Feb. 8, 2014
BURNABY, B.C. - Guard Richard Woodworth (Sr., Bellevue/Newport) scored a career-high 33 points and had a pair of key assists late in the contest, leading Western Washington University to an 84-83 victory over Simon Fraser University in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference men's basketball contest Saturday at West Gym on the SFU campus.
The Vikings improved to 16-4 overall and are second in the GNAC at 10-2 with their sixth consecutive victory. Center Austin Bragg (Sr., Longview/Mark Morris) had 16 points for WWU and forward Jeffrey Parker (R-Fr., Richmond, CA/Salesian) added 14.
SFU fell to 9-11 overall and remains at the bottom of the GNAC at 2-10 with its 10th loss in the last 13 games. Guard Sango Niang led five Clan players in double figures with 20 points.
SFU had a 73-70 lead with under three minutes left, but Bragg was fouled, and a technical foul on the SFU bench gave the Vikings four free throws. Woodworth hit the first two, then Bragg made one of two, tying the score at 73-73.
On the next two WWU possessions, Woodworth fed Robert Oliver (Jr., Federal Way/Decatur) for a reverse layin off a backdoor cut, then set up Bragg for a dunk off a pick-and-roll screen, putting the Vikings up for good, 77-73, with 1:15 to go.
SFU did have two late chances to tie. With WWU up 81-78, Niang hit a driving bank shot and was fouled with 15 seconds left. He missed the free throw for the potential tie. Parker then hit one of two free throws at the other end. Niang then drove to the basket, but Bragg stepped in to draw a charging foul with five seconds left.
Woodworth made two free throws to seal the victory before Niang hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer for the final margin.
Woodworth was 8-of-18 from the field, including 4-of-8 on 3-pointers, and a perfect 13-of-13 on free throws, hitting six in the final minute.
The game was tightly contested, with 13 ties and 18 lead changes, and no leads of more than seven points. SFU held a 43-41 advantage at halftime.
Justin Cole had 18 points for the Clan. Taylor Dunn added 16, 13 in the first half. Ibrahim Appiah had 14 and David Gebru had 13. Appiah had a game-high nine rebounds, and Niang had a game-best eight assists.
The Vikings had a 34-30 advantage on the boards, with Colby Mitchell (Jr., Chugiak, AK) grabbing a team-high eight.
WWU is at Montana State University Billings on Thurs., Feb. 13 (7:30 p.m.) for a GNAC counter.
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