Feb. 11, 2012
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Guard Richard Woodworth (So., Bellevue/Newport) scored seven of his 15 points in the final three minutes, including a go-ahead three-pointer with 2:37 to play as Western Washington University fought off an upset bid to defeat University of Alaska Fairbanks, 77-72, in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference men's basketball contest Saturday at Sam Carver Gymnasium on the WWU campus.
The Vikings, ranked No.15 in this week's National Association of Basketball Coaches Top 25 Poll, improved to 22-3 overall and remain atop the GNAC at 13-1, needing two wins in their final four regular-season games to clinch the top seed in the conference tournament. Forward Rory Blanche (Sr., Ashland, OR) had game-highs of 19 points and 10 rebounds for WWU, which won its ninth straight game and improved to 12-1 at home.
UAF, which suffered its 12th straight loss, fell to 4-21 overall and 1-14 in the GNAC. Guard Dominique Brinson led four Nanooks in double figures with 17 points, and center Sergej Pucar added 15.
UAF held a 50-41 lead with 12 minutes left, and still had a four-point margin, 67-63, on a fastbreak layin by Brinson with 3:31 to go. But Paul Jones (Jr., Kent/Kent-Meridian) hit a layin in traffic; Zach Henifin (Sr., Bellingham), despite giving away six inches, blocked a Pucar shot; and then Woodworth hit a trey with 2:37 left, giving the Vikings a 68-67 lead.
Two possessions later, WWU worked the shot clock and Jones hit a three-pointer, putting the Vikings in control, 71-67, with 1:04 to go. A Nico Matthews layin cut the margin to two with 34.5 seconds left, but WWU hit six straight free throws to seal the victory.
Guard John Allen (Jr., Brier/Mountlake Terrace) had 13 points, and Jones and Henifin added 11 each for WWU, which was 19-of-21 (90.5 percent) at the foul line, with Blanche and Henifin each going 7-of-7.
WWU held a 31-25 lead with just over two minutes left in the first half, but UAF rallied to take a 34-33 halftime lead as Brinson banked in a three-pointer at the buzzer. Brinson had 13 points in the first half.
It was the 509th career triumph for WWU coach Brad Jackson, putting him alone in third place among the winningest collegiate coaches in the state of Washington.
The Vikings, who are trying to become the first GNAC team to go through a season undefeated on the road, make their final conference road trip to Northwest Nazarene on Thursday (7 p.m.), Feb. 16, and Central Washington on Saturday (7 p.m.), Feb. 18.
Brad Wallace Nominated for Hometown Awards
WWU outgoing guard is up for the Thurston County Sports Star of the Year
Men's Hoops Inks Versatile Forward KJ Bosco from Portland CC
Bosco averaged 13.4 points and 6.9 rebounds in 60 career games at Portland Community College
Basketball Signs Kentwood Guard D'Angelo Minnis
Minnis averaged 15.3 points, 4.3 assists and 2.2 steals per game during his senior season
Men's Hoops Inks Jalen Green out of Lindbergh High School
Green averaged 26.7 points, 13.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 4.4 blocks per game as a senior
Men's Hoops Adds Guard Tucker Eenigenburg to Program
Tucker Eenigenburg out of Bakersfield College signs with WWU men's basketball
Cameron Retherford Signs with WWU Men's Basketball
Rutherford averaged 13.5 points and 7.8 rebounds per game last season at Portland Community College
Siaan Rojas to Play in South American Games
WWU senior-to-be Siaan Rojas will play for Colombia in the South American Games in Cochabamba, Bolivia
Men's Basketball Announces 2017-18 Team Awards
Head coach Tony Dominguez hands out team awards at 2017-18 team banquet
Local High Schools Tap Into Viking Hoops Family For Head Coach Jobs
Three local high schools tab head coaches with connections to WWU Men's Basketball
Men's Basketball 2017-18 Season in Review
Vikings finish eighth 20-win season in last 10 years at 21-8
Daulton Hommes Named NABC All-West Region Second Team
Hommes adds to awards resume from stellar sophomore season in which he averaged 18.1 points per game
Daulton Hommes Named Second Team All-West Region
Hommes led the Vikings averaging 18.1 points per game, scoring in double-digits in 28 of 29 games
Vikings Drop GNAC Semifinal Game to Saint Martin's 69-68
SMU's Luke Chavez hit the game-winning basket with 2.6 seconds left to give the Saints the win
Vikings Set to Defend GNAC Championships Title
WWU opens postseason play Friday in GNAC Semifinal against Saint Martin's or Central Washington
Three Vikings Named to GNAC Men's Basketball All-Conference Team
Hommes and Drechsel named First Team All-GNAC, Dickson named Second Team All-GNAC