March 5, 2014
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - With a different sense of urgency than the past two years, Western Washington University has a first-round bye as the No.2 seed at this week's fourth annual Great Northwest Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Tournament being held at Marcus Pavilion on the campus of host Saint Martin's University in Lacey.
All contests involving WWU can be heard on KBAI Radio (930 AM - kbai930.com) or KPUG Radio (1170 AM - 1170kpug.com with Doug Lange and Mark Scholten calling the action. Video streams and live stats are also available at wwuvikings.com.
The Vikings, 19-7 overall, were the conference runner-up at 13-5. They meet Alaska Fairbanks, which defeated Montana State Billings, 69-59, in an opening-round game, on Thursday at 5:15 p.m. The winner of that contest advances to the title game Saturday at 5:15 p.m.
The GNAC tournament champion earns an automatic berth at the NCAA Division II West Regional on March 14-15, 17 at a site to be determined.
In 2012 and 2013, WWU was the No.1 seed after winning regular-season championships. But each time the Vikings were assured a regional berth and had a good chance of being the regional host no matter what they did at the conference tourney.
The scenario is different this year.
WWU remained No.7 in this week's regional poll despite losing 88-85 in its regular-season finale at Western Oregon. A loss in the GNAC semifinals could put a third straight regional appearance for the Vikings in jeopardy.
In each of the last two years, WWU went on to take NCAA II West Regional titles and win 31 games, capturing the national championship in 2012 and reaching the national semifinals in 2013.
Despite the regional and national success, the Vikings have won just one of four contests during the first three years of the GNAC tournament. The victory came last year, 61-43 over Alaska Fairbanks, in the semifinals. They then lost 72-70 to No.2 seed Seattle Pacific on a 28-foot 3-pointer with 0.3 seconds left.
In 2011, WWU lost a first-round contest, 77-75, to Northwest Nazarene, and in 2012, dropped a semifinal decision, 72-68, to Montana State Billings.
So, the Vikings' three losses at the GNAC tourney have been by a total of eight points.
A win Thursday would give WWU its third straight 20-win season and Tony Dominguez would become the first coach in school history to reach the 20-win plateau in each of his first two seasons.
The Vikings, who were victorious 80-56 last Thursday at Saint Martin's, have won nine of their last 12 games. The three losses during that stretch have been by one point in overtime and twice by three points.
WWU began its season with eight straight home victories, the biggest a 72-69 win over nationally No.1 Metro State on Nov. 30, before losing four of its next six contests.
Four of WWU's six losses this season have been to teams currently ranked among the top 25 nationally. They were to No.5 Tarleton State, No.12 Cal State San Bernardino and twice to No. 18 Seattle Pacific.
Cal State San Bernardino topped Wednesday's West Regional rating. Cal Poly Pomona was No.2, Cal Baptist No.3, Seattle Pacific No.4, Dixie State No.5, Chico State No.6, WWU No.7, Dominican No.8, Cal State Stanislaus No.9 and San Francisco State No.10.
NCAA II AND GNAC STATS: WWU ranks sixth nationally among NCAA II schools in blocked shots per game at 5.7 and is seventh in total blocks with 147.
The Vikings are 11th in 3-point field-goal percentage defense at 29.8, 15th in scoring offense at 87.3 and 20th in field-goal percentage at 49.6.
WWU tops the GNAC in scoring offense (87.3), 3-point percentage defense (29.8), blocks (5.7) and offensive rebounds (13.5).
WOODWORTH A WONDER: Over the last eight games, senior guard Richard Woodworth, a first-team GNAC all-star, has averaged 20.4 points and 5.0 assists, shooting 45.0 percent (18-of-40) from 3-point range and 82.8 percent (48-of-58) at the free throw line.
On the season, Woodworth is averaging 17.5 points per game and is shooting team-bests of 41.3 percent (38-of-92) from 3-point range and 82.7 percent (124-of-150) at the free throw line. He scored a career-high 33 points at Simon Fraser on Feb. 8.
