Feb. 13, 2014
BILLINGS, Mont. - Despite 26 points and eight assists by guard Richard Woodworth (Sr., Bellevue/Newport), including a layup with two seconds left that forced overtime, nationally ranked Western Washington University had its six-game winning streak snapped, falling to Montana State University Billings, 102-101, in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference men's basketball contest Thursday at Alterowitz Gymnasium on the MSUB campus.
Forward Jeffrey Parker (R-Fr., Richmond, CA/Salesian) added 23 points, 15 in the first half, and 10 rebounds for the Vikings, who were ranked No.24 in this week's National Association of Basketball Coaches/NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll. The loss dropped them to 16-5 overall and 10-3 in GNAC play.
MSUB, which improved to 10-12 overall and 6-8 in GNAC play, was led by the game-high 32 points and 10 rebounds of center Austin Hudson. Guard Kalob Hatcher added 19 points and 10 assists for the Yellowjackets.
Hudson had six points in overtime, all on free throws. The Yellowjackets built a 98-91 lead with 47 seconds left in the extra period, but WWU scored eight points on its next three possessions, pulling to within two, 101-99, with 10 seconds to go.
Hudson made one of two free throws with nine seconds left, then Woodworth made a pair with 5.2 seconds, closing the gap to a point, 102-101. MSUB's Devon Wallace then missed two free throws, and the Vikings had a chance to win, but Woodworth lost control of the ball as he attempted to pull up for a shot from 30 feet out.
The Vikings trailed by six, 83-77, with under 90 seconds remaining in regulation, but rallied to tie the game, 84-84, as Woodworth fed Dane Thorpe (Sr., Bellingham/Sehome) for a layup with 16 seconds to go. Jonathan Mesghna then drove the length of the floor for a layup to put the Yellowjackets ahead by two, but after a timeout, Woodworth matched him, driving the length of the court to score and force overtime at 88-88.
The contest featured 10 ties and 17 lead changes, with no lead of more than seven points.
Guard Robert Harris, Jr., (Sr., Renton/Rainier Beach) had 17 points for the Vikings, who shot 50.0 percent (37-of-74) from the field. Forward Colby Mitchell (Jr., Chugiak, AK) added 14 points, and center Austin Bragg (Sr., Longview/Mark Morris) had 11.
WWU was without starting forward Anye Turner (Jr., Tumwater/Black Hills), who missed the game because of dislocated big toe suffered at Simon Fraser last Saturday.
Mesghna finished with 18 points for MSUB, going 6-of-9 from the field, including a 3-pointer to open overtime that put the Yellowjackets ahead for good. Wallace added 15 points.
The Vikings are at Seattle Pacific University on Saturday (7:30 p.m.) for a GNAC counter.
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