WEEKLY RELEASE: Western entertains Seattle Pacific on Saturday following road game Thursday at Northwest Nazarene
Jan. 11, 2009
BELLINGHAM, Wash. -
UPDATE: Having swept a three-game homestand, the Western Washington University men's basketball team begins Great Northwest Athletic Conference play in earnest this week.
The 9-2 Vikings travel to Northwest Nazarene on Thursday (6:30 p.m. MT), then return home Saturday (7 p.m.) to meet Seattle Pacific on Haggen Court at Sam Carver Gymnasium.
Western, 7-0 at home this season, opened GNAC play last Thursday with a 72-67 win over Montana State Billings. The Vikings followed that with a 110-32 thrashing of non-conference foe Golden State Baptist on Saturday.
The 32 points scored by Golden State Baptist were the lowest total allowed by Western since the introduction of the shot clock in the 1985-86 season, and the fewest in any game since the 1961-62 campaign.
Coach Brad Jackson's (24th year, 433-253) squad is averaging 91.3 points per game on 50.8 percent (391-of-769) field-goal accuracy and is giving up an average of just 66.2 points. All those figures lead the GNAC as well as the Vikings' average scoring margin of plus 25.1 points and rebound margin of plus 11.8.
Western junior point guard Morris Anderson ranks among the top 10 nationally and leads the conference in both assists and steals with respective averages of 7.5 and 3.3, while also averaging 10.5 points and 5.0 rebounds. Anderson's assist rate is the best since the 1975-76 season when Dave Wood averaged a school-record 8.0 per contest. Anderson has paced the team in assists in nine straight contests and 10 of 11 overall.
Leading five Vikings averaging double-figure points is senior guard Ira Graham, a first-team GNAC all-star last season who is scoring at a 16.5 clip.
Senior swingman Steve Alford is averaging 12.3 points on 45.5 percent (20-of-44) 3-point accuracy, and senior center Calin Schell is averaging 11.3 points on 61.7 percent (50-of-81) field-goal shooting and grabbing a team-leading 7.2 rebounds per contest. Nearly half (39) of his 79 boards have come on the offensive end.
Junior forward Michael Duty is averaging 10.3 points and 5.6 rebounds, and senior post-player David Brittinen is averaging 7.3 points on team-leading 66.0 (33-of-50) floor accuracy. Brittinen is one of eight Western players hitting 50 percent or better from the field.
Northwest Nazarene is off to a 9-3 start, having a five-game winning streak snapped with a two-point (88-86) loss at Alaska Fairbanks on Saturday. The Crusaders are 1-1 in league action and 5-1 at home.
Northwest Nazarene, coached by Tim Hills (4th year, 48-45; 30th overall, 489-439), is led by four returnees each scoring over 10 points a game. They are 6-foot-7 junior forward Kendall Gielow (13.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg), 6-2 junior guard Louie Beech (13.7 ppg, 48.3 3-pt. percentage, 28-of-58), 6-10 sophomore center Brian Barkdoll (12.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg) and 6-0 senior guard Joel Ryman (10.4 ppg).
Beech and Gielow are two of three returning starters for the Crusaders.
Seattle Pacific is 9-4 overall (Jan. 15 at Central Washington), opening GNAC play last week with a pair of home wins over nationally No.13-ranked Saint Martin's, 92-84, snapping the Saints' 11-game winning streak, and Montana State Billings, 82-79.
Five Falcons are scoring in double figures, led by 6-1 sophomore guard Chris Banchero (15.7 ppg). The rest of that veteran quintet includes 6-0 junior guard Brandon Larrieu (13.1 ppg), 6-5 senior forward Casey Reed (11.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg), 6-4 sophomore forward Jeff Downs (11.7 ppg) and 6-8 junior forward Rob Diederichs (10.6 ppg, 4.3 apg).
A top newcomer for coach Jeff Hironaka (6th year, 124-61) is 6-9 junior center Rafeal Moreira (8.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg) from Brasilia, Brazil, a transfer from Eastern Utah.
Jan. 15 (Thu.) at Northwest Nazarene* (Nampa, Id. - 6:30 p.m. MT) Jan. 17 (Sat.) SEATTLE PACIFIC*# (CARVER GYM - 7 p.m.) Jan. 24 (Sat.) at Central Washington*# (Ellensburg - 7 p.m.)
