BELLINGHAM, Wash. - The 23rd-ranked Western Washington University men's basketball team led wire-to-wire in a dominating 87-64 victory over Concordia Saturday evening in Great Northwest Athletic Conference action at Whatcom Pavilion.
The 23-point victory moved the Vikings to 19-5 overall and 13-3 in GNAC play. The win keeps WWU in a tie for first place in the GNAC with Alaska Anchorage and also secured a spot in the GNAC Championships to be played March 2-4 in Lacey, Washington. Concordia drops to 10-13 overall and 6-10 in league play.
Four Vikings scored in double digits, led by 21 points from senior guard Taylor Stafford (Chicago, IL/Evansville) and 19 points from senior forward Jeffrey Parker (Richmond, CA/Salesian). Stafford was 8-for-13 from the field, and also added 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals. Parker was 6-for-14 from the field and hit 3-of-8 from 3-point range.
Junior forward Deandre Dickson (Easton, CA/Bakersfield College) added 10 points and 7 rebounds in 16 minutes and redshirt freshman forward Daulton Hommes (Lynden, WA/Lynden Christian) had 12 points and 3 assists.
Sophomore center Logan Schilder (Bellingham, WA) hauled in a career-high 10 rebounds and added 4 blocked shots.
"We've talked as a team about what it takes to win - it is playing with passion, playing together and playing as hard as we can," said head coach Tony Dominguez. "We saw all of that tonight. We came out with a lot of energy at both ends of the floor and didn't let up the whole game. I am proud of our effort tonight."
The Vikings set the tone early scoring the first 14 points of the game and taking an 18-2 lead. While Concordia missed its first 9 shots from the field and were at 25.0% for the half (8-for-32), the Vikings were relentless from the field shooting 58.8% (20-for-34) and 50.0% from 3-point range (7-for-14). Hommes, Stafford and Parker scored 10 points apiece to lead Western.
WWU carried the momentum into the second half building the lead to as many as 27 points at 68-41 with 11:59 remaining in the game. The closest the Cavaliers would come would be a 19-point deficit after scoring the first basket of the second half, but otherwise trailed by at least 20 points for the remainder of the game. Stafford scored 11 of his game-high 21 points in the second half, while Parker added 9 points.
Overall the Vikings shot 51.6% from the field (33-for-64), the 13th time this season to shoot over 50% in a game and the sixth time in the last nine games. WWU was also 10-for-25 (40.0%) from 3-point range.
Concordia was led by a 19-point, 10-rebound double-double from Drew Martin (7-for-15 FG) and 14 points off the bench from Latrell Wilson.
The Vikings close out the road portion of the regular-season schedule next week traveling to Ellensburg to face rival Central Washington on Thursday at 8 pm and at Northwest Nazarene on Saturday. Thursday's game vs. Central will be televised live on ROOT SPORTS with Brad Adam and Francis Williams calling the action.
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