Woodworth became the 24th Viking to reach 1,000 points in a career while scoring 24 against Alaska Anchorage on Jan. 2. His current point total of 1,250 ranks 16th (needs one point to be 15th) and he is 13th in assists at 338.
Woodworth was named to the national all-tournament team in 2012 when WWU won the NCAA II national championship and was the West Regional Most Outstanding Player in 2013 when the Vikings reached the national semifinals.
Woodworth hit a buzzer beater from beyond half court in a dramatic 94-91 win over arch-rival Central Washington on Feb. 22 (Video of shot has received over 31,000 hits on YouTube) . He scored the Vikings' last 13 points, nine in the final 20 seconds, as they rallied from a six-point deficit with 1:05 to go.
BRAGG'IN RIGHTS: Senior center Austin Bragg, a first-team GNAC all-star, ranks among the top four in the GNAC in five categories. He leads in rebounds at 9.0 per game, while being second in both blocks at 1.8 and offensive rebounds at 3.2, and fourth in both field-goal percentage at 60.2 (165-of-274) and scoring at 17.5.
On Feb. 1 in a 99-76 home victory over Alaska Anchorage, Bragg had the second triple-double in school history and only the third in GNAC history, finishing with 13 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. He tops the GNAC in double-doubles this season with 11 after leading the conference last year with eight.
Bragg has earned conference POW honors twice this season and three times during his two-year career at WWU after transferring from Clark CC. His first POW honor this season was when he had 20 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks in a win over nationally No.1-ranked Metro State on Nov. 30, and his second award came after the Vikings swept a two-game home stand with Alaska Fairbanks and Alaska Anchorage.
Bragg has scored double-figure points in 25 games this season. In WWU's win over Central Washington on Feb. 22, he scored a career-high 32 points. On Jan. 11, Bragg had 30 points and a career-high 17 rebounds against Simon Fraser.
PURE PARKER: Redshirt freshman forward Jeffrey Parker has averaged 17.4 points over the last eight games. During that span, he has shot 51.5 percent (52-of-101) from the field, including 46.7 percent (21-of-45) from 3- point range.
Parker has scored double-figure points in 14 games, with a high of 25 against Northwest Nazarene on Feb. 20. His top rebounding effort was 10 at Montana State Billings on Feb. 13.
On the season, Parker is averaging 11.5 points and hitting 41.3 percent (50-of-121) from beyond the arc.
TURNER TERRIFIC: Junior forward Anye Turner ranks third among GNAC leaders in blocks at 1.6 per game, sixth in rebounds at 7.5, and ninth in field-goal shooting at 56.0 (84-of-150).
On the season, he is averaging 9.0 points and has had four double-doubles. Turner grabbed 20 rebounds in a win over Thompson Rivers on Dec. 17, tying the most by a WWU player since 2003 and five short of the school record.
POINT MAN HARRIS, JR: Senior point guard Robert Harris, Jr., has scored double figures in seven of his last 11 games and 14 times overall this season after transferring from NCAA I Idaho.
NABC TOP 25 POLL: After a three-week absence, WWU returned to the NABC/NCAA II Top 25 Poll on Feb.11 at No.24, but has not been listed since then. On Jan. 21, WWU fell out of the ranking for the first time since Jan. 10, 2012. That snapped a school-record streak of 31national poll appearances.
GNAC Tournament - Marcus Pavilion - Lacey, WA (Host Saint Martin's University)
Wednesday, March 5
#3 Alaska Fairbanks 69 vs. #6 Montana State Billings (12-15) 59
Game 2 #4 Alaska Anchorage (17-13) 88 vs. #5 Western Oregon 94
Thursday, March 6
Game 3 #2 Western Washington (19-7) vs. Alaska Fairbanks (18-9) - 5:15 p.m.%
Game 4 #1 Seattle Pacific (24-5) vs. Western Oregon (18-11) - 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 8
Game 5 Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4 - 5:15 p.m.
