Dec. 17, 2013
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Guard Richard Woodworth (Sr., Bellevue/Newport) scored a team-high 21 points and forward Anye Turner (Jr., Tumwater/Black Hills) became the first Viking in a decade to grab 20 rebounds as Western Washington University completed its season-opening, eight-game home stretch unbeaten with a 99-74 triumph over Thompson Rivers University in a non-conference men's basketball game Tuesday at Sam Carver Gymnasium on the WWU campus.
The Vikings, ranked No.5 for the third straight week in the latest National Association of Basketball Coaches/NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll, improved to 8-0 and extended their school-record home winning streak to 35.
TRU, located in Kamloops, B.C., fell to 13-6. The Wolfpack were led by the game-high 24 points of guard Ta'Quan Zimmerman, who also had nine rebounds.
Turner's 20 rebounds were the most for a WWU player since Mike Palm grabbed 20 in an 87-83 victory over Central Washington on March 5, 2003. Turner also added nine points, six assists and five blocked shots.
The Vikings held a 59-53 lead a little less than five minutes into the second half, then went on a 9-2 run with three straight 3-pointers in less than a minute, the first by Woodworth and the last two by Jeffrey Parker (R-Fr.,Richmond, CA/Salesian), to take a 68-55 advantage with 14:15 remaining.
The margin was never less than nine after that, and WWU's advantage never less than 20 in the final five minutes.
Center Austin Bragg (Sr., Longview/Mark Morris) had 16 points for WWU. Guard Robert Harris, Jr. (Sr., Kent/Rainier Beach) had 14 points, forward Joey Schreiber (R-Fr., Renton/Eastside Catholic) had 13, and Parker added 10.
Schreiber had 12 of his points in the first seven minutes, helping the Vikings take a 22-12 lead, but TRU clawed back into the contest behind Zimmerman's 18 first-half points, eventually taking a 34-33 lead with 4:19 left in the half. WWU led by two, 48-46, at halftime.
The Wolfpack shot 58.8 percent (20-of-34) in the first half, but the Viking defense stiffened after halftime, holding TRU to 24.3 percent (9-of-37), including 0-10 on 3-pointers.
The Vikings, who lead NCAA II in blocked shots per game at 7.7, had nine blocks Tuesday.
WWU's last loss at Carver Gym was 83-73 to Western Oregon on Jan. 7, 2012.
WWU finished the 2013 calendar year unbeaten in 32 basketball games at Carver Gym, the men winning 20 and the women 12.
Later this week, the Vikings make their first road trip of the season, competing in the South Point Holiday Hoop Classic at Las Vegas, Nevada. They play Cal State San Bernardino on Saturday (3 p.m.) and Tarleton State TX on Sunday, Dec. 22 (3 p.m.).
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