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.
White Tops Blue 95-75 in Annual Scrimmage
Deandre Dickson scores game-high 31 points, WWU returns to Carver Gym on WECU Court
Viking Jam Set for Wednesday at 7 pm
The WWU basketball teams will be showcased at WECU Court in Carver Gym
Blue-White Game Saturday Opens Men's Hoops Preseason
The annual Blue-White scrimmage is set for Saturday at 5 pm on WECU Court at Carver Gym
Vikings Men's Hoops Selected for National ESPN3 Game
WWU’s Feb. 1 game at Central Washington will stream live on ESPN3
Men's Basketball Announces 2017-18 Schedule
WWU will play 28 regular-season games in return to Carver Gym
Men's Hoops Helps Move in New Students to WWU Dorms
Vikings role up sleeves for campus and community service
Three Vikings Named to NABC Honors Court
WWU Men's Basketball earns the NABC Team Academic Excellence Award for team GPA over 3.0
Stafford Dominating Seattle's Crawsover Pro-Am
2016-17 GNAC Player of the Year is averaging 34.0 points per game
Vikings Add Pair of Transfers from Cerritos College
Tyler Payne and Micah Winn set to join WWU for 2017-18 season after standout careers at Cerritos College
Stafford to Play Professionally in Iceland
Feature story on Taylor Stafford in the Western Front
Parker and Stafford to Play for Bellingham Slam
WWU basketball standouts to play in 2017 Seattle Pro-Am League
2016-17 Men's Basketball Season in Review
The Vikings won the GNAC Regular-Season and Conference Tournament Title
Taylor Stafford To Play Professionally in Iceland
Stafford was the 2016-17 GNAC Player of the Year and a First Team All-American
Alumni Edge Slam in Back 2 Bellingham Battle
David Gage and Anye Turner combine for 60 points for the WWU Alumni squad
Alumni Men's Basketball Game Set for Saturday
Former WWU basketball players will take the court in an exhibition game vs. the Bellingham Slam