Feb. 20, 2014
BELLINGHAM, Wash. -
Forward Jeffrey Parker (Jr., Richmond, CA/Salesian) scored a team-high 25 points as Western Washington University bounced back from two narrow road losses to defeat Northwest Nazarene University, 84-72, on Thursday in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference men's basketball contest at Sam Carver Gymnasium on the WWU campus.
Center Austin Bragg (Sr., Longview/Mark Morris) had 23 points and game-highs of 13 rebounds, five steals and four blocked shots as the Vikings improved to 17-6 overall and remain second in the GNAC standings at 11-4. They are 13-1 at home this season and have won 40 of their last 41 at Carver Gym.
NNU fell to 5-18 overall and 3-12 in the GNAC with its 10 straight loss despite a game-high 27 points by forward Kevin Rima. Rima, who was 10-of-15 from the field, also had a team-high eight rebounds.
The Vikings held a 38-35 lead at halftime and were up by 13, 71-58, with a little over eight minutes left, before NNU rallied with nine straight points, the last four by Rima, to pull within four, 71-67, with 6:11 to go.
But WWU then took control as Robert Harris, Jr. (Sr., Renton/Rainier Beach) hit a layup and a free throw, and then Richard Woodworth (Sr., Bellevue/Newport) converted a steal into a breakaway layup to push the margin back to nine. The Vikings' lead was never under seven after that.
Harris finished with 17 points and was 5-of-5 on free throws as the Vikings were 18-of-20 (90 percent) at the charity stripe. WWU also had a 35-23 advantage on the boards, grabbing 16 offensive rebounds.
Mario Donaldson had 16 points and Michael Loomis added 10 for the Crusaders, who shot 50.0 percent (25-of-50) from the field.
The first half featured eight ties and nine lead changes as NNU shot 59.1 percent (13-of-22) from the floor.