hit his first shot in weeks to draw Central within one, 56-55. But Ready and Morris Anderson sandwiched 3-pointers around a Derrick Webb jumper to put WWU up 66-57 with 7:28 to play.
Ready's fourth trey of the game killed yet another run for CWU and put the game out of reach. Sparling spoke Friday about how his team knew WWU's leaders, Webb and Anderson, were going to get theirs, but he emphasized not letting someone else sneak up and hurt them, which is exactly what Ready did.
"He (Ready) was an unbelievable factor," Sparling said. "Every time we made a run, he was there for a 3-ball or a post up. We did a good job on Derrick Webb; we did a good job on everybody else. Morris Anderson is the type of player where he is going to get his 16, 18 some way, but Ready carried them tonight."
Webb finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds, Anderson with 18 points and four assists. Perez led the way for the Wildcats with 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting.
The physical, muscular Ready said he has been spending extra time before and after practice honing his game in hopes of using it against his team's archrival. The intense atmosphere and physical nature of Saturday's game provided an ideal environment for the burly guard.
"This was Drew's kind of game," Jackson said. "He is a really tough kid, he loves the competitiveness, he loves the banging. If he can hit a few jumpers and get hot, he is hard to stop because he can get to the rack on anybody."
The only thing that killed Central's momentum as much as Ready's cold-blooded shooting was a slew of unforced turnovers. CWU turned the ball over 15 times, but the vast majority of those were a lack of attention to detail.
"How many unforced turnovers did we have?" Sparling said. "Miss a shot, get the rebound, throw it out of bounds. Hits somebody in the hands, goes out of bounds. It's too late in the season to have those kinds of turnovers. We had so many run killers from not smart passing."
The game dropped Central to 9-6 overall and 3-2 in conference play with seven of the Wildcats next nine games on the road. Such an enthusiastic environment is unlikely to be seen at Nicholson again this season and to have his team be taken out of its game plan in front of so many fans was frustrating for the Wildcats head coach.
"You hate to lose at home, you hate to lose in front of that type of a crowd, but it is what it is and we have to regroup to go on the road these next seven out of nine," Sparling said. "We have to regroup, show what we are made of, and we have to get back to what we do well, which is running the floor."
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