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.
Vikings Extend Winning Streak With 86-74 Win at Fairbanks
Trey Drechsel (25 points) and Daulton Hommes (23 points) power WWU to 86-74 victory for ninth straight victory
Vikings Take First Place GNAC Record to Alaska
WWU continues road trip with key GNAC contests at Alaska Fairbanks and Alaska Anchorage
Deandre Dickson Named to Bevo Francis Award Watch List
Senior power forward Deandre Dickson is averaging 15.0 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.9 blocked shots per game
All-Around Week Nets Drechsel GNAC Player of the Week Honors
Drechsel earns second GNAC Player of the Week award this season after averaging 15.0 points, 10.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists per game
Vikings Extend Winning Streak With 100-91 Victory at MSUB
Trey Drechsel goes 8-for-11 from the field and 9-for-9 from the free throw line in 26-point performance
Viking Men Win 7th Straight, 69-54 at Simon Fraser
Deandre Dickson records 17-point, 13-rebound double-double to help keep WWU perfect in GNAC play
First-Place Men's Hoops Hits the Road
Vikings take 6-game winning streak to Simon Fraser and MSU Billings
Strong Second Half Lifts Vikings to 77-67 Win over CWU
Trey Drechsel, Daulton Hommes and Deandre Dickson all record double-doubles to keep WWU perfect at 6-0 in GNAC play
Late Layup Lifts Vikings to 67-66 Victory Over NNU
Senior guard Brad Wallace scores game-winning layup with 13.9 seconds remaining in the game
First-Place Vikings Host NNU and CWU in GNAC Play
WWU takes four-game winning streak into key GNAC contests at Carver Gym
WWU Honored as GNAC/Red Lion Team of the Week
Vikings recognized after earning a pair of key GNAC road victories last week
Daulton Hommes Named GNAC Player of the Week
Hommes averaged 23.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game to help lead Vikings to pair of GNAC road victories
Vikings Improve to 4-0 in GNAC With 90-86 Win at SMU
Daulton Hommes lead five players in double-digits with game-high 29 points
Vikings Record Big Road Win at Seattle Pacific 86-80
Trey Drechsel leads all players with 27 points on 8-for-13 shooting
Men's Hoops Returns to Action With Road GNAC Contests
Vikings face I-5 rivals Seattle Pacific (Thursday) and Saint Martin's (Saturday) in key GNAC games