THREE-DOT NOTES: The Vikings were among others receiving votes in last week's National Association of Basketball Coaches/NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll ... Western holds a 15-5 series advantage over Northwest Nazarene, winning the last three meetings. The Vikings trail 70-44 in their series with Seattle Pacific, losing the last six meetings ... Three WWU players burned up the nets during the recent three-game home stand. Alford was 20-of-24 (80.4 percent) from the field, including 9-of 11 from 3-point range; Schell 16-of-20 (80.0) and Brittinen 15-of-20 (75.0) ... Western grabbed 76 rebounds against Multnomah on Jan. 3, setting a GNAC record and coming within two of the school record established against Oregon Tech on 2/6/71 ... Reserve redshirt freshman forward Chris Mitchell will miss the rest of the season because of a stress fracture in his right foot ... Anderson's 13 assists versus Northwest on Nov. 29 were the most by a Viking since Dec. 2, 1989, when Manny Kimmie had 15 in a 116-56 triumph over Northwest ... Graham has a four-year career total of 1,132 points, 14th among WWU career leaders, and needs 57 more to move into 13th place.
COACH JACKSON: Brad Jackson is in his 24th year and is the most successful men's coach in school history, both in total wins (433-253) and winning percentage (.631). He ranks No.19 among active NCAA II coaches in victories and No.35 in winning percentage. In 2001, Jackson directed Western to a 27-4 record and the semifinals of the NCAA II National Championship, being named NABC/NCAA II West Region, Northwest small college and Pacific West Conference Coach of the Year. Five times named district/region Coach of the Year, Jackson has directed Western to 16 post-season playoff appearances, including district/region/conference championships and national tournament appearances in 1988, 1994, 2001, 2005 and 2006. He has had nine 20-win campaigns (1986-90, 1993-94, 2000-01, 2001-02, 2004-05, 2005-06).
RADIO BROADCASTS: Selected Western games are being broadcast this season on KBAI Radio (930 AM) with Doug Lange handling the play-by-play and Mark Scholten providing the color commentary. They also can be heard on the internet at www.wwuvikings.com.
ON THE WEB: For up-to-date statistics, box scores of every game, records, stories, etc., see the Western Athletic web page at www.wwuvikings.com. Up-to-date league standings and statistics can be found on the Great Northwest Athletic Conference web page at www.gnacsports.com. Some Viking home games are being video streamed live at www.justin.tv/vikingtv.
PROBABLE WESTERN STARTERS & TOP RESERVES:
G Ira Graham, 6-2, ***Sr., Fontana, CA/Fontana G Morris Anderson, 6-3, Jr.-JC, Federal Way, WA/Federal Way/Highline CC C Calin Schell, 6-7, ***Sr., Chelan, WA/Chelan F David Brittinen, 6-7, ***Sr., Hoquiam, WA/Hoquiam F Steve Alford, 6-5, *Sr., Bakersfield, CA/South/Bakersfield CollegeGAME SUMMARIES:
Nov. 17 - WESTERN 109, Cascade 69 at Bellingham
Graham scored a game-high 20 points to lead six Vikings in double-figure scoring as Western opened its season with a 109-69 victory over Cascade on Haggen Court at Carver Gym. Anderson finished just short of a triple-double with 12 points, 10 assists, eight rebounds and five steals. Brittinen added 16 points off the bench, hitting all seven of his shots from the field. Cascade, a NAIA school, fell to 4-1. Forward Jared Mace and guard Ben Pawlak each had 14 points for the Thunderbirds. Cascade held a 9-5 lead a little over three minutes into the game, but Western ran off the next 10 points to go in front 15-9 and led the rest of the way. The Vikings closed the first half with a 12-3 run and led 59-33 at halftime. Western's biggest lead was 49 points, 107-58, with 4:34 to play. The Vikings shot 54.9 percent (45-of-82) from the field, and had a 53-30 advantage in rebounds. Duty had 14 points, Alford added 13, and Schell contributed 12.
Nov. 21 - WESTERN 73, Cal State San Bernardino 67 at Seattle
Graham tallied 20 points and all three frontcourt starters also scored in double figures as Western claimed a 73-67 victory over Cal State San Bernardino in the opening game of the Seattle Pacific Tip-Off Classic at Royal Brougham Pavilion. CSUSB, the defending co-champion of the California Collegiate Athletic Association, fell to 1-1. Devin Montgomery came off the bench to score 20 points for the Roadrunners. The Vikings, who led 32-30 at halftime, had a 43-39 lead with 14 minutes left, then went on a 10-2 run, with Duty scoring the last eight points, to take a 53-41 advantage with 11:42 to play. The margin reached 14 at 61-47 with seven minutes left, but the Roadrunners scored the next nine points to close the gap to five, 61-56, on a tip-in by Montgomery with 4:42 to play. The gap was five on three more occasions, but didn't get below that until the final minute, and was never closer than four. Duty had 17 points for Western, which shot 49.2 percent (29-of-59) from the field despite making just 1-of-10 3-point attempts. Schell had 14 points and game highs of nine rebounds and five assists, and Vanderjagt contributed 12 points. The Roadrunners shot 44.1 percent (26-of-59) from the field and had 24 turnovers. Western had 25 turnovers, but did have a 36-32 advantage in rebounds.