NCAA Division II West Regional (Site to be determined), March 14-15, 17
*Great Northwest Athletic Conference contest #broadcast on KBAI Radio (930 AM) and on internet at wwuvikings.com %broadcast on KPUG Radio (1170 AM) and on internet at wwuvikings.com
ALASKA FAIRBANKS: The Nanooks are 18-9 overall after beating Montana State Billings, 69-59, in a tourney opening-round game Wednesday, and placed third in the GNAC standings at 12-6. Second in the conference in both scoring defense (67.1 avg.-30th nationally) and steals (7.9), they have won three straight games and five of their last six. UAF is led by two returning starters from last year's 16-12 team, 6-11 senior center Sergej Pucar (11.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg) and 6-3 senior guard Ronnie Baker (14.5 ppg, 3.9 rpg). Another top returnee is 6-7 senior forward Andrew Kelly (12.7 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 64.4 FG Pct., 143-222, 12th nationally). Kelly was named 2013-14 GNAC Defensive Player of the Year and he and Baker received second-team all-conference honors. A solid transfer for coach Mick Durham (3rd year, 39-44; 19th overall, 285-257) is 6-3 junior guard Joe Slocum (10.6 ppg, 4.2 apg, 2.0 spg-2nd GNAC) from City College of San Francisco. WWU, which lost 65-61 at UAF on Jan. 4, holds a 25-10 series advantage. Last year, the Nanooks snapped a school-record 30-game WWU winning streak with a 77-73 win at Fairbanks. That also ended an 11-game series victory string for the Vikings.
SEATTLE PACIFIC: The Falcons, who have made nine straight NCAA tournament appearances, the longest current string of any Division II school, are ranked No.18 nationally, 24-5 overall and won the regular-season GNAC crown at 15-3. They lead the GNAC in field goal shooting (50.8 percent, 9th nationally) and 3-point accuracy (43.6, 1st nationally). SPU, which has won 13 of its last 14 games, is led by 2013-14 GNAC Player of the Year 6-2 senior guard David Downs (20.1 ppg, 4.7 apg, 50.6 FG Pct., 87.7 FT Pct., 47.5 3-pt. Pct., 75-of-158, 7th nationally), 6-4 junior guard Riley Stockton (8.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 4.0 apg, 1.3 spg), and first-team GNAC all-star 6-8 senior forward Patrick Simon (16.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 53.6 3-pt. Pct., 75-of-140, 1st nationally). Two other solid returnees are 6-8 junior center Cory Hutsen (11.1 ppg, 52.8 FG Pct.) and 6-5 sophomore forward Mitch Penner (9.0 ppg, 55.5 FG Pct.). A top newcomer for GNAC Coach of the Year Ryan Looney (5th year, 116-33; 10th overall, 211-88) has been 6-5 junior forward Matt Borton (7.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg), a transfer from NCAA I Idaho. Last year, SPU finished 27-4, won the GNAC Tournament title and reached the West Regional final for the second straight season where it again lost to WWU. WWU trails 79-51 in the series, losing both meetings this season. SPU won 76-60 at Bellingham on Jan. 15, snapping the Vikings' school-record 36-game home court winning streak, and prevailed 91-88 on Feb. 15 at Seattle. SPU was the preseason favorite of the GNAC coaches and ranked No.1 nationally in The Sporting News pre-season ranking and No.3 in the Division II Bulletin pre-season rating.
SEASON HIGHLIGHTS TO DATE:
Nov. 19 - Tied school record with 19-point, second-half comeback in 80-74 win over BYU Hawaii.
Nov. 30 - Defeated nationally No.1-ranked Metro State, 72-69, a program first over a top-ranked opponent.
Dec. 5 - Woodworth hit two free throws with 1.9 seconds remaining as WWU began GNAC play with a 67-66 win over Western Oregon
Dec. 14 - School record set for combined points with 228 in 140-88 win over Multnomah. WWU fell one short of school record for most points in a game (141-52 vs. Northwest on Feb. 3, 1989, and just shy of mark for best field-goal percentage (66.7, 58-87), set on Jan. 3, 1989 (69.8 vs. Grace IN)
Dec. 17 - Turner grabbed 20 rebounds, most by a Viking player since 2003, and five shy of the school record in 99-74 victory over Thompson Rivers BC.
