No.5 WWU rolls past Central Oklahoma, 103-74, at South Point Classic
Dec. 19, 2012
LAS VEGAS, Nevada - Guard John Allen (Sr., Brier/Mountlake Terrace) scored a season-high 32 points, leading Western Washington University to a 103-74 victory over University of Central Oklahoma in final-day men's basketball action Wednesday at the 2012 South Point Holiday Hoops Classic held at The Arena at South Point.
The defending NCAA Division II national champion Vikings, ranked No.5 in this week's National Association of Basketball Coaches Top 25 Poll, improved to 9-0 and the win was their 15th straight over the last two seasons. Those two strings are both the second-longest in school history.
UCO, which fell to 3-7, was led by the 20 points and seven rebounds of forward Josh Gibbs.
The Vikings led by just four, 34-30, with six minutes left in the first half, but ran off 14 straight points, including a trio of 3-pointers by Rico Wilkins (Sr., Dallas, TX/DeSoto), to open up a 48-30 lead with 3:06 remaining. WWU, which hit nine of its last 13 3-point attempts in the period, held a 55-37 lead at halftime.
The margin was never less than 17 in the second half, with the biggest gap being 34, at 95-61, with 5:49 remaining.
Allen, who played just 25 minutes, was 9-of-13 from the field, including 6-of-9 on 3-pointers, and 8-of-9 on free throws. He had 20 points, going 7-of-9 from the field, in the first half, when WWU shot 56.7 percent (17-of-30) from the field, including 10-of-17 (58.8 percent) on 3-pointers.
"When John gets everyone involved, that's when he's at his best," said WWU first-year head coach Tony Dominguez (previously was Viking assistant for 17 seasons). "He's probably one of the best shooters in the country when he's open."
Forward Paul Jones (Sr., Kent/Kent-Meridian) had 18 points on 6-of-9 field- goal shooting for the Vikings, and Wilkins added 13 points as all 12 WWU players scored.
The Vikings had a 45-31 rebound advantage with forward Austin Bragg (Jr., Longview/Mark Morris) grabbing a game-high 10.
WWU's 15-game winning streak matches one that ran from Nov. 25, 2005 to Jan. 26, 2006. The school record is 23, from Feb. 20, 1971 to Feb. 15, 1972
The 9-0 start for the Vikings, who defeated No.14 Drury 72-69 on Tuesday, matches 9-0 starts in 1967-68 and 1987-88. The longest string of victories at the start of a season is 21 in 1971-72.
WWU plays host to Thompson Rivers University BC in a non-conference game Sunday (3 p.m.), Dec. 30, at Sam Carver Gymnasium.
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