Nov. 22 - WESTERN 71, MARY ND 64 at Seattle
Schell scored a game-high 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds as Western overcame a nine-point first-half deficit and defeated Mary ND, 71-64, in a final-day contest at the Seattle Pacific Tip-Off Classic at Royal Brougham Pavilion. Anderson and Graham each had 11 points for Western, which improved to 3-0. Anderson also added seven rebounds and six assists. Graham became the 21st player in school history to reach the 1,000-point mark in career scoring. Mary, which fell to 0-3, was led by the 19 points of guard Geoff West. Mary held a 26-17 lead after a layup and free throw by Jason West with 7:47 left in the first half, but Western used a 7-2 run to close the margin to two, 28-26 on a basket by Graham. The Vikings were still down two at halftime, 37-35, and were behind by two, 48-46, with 13 minutes left, before running off nine straight points, four of them by Schell, to take a 55-48 lead with 8:46 to play. The lead was never less than five points after that as Western preserved the margin by making 11-of-12 free throws in the last six minutes. Western was 0-of-9 on 3-pointers, marking the first time since Jan. 11, 2003, the Vikings failed to make a 3-pointer, a span of 157 games. The last occurrence was also a victory on the same court, an 83-76 triumph over Seattle Pacific. Overall, Western shot 45.3 percent (24-of-53) from the field. Mary shot 40.6 percent (26-of-64), including just 35.3 percent (12-of-34) in the second half. Schell was 6-of-10 from the field and 9-of-14 at the free throw line.
Nov. 24 - WESTERN 125, Walla Walla 69 at Bellingham
Graham scored a game-high 22 points to lead seven Western players in double figures as the Vikings rolled to a 125-69 victory over Walla Walla on Haggen Court at Carver Gym. The Vikings had a 60-24 rebound advantage. They outscored Walla Walla, 78-20, in the paint, 48-6 in the first half. It was an exhibition contest for Walla Walla, which had lost its first eight counting games. The Wolves were led by the 15 points of Jonny Long. Western broke the game open with a 23-2 run during a five-minute stretch in the first half that gave the Vikings a 28-point advantage, 41-13, with 10:15 left in the period. Graham and Vanderjagt each scored eight points during that stretch. The Vikings closed out the half with an 11-3 run over the last 2:40 for a 67-27 advantage at halftime. Western never led by less than 46 in the second half, reaching the century mark with 7:53 to go on a jumper by Wiederkehr that made the score 101-48. The Vikings' biggest lead was 61 points on two occasions in the last three minutes. Wiederkehr scored 17 points and Vanderjagt added 14, hitting his first six field goals and finishing 6-of-7. Alford and Blanche each had 13 points for Western, Severson 11 and Mitchell 10. Every Western player had at least two rebounds, with Severson and Mitchell leading with seven each. The Vikings hit 55.7 percent (49-of-88) from the floor to 35.5 percent (22-of-62) for Walla Walla. The Wolves made 82.6 percent of their free throws, 19-of-23.
Nov. 28 - WESTERN 79, Cameron 71 at Bellingham
Graham scored a game-high 21 points as Western opened up a 19-point lead then survived a late rally to defeat Cameron OK, 79-71, at Carver Gym. Cameron, which was led by the 19 points of guard Dylan Gilliam, slipped to 2-1. Western held a 48-29 lead with 15:31 to play, but the Aggies used a 16-3 run to close the margin to six, 55-49, with 11 minutes left. Cameron eventually narrowed the gap to two, 68-66, on a layin by forward Kallan Glasgow with 3:54 left, but the Vikings then put the game away by scoring the next seven points to take a 75-66 advantage with 1:55 to play. Severson keyed the decisive charge, getting a rebound and feeding Alford for a layin to start the run, then hitting a 3-pointer on the following possession. He also had a defensive rebound and a steal in that stretch. Alford had 15 points and a team-high eight rebounds for Western. Anderson had 14 points and a game-high seven assists, and Severson had 10 points and three steals. Glasgow had 15 points and 11 rebounds for Cameron and guard Greg Morgan had 14 points and six assists. The Aggies had a 41-39 edge in rebounds, with center Jamaar Burke grabbing a game-high 12. Western had just seven turnovers, matching the lowest total in the last five seasons. The Vikings also blocked 10 shots, with Schell swatting three.