Jan. 2 - Woodworth reaches 1,000-point mark in career scoring with 24 points and Bragg had game highs of 25 points and 12 rebounds in 104-89 win at Alaska Anchorage.
Jan. 11 - Bragg and Turner combined for 52 points, 32 rebounds and five blocked shots in 82-69 win over Simon Fraser.
Jan. 30 - WWU defeats Alaska Fairbanks, 53-51, the fewest points by the Vikings in a win since a 53-47 victory over Lewis-Clark State on Feb. 22, 1983, and a 47-43 triumph over Montana Tech on Jan. 2, 1981.
Feb. 1 - Bragg posted just the second triple-double (13 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists) in school history and WWU made 16-of-27 3-pointers (59.3 percent) in a 99-76 win over Alaska Anchorage.
Feb. 8 - Woodworth scored a career-high 33 points in an 84-83 win at Simon Fraser.
Feb. 22 - Woodworth scored WWU's last 13 points, eight in the final 20 seconds capped by a buzzer-beating shot from just beyond half court as the Vikings rallied from a six-point deficit with 1:05 remaining for a dramatic 94-91 win over arch-rival Central Washington on Senior Night at Carver Gym. Bragg had a career-high 32 points for WWU.
THREE-DOT NOTES: The Vikings are shooting 68.0 percent (485-of-713) at the free-throw line this season, the only team in the GNAC under 70 percent ... WWU's 53 points scored against Alaska Fairbanks (53-51) on Jan. 20 were the fewest by the Vikings in a win since a 53-47 victory over Lewis-Clark State on Feb. 22, 1983; and a 47-43 triumph over Montana Tech on Jan. 2, 1981... WWU finished 14-1 at home this season, and has won 41 of its last 42 games at Carver Gym. The Vikings had a school-record 36-game home win streak snapped by Seattle Pacific, 76-60, on Jan. 15. Their biggest win at Carver Gym this season was 72-69 over then No.1-ranked Metro State CO on Nov. 30 ... WWU was named the GNAC Team of the Week for Nov. 24-30 with a 72-69 win over top-ranked Metro State, and Jan. 26-Feb. 1 for a home sweep of Alaska Fairbanks and Alaska Anchorage.
INJURIES: Anye Turner sat out the Montana State Billings game on Feb. 13 because of a dislocated big toe suffered in an 84-83 win at Simon Fraser on Feb. 8. Joey Schreiber returned to action versus Seattle Pacific on Feb.15 after missing eight games with facial fractures suffered in an 82-69 home win over Simon Fraser on Jan. 11. He had started 11 of 13 games prior to that injury.
UNMATCHED SUCCESS: WWU won the NCAA II national championship in 2012 and reached the national semifinals in 2013, posting back-to-back 31-win seasons. The Vikings have captured the last two regular-season GNAC titles, winning 33 of 36 conference games during that span. Last season, they won their first 24 games overall and finished 17-1 in league play, the best record in GNAC history.
SEEK THIRD STRAIGHT WEST REGIONAL TITLE: WWU is looking to become the first team since 1994 to win three straight West Regional titles, Cal State Bakersfield completing a five-year string that season. The only other team to win three consecutive West Region championships was UC Riverside from 1973 to 1975.
PRE-SEASON ACCOLADES: Bragg and Woodworth were pre-season GNAC all-conference picks ... WWU ranked ninth in The Sporting News Pre-season NCAA II Top 10, No.10 in the NABC Pre-season Top 25 and No.17 in the Division II Bulletin Pre-season Top 25 ... The Vikings were picked third in the GNAC Pre-season Coaches Poll, behind Seattle Pacific and Alaska Anchorage. They were not the pre-season choice in either of the last two seasons, but went on to win the national championship in 2012 and reach the national semifinals in 2013.
