Western coasts to seventh straight win, 73-64 over Cal Poly Pomona at Great Western Shootout

WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM Ira Graham
WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM
Ira Graham
WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM

Dec. 18, 2007

Box Score

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Western Washington University guard Ira Graham (Jr., Fontana, CA) was the team's leading scorer for the 11th straight game, finishing with 14 points as the Vikings defeated Cal Poly Pomona, 73-64, in first-day men's basketball action Tuesday at the Great Western Shootout being held at Centennial Hills Center.

The host Vikings improved to 7-1 with their seventh straight victory. Graham, who had 12 points in the first half, also dished out a game-high five assists.

CPP, coming off a 17-day break, fell to 1-4. The Broncos were led by guard Angelo Tsagarakis with a game-high 19 points, along with eight rebounds and four assists. Forward Larry Gordon added 15 points and grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.

Trailing 14-6 after the first eight minutes, Western finished the opening period with a 27-7 run to lead 33-21 at halftime. CPP was 2-of-12 from the field and had six turnovers during that stretch.

"We were sluggish in the beginning," said Western coach Brad Jackson, "but we got going and gained confidence as the game progressed."

Western upped that advantage to as many as 20 points twice, the last time at 43-23 with 16:14 remaining. The Vikings were ahead by 16, 72-56, with two minutes left, before CPP ended the contest with an 8-1 run.

Guard Derrick Webb (Jr., Port Orchard/Highline CC), making his first start for Western, had 13 points as did forward Steve Alford (Jr., Bakersfield, CA/Bakersfield College).

Guard Harold McAllister (So., Vancouver/Mountain View), who scored 11 points off the bench for the Vikings, ran his school-record 3-point string to eight over four games with a make at 9:47 of the first half. He missed from the arc later in the period.

McAllister, who made 2-of-3 3-pointers in the game and is 12-of-16 (75.0 percent) on the season, had tied a school record for most 3-pointers without a miss in his last outing.

Reserve forward Zach Bruce (Jr., Oceanside, CA/Highline CC) scored 10 points for Western.

The Vikings were without starting guard Andrew Ready (Jr., Chicago, IL/Westinghouse), who was suspended indefinitely Friday pending resolution of a legal matter.

Western meets Cal State San Bernardino, ranked No.6 in the latest National Association of Basketball Coaches Top 25 Poll, on Wednesday at 5 p.m. CSUSB won the first meeting between the two teams, 74-68, at the Seattle Pacific Tip-Off Classic.

Sluggish Cal Poly falls in tournament

By Michelle Gardner, Staff Writer, The San Bernardino Sun

LAS VEGAS - Cal Poly Pomona coach Greg Kamansky wasn't quite sure whether the 17-day layoff would help or hurt his team heading into the Great Western Shootout. It didn't take him long to find out.

The Broncos were soundly beaten by Western Washington 73-64 Tuesday at the Centennial Hills Center in a game that wasn't as close as the score indicates. They will be looking for a better outcome in today's 2 p.m. game against Central Washington.

"We just got thrashed from top to bottom," Kamansky said. "They were the better team, no doubt about it.

"We went completely blank on offense. We did that against San Francisco State, we did it against Vanguard and we did it again tonight."

The Broncos (1-4) led early at 14-8, but that lead lasted only seven minutes. The Vikings pulled even when junior center Zach Bruce scored inside to tie the game at 19. The Vikings (7-1) took the lead for good moments later on a putback by junior forward Calin Schell.

Western Washington, which has won seven straight games since losing its season opener to Cal State San Bernardino, led 23-19 when Kevin Neveau scored inside with 6:12 left in the half to cut the deficit to two, 23-21.

But the Vikings reeled off the last 10 points of the half and the first eight of the second half, going up 41-21 on a baseline jumper by Derrick Webb. The Broncos' scoring drought of 9:35 finally ended on two free throws by Larry Gordon, but they were never in striking distance again.

Western Washington, out of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, maintained a double-digit lead most of the second half.

The Broncos didn't get within single digits until Gordon hit a pair of free throws with 30 seconds left.

Cal Poly Pomona shot 42.6 percent (23-for-54), but managed just 36 percent (9-for-25) in the first half.

Angelo Tsagarakis had a team-high 19 points, including three 3-pointers. He also snagged eight rebounds and had four assists. Gordon added 15 points and 10 rebounds, but all of his points and seven of his boards came in the second half.

Kamansky cited the layoff for the sluggish performance.

"I hate to use that as an excuse but we definitely looked like we haven't played in two weeks," he said. "Our schedule has been erratic and we just haven't been able to get in a rhythm."

Western Washington, which shot 47.4 percent (27-for-57), was sparked by a local product, as former Fontana High standout Ira Graham tallied 14 points, 12 of those in the first half. He also collected five assists and a steal.

Graham, who leads the GNAC in scoring, admits that he likes playing against the local teams.