Nov. 29 - WESTERN 96, Northwest 76 at Bellingham
Anderson had 17 points and 13 assists as Western defeated Northwest, 96-76, at Carver Gym. Graham also had 17 points for the Vikings. Center Greg George had a game-high 22 points for Northwest. The game was a non-counting exhibition game for the NAIA-affiliated Eagles, who have a 5-3 mark in counting contests. Anderson's 13 assists were the most for a Viking in a single game since Dec. 2, 1989, when Manny Kimmie had 15 in a 116-56 triumph over Northwest. Anderson also had five steals. Western took control early, using an 18-2 run to take a 30-14 lead with 8:42 left in the first half and holding a 41-29 advantage at halftime. Western never led by less than 12 points in the second half and was ahead by at least 20 for all of the last 13 minutes. Alford came off the bench to score 14 points for the Vikings, who shot 59.7 percent (37-of-62) from the field, including 66.7 percent (22-of-33) in the second half. Duty and Brittinen each had 10 points. Eddie Coulson, who played at Western in the 2006-07 season, had 13 points for Northwest, and forward Greg Peters grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds.
Dec. 15 - Dixie State 86, WESTERN 84 2OT at St. George, UT
Guard Ben Hartman scored a layup with 0.7 seconds remaining in the second overtime, giving Dixie State an 86-84 upset win over Western in a non-conference game at Burns Arena. The Vikings had turned the ball over with 12.2 seconds remaining on a five-second call. They were led by Duty with 20 points, nine rebounds and a game-high five steals; and Anderson, who had 18 points, a game-high eight assists and four steals. Dixie State, playing its home opener, improved to 2-5. Center Nick Howard, making his first start, responded with a game-high 21 points, 13 in the first half, and guard Ryan Sanchez had 17 points, a game-high 10 rebounds and five assists. Schell gave Western an 84-82 lead on a basket with 1:57 remaining in the second extra period. Sanchez tied the game for Dixie State at 84-84 on two free throws with 1:42 to go and following the Vikings' turnover assisted on Hartman's winning basket. Trailing by six points, 62-56, with 5:57 remaining in regulation, Western used a 14-3 run to lead by five, 70-65, with 2:19 to go. The Vikings led by four, 74-70, after two Anderson free throws at 0:27, but a rebound basket by Dixie State's Andy Palmer cut the margin to two and Sanchez tied the game at 74-all on a layup with 2.5 seconds left. Sanchez was fouled on the play but missed the free throw, sending the game into overtime. Dixie State scored the first four points in the first extra period, but free throws by Schell and Anderson and a field goal by Duty with 22 seconds remaining tied the game at 78-78. Graham had a chance to win it at the buzzer, but missed from 18-feet. Palmer scored 16 points for Dixie State, which closed the first period with a 15-5 run to lead 39-35 at the halftime, and forward Dalton Groskreutz had 10.
Dec. 19 - Cal Poly Pomona 73, WESTERN 60 at Las Vegas, NV
Western scored just 18 points in the second half as it fell 73-60 to Cal Poly Pomona at the Doolittle Community Center in the only game of the third annual Great Western Shootout. The Vikings were led by Graham's 17 points. Alford came off the bench with 12 points, all in the first half. Preseason All-America forward Larry Gordon scored a game-high 26 points for CPP, which improved to 4-2, making 8-of-11 field goals, including two 3-pointers, and 8-of-9 free throws. He also had eight rebounds, five steals and three assists. Western led by one, 47-46, four minutes into the second half before the Broncos went on a 17-3 run over the next nine minutes for their biggest lead of 15 points, 64-49, with 7:03 remaining. The Vikings, who shot 23.3 percent (7-of-30) from the field in the second period, never got closer than nine after that. Schell had eight points and a game-high 12 rebounds for Western. CPP had three players, besides Gordon, score double-digit points. Guard Walter Thompson had 12, forward Austin Swift 11 and guard Dahir Nasser 10. The Broncos shot 49.1 percent (26-of-53) from the field and converted 17-of-20 (85.0 percent) free throws. Western hit just 36.1 percent (22-of-61) from the floor, making only 6-of-22 3-point attempts, and was just 10-of-18 (55.6 percent) at the line. CPP led 17-7 after the first seven minutes of the first half, but the Vikings had a 28-11 run over the next 9:30 to lead 35-28 with 3:39 left in the period. They were still up by seven, 42-35, with 1:02 left, but a jumper by Swift and a 3-pointer at the buzzer by Gordon cut their lead to two, 42-40, at halftime. A rare winter storm hit Southern Nevada on Wednesday, dumping as much as seven inches of snow, the most in nearly 30 years. That grounded flights at the Las Vegas airport, and forced closure of many major highways. Cal State Stanislaus withdrew from the tournament, which was scheduled to begin Thursday, and CPP was not able to get to Las Vegas until Thursday evening. That meant no games for the other tourney participant, Central Washington, which was in town after playing at Dixie State on Monday.