COACH DOMINGUEZ: Tony Dominguez (2nd year, 50-10, 83.3 percent) directed the Vikings to a 31-3 record in 2012-13, GNAC regular-season and West Regional titles, and the NCAA II national semifinals. He became the first rookie coach in NCAA II history to win his first 24 games. Dominguez was a finalist for Clarence "Big House" Gaines National Coach of the Year honors and shared the GNAC Coach of the Year award. Previously, he was an associate head coach for two seasons and an assistant 17 years overall, all at WWU. During that stretch, the Vikings posted a 317-165 (.658) record, making six regional appearances and winning five conference championships. WWU took the NCAA II national crown in 2012, winning a school record 31 games, and reached the national semifinals in 2001.
RADIO BROADCASTS: Selected WWU games are being broadcast this season on KBAI Radio (930 AM) and KPUG Radio (1170 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: All Viking home games are being video streamed live and are available free at http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/wwu.portal#. For up-to-date statistics, box scores of every game, records, stories, etc., see the WWU 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.
ROOT SPORTS: Three WWU home games were televised live on ROOT Sports (Comcast Channel 30) this season. They included Seattle Pacific on Jan. 15, Alaska Anchorage on Feb. 1 and Central Washington on Feb. 22. ROOT Sports is the home of the Seattle Mariners, Seattle Seahawks and Portland Timbers, among numerous other professional and collegiate sports teams in the Pacific Northwest. Its scope covers Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska, and the ROOT SPORTS regional networks combine to reach nine million homes across 18 states.
PROBABLE WWU STARTERS & TOP RESERVES:
G Richard Woodworth, 6-3, ***Sr., Bellevue, WA/Newport G Robert Harris Jr., 5-10, Sr., TR, Kent, WA/Rainier Beach/Eastern Arizona CC/Idaho C Austin Bragg, 6-9, *Sr., Longview, WA/Mark Morris/Clark CC F Jeffrey Parker, 6-6, R-Fr., Richmond, CA/Salesian F Anye Turner, 6-7, *Jr., Tumwater, WA/Black Hills/South Puget Sound CC
F Joey Schreiber, 6-7, R-Fr., Renton, WA/Eastside Catholic F Colby Mitchell, 6-7, Jr., JC, Chugiak, AK/Chugiak/Mount Hood CC G Dana Abe, 6-4, R-Fr., Seattle, WA/O'Dea G Dane Thorpe, 6-4, ***Sr., Bellingham, WA/Sehome F Robert Oliver, 6-4, *Jr., Federal Way, WA/Decatur G Mark Hopkins, 6-3, Jr., JC, San Antonio, TX/Randolph/Temple JC/Schreiner G Alfred Davis, 6-0, *Sr., Tacoma, WA/Lincoln/Pierce CC C Jordan Mosby-Barker, 6-9, Jr., JC, Portland, OR/Parkrose/Clackamas CC *letters
RECENT GAME SUMMARIES:
Feb. 27 - WWU 80, Saint Martin's 56 at Lacey, WA
Parker scored a game-high 16 points, 10 during a decisive run to open the second half, as WWU earned a first-round bye at next week's conference tournament with an 80-56 victory over Saint Martin's in a GNAC contest at Marcus Pavilion. Harris, Jr., and Bragg each had 15 points for the Vikings, who improved to 19-6 overall and clinched second place in the GNAC standings at 13-4. Saint Martin's fell to 8-17 overall and 5-12 in GNAC play with its fifth straight loss. The Saints, who have dropped 13 of their last 16 games, were led by Will Bond with 15 points and Evan Coulter added 14. WWU opened the game with a 13-1 run, Harris, Jr., scoring seven points, and led 36-27 at halftime. The Vikings outscored Saint Martin's, 22-5, to begin the second period for a 26-point advantage, 58-32, with 13:33 remaining. Parker scored 10 in that stretch, finishing it with back-to-back 3-pointers. Saint Martin's, which shot just 35.7 percent (20-of-56) from the field, never got closer than 20 after that. WWU, which has won nine of its last 11 games, also got 13 points from Woodworth. The Vikings had a 43-30 rebound advantage with Bragg grabbing seven and Parker six. The win was WWU's ninth straight over Saint Martin's. The Vikings hold a 126-60 series advantage.
