Nov. 16, 2009
BELLINGHAM, Wash. -
Guard Harold McAllister (Sr., Vancouver/Mountain View) scored 14 consecutive Viking points to help break open a tight contest and lead Western Washington University to a 74-60 victory over Northwest University in a non-conference men's basketball game Monday on Haggen Court at Sam Carver Gymnasium.
Guard Morris Anderson (Sr., Federal Way) had a game-high 15 points for the 3-1 Vikings, who were playing their home opener.
It was an exhibition game for Northwest, which is 2-1 in counting games. The Eagles were led by the 14 points of center Greg George. Guards Rich Skillman and Stedman Richardson each had 13 points.
Western never trailed, opening up a 40-20 lead late in the first half and holding a 42-28 advantage at halftime. But Northwest rallied, pulling to within five, 55-50, on a layin by Tyson Christie with 8:30 to play.
The Vikings' Cameron Severson (So., Petersburg, AK) scored a layin before McAllister took over, hitting a trio of 3-pointers, then a reverse layin, and finally capping the 14-point explosion with another 3-pointer, giving Western a 71-54 lead with 3:58 to play and effectively putting the contest out of reach.
The 14 points came in a span of less than four minutes and were McAllister's entire output for the contest, although he also had a team-high four assists.
Forward Derrick Webb (Sr., Port Orchard/South Kitsap) had 12 points for Western, which was 18-of-22 (81.6 percent) on free throws.
Western next competes at the Seattle Pacific Tip-Off Classic, meeting Cal State Monterey Bay on Friday (3 p.m.) and Dominican CA on Saturday (3 p.m.).
Hot shooting from McAllister sparks Vikings to win in home opener
BEN FLETCHER - THE BELLINGHAM HERALD
Pregame warm-ups were not kind to Harold McAllister, and the 6-foot senior guard might have questioned whether he'd score a bucket at all in Western Washington University's home opener on Monday, Nov. 17.
But McAllister found his stroke in the nick of time - boy, did he - scoring 14 points in less than four minutes in the second half to spark the Vikings men's basketball team to a 74-60 win over Northwest University at Sam Carver Gymnasium.
"It was kind of a weird night," McAllister said. "I didn't start out in warm-ups shooting it real well. But at halftime I put up a couple shots that felt good, and that followed into the second half."
The win gave Western a 3-1 record, though the result was in doubt after a scrappy Northwest trimmed the Vikings' 42-28 halftime lead to 55-50 with 8:27 left in the game.
Western head coach Brad Jackson called a time out, and players were put on notice they had a game on their hands.
Enter McAllister, who followed teammate Cameron Severson's breakaway lay-up with a 3-pointer from the left side. Then another. And a third. McAllister followed two Northwest free throws with a reverse lay-up off a baseline drive before adding a fourth trey.
When the barrage ended with just less than four minutes left in the game, Western held a comfortable 71-55 lead. Morris Anderson, who finished with a team-high 15 points, added a 3-pointer of his own for the Vikings' final score.
"After I hit a couple, I could hear their coach on the bench saying 'don't leave him, don't leave him,'" McAllister said. "But we had a couple of loose balls and a couple of fast breaks, and my teammates were able to find me."
Western hit six of 10 3-pointers in the second half, while Northwest could manage just one on 10 attempts for the entire game.
The Vikings committed 17 turnovers- five by Anderson - though they still bested their opponent, who had 24, in that department.
Western led by 20 points - keyed by Anderson's seven points during a 13-0 run - at one stretch in the first half. But that lead was trimmed to 14 by half.
"I thought we were just a little bit sluggish tonight," Jackson said. "We had some good runs, but we never quite kicked it into gear."
Western's second-half run largely took place with key starters Anderson and Zach Bruce, who had a team-high eight rebounds, on the bench with three fouls. McAllister's shooting performance coming off the bench was impossible to ignore, but Jackson also praised sophomore Rory Blanche as being an active force.
"That was important to see our bench come in and contribute, because that's going to be important for the rest of the year," Jackson said.
It proved to be the difference against Northwest. As the clock ran down, fans openly clamored about wanting to see the man with the hot hand shoot one more time.
Hopefully, they'll get their wish.
"Harold's a very good shooter and sometimes he just needs to be encouraged to shoot more," Jackson said. "He has the capability of doing that on a regular basis. I think it's just a matter of him feeling he has the ok to do that. We'd like to see him do that more and hopefully that will be the case for us this year."