Jan. 3 - WESTERN 125, Multnomah 54 at Bellingham
Western held Multnomah to just two points over the first 12 minutes and rolled to a 125-54 victory in a non-conference game at Carver Gym. The Vikings, who snapped a two-game losing streak, improved to 7-2. Alford came off the bench to score a career-high 24 points for Western, going 9-of-10 from the field, and also had a game-high 10 rebounds. He was 4-of-5 on 3-pointers, all in the first half. The contest was an exhibition game for Multnomah, located in Portland, Ore. The Lions, who are 4-11 in counting games, were led by the 16 points of forward Tyler Yates. Forward Nicholaas Kamlade had 11 points and five assists. Western led 45-2 just over 13 minutes into the game. Multnomah missed 23 of its first 24 shots, getting its only field goal of that stretch when Kamlade made a layin off a drive from the left baseline 3:16 into the game. The Vikings, who held a 65-14 lead at halftime, shot 58.3 percent (49-of-84) from the field and had a 76-24 advantage in rebounds, the board total being a GNAC record and two short of the school standard. Six Western players scored in double figures. Graham had 21 points, 16 of them in the first seven minutes. Schell had 17 points, Blanche 15, Brittinen 12 and Severson 11. Anderson contributed five points, seven rebounds, seven assists and two steals to the Vikings' cause.
Jan. 8 - WESTERN 72, Montana State Billings 67 at Bellingham
Schell scored a team-high 17 points and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds as Western overcame not hitting a field goal in the final five minutes and defeated Montana State Billings, 72-67, in its GNAC opener at Carver Gym. MSU Billings fell to 5-7. Guard Michael Hall led the Yellowjackets with a game-high 23 points, and center Derrick Wright added 19. Western held a 66-54 lead after a short jump shot by Duty with 5:11 to play. The Vikings didn't make another shot from the field after that, and MSU Billings closed to within one, 68-67, on a Hall 3-pointer with 44 seconds left. But Anderson hit four free throws in the final 21 seconds and also had a key defensive rebound to preserve the victory. The Vikings got strong performances off the bench from Alford and Brittinen. Alford had 15 points and seven rebounds on 5-of-8 field goal shooting, and Brittinen had 13 points while hitting 6-of-8 shots. The Yellowjackets led the first seven minutes of the game and had a 19-18 advantage with 11:49 left in the first half, but the Vikings then ran off 11 straight point to take a 31-21 lead with 7:09 remaining in the period and never trailed again. Western held a 42-38 lead at halftime and led by as much as 16 in the second half before MSU Billings made its late run.
Jan. 10 - WESTERN 110, Golden State Baptist 32 at Bellingham
Western allowed its lowest point total in 45 years as it crushed Golden State Baptist, 110-32, in a non-conference contest at Carver Gym. Blanche came off the bench to score a game-high 17 points on 7-of-8 field-goal shooting for the Vikings. GSBC, located in Santa Clara, Calif., fell to 2-17. Guard Phil Rossi had nine points for the Bears, all on 3-pointers. The 32 points allowed were the lowest total given up by the Vikings since the introduction of the shot clock in the 1985-86 season, and the fewest in any game since the 1961-62 campaign. That season, Western defeated Saint Martin's, 46-23, then followed it up with a 56-32 triumph over Central Washington. Western scored the first 16 points of Saturday's game, and held a 63-19 lead at halftime. The Vikings shot 59.5 percent (44-of-74) from the field, and had a 46-25 advantage in rebounds. GSBC shot only 25.5 percent (13-of-51) from the field and committed 30 turnovers. Graham had 15 points for Western, which had six players in double figures. Alford and Duty each had 14 points. Anderson had 10 points and 11 assists, and Severson also had 10 points.
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