March 1 - Western Oregon 88, WWU 85 at Monmouth, OR
Woodworth had team-highs of 24 points and seven assists but had a game-tying 3-pointer rim out at the buzzer as WWU completed its regular-season with an 88-85 loss at Western Oregon in a GNAC contest in the New P.E. Building. Bragg added 12 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, his GNAC-leading 11th double-double of the season, for the Vikings, who fell to 19-7 overall and second in the GNAC at 13-5. As the No.2 seed, they earn a first-round bye at next week's GNAC Tournament at Lacey. Rodney Webster came off the bench to score a game-high 25 points for Western Oregon, which improved to 17-11 overall and 10-8 in the GNAC with their sixth win in the last seven games. Andy Avgi added 20 points for the Wolves, who finished 11-4 at home this season, and Marwan Sarhan had 15. The Vikings trailed by as much as 12 points in the second half, but used a 16-4 run in a little over five minutes for a 68-67 lead with 7:50 to play. WWU eventually took an 83-78 lead on a Schreiber 3-pointer with 2:54 left before WOU rallied. Webster hit a 3-pointer, then made a pair of free throws on consecutive possessions, giving the Wolves an 85-83 advantage with 1:14 left. The Vikings had one last chance after Lewis Thomas hit one of two free throws for WOU for a three-point advantage with four seconds left. Woodworth drove upcourt and pulled up from 30 feet, but his shot kicked off the rim at the buzzer. Parker had 14 points for WWU, and Schreiber added 13 points and nine rebounds. WOU had a big advantage at the foul line, hitting 30-of-37 (81.1 percent) to only 12-of-19 (63.2 percent) for the Vikings. WWU trailed 43-37 at halftime and by 12 three minutes into the second half. There were eight ties and 16 lead changes in the game.
Great Northwest Athletic Conference
2013-14 Men's Basketball Report Week 16 (March 4, 2014)
Conference All W L W L H A N Seattle Pacific 15 3 24 5 11-2 7-3 6-0 Western Washington 13 5 19 7 14-1 5-4 0-2 Alaska Fairbanks 12 6 17 9 11-2 5-5 1-2 Western Oregon 10 8 17 11 11-4 4-6 2-1 Alaska Anchorage 10 8 17 12 10-7 5-4 2-1 MSU Billings 8 10 12 14 7-6 4-7 1-1 Central Washington 8 10 12 14 8-5 3-6 1-3 Saint Martin's 6 12 9 17 5-6 4-9 0-2 Northwest Nazarene 5 13 7 19 5-10 2-8 0-1 Simon Fraser 3 15 10 16 8-7 2-9 0-0
Region Records -Seattle Pacific 20-5, Western Washington 16-6, Alaska Fairbanks 15-9, Alaska Anchorage 13-9, Western Oregon 13-11, Central Washington 10-12, MSU Billings 9-13, Saint Martin's 7-17, Simon Fraser 6-16, Northwest Nazarene 5-17. Note: Region records include games against CCAA and PacWest teams and games versus non-West Region teams that count as regional contests under the NCAA "contiguous" state rule. Region records are one of the main criteria the NCAA uses in ranking teams in the regional poll.
Final Exhibition Records (Versus D1): Western Washington 2-0 (0-0); Western Oregon 1-0 (0-0); Seattle Pacific 1-1 (0-1); Alaska Fairbanks 1-1 (1-1); Saint Martin's 1-2 (0-2); Northwest Nazarene 0-2 (0-1); Alaska Anchorage 0-2 (0-1); Central Washington 0-2 (0-2); Simon Fraser 0-2 (0-2); MSU Billings 0-3 (0-1). Totals 6-15 (0-10). Note: Exhibition records do not include Alumni games.
LAST WEEK: Wednesday - Simon Fraser 71 at Western Oregon 82. Thursday - Seattle Pacific 91 at Central Washington 59; MSU Billings 60 at Northwest Nazarene 66; Western Washington 80 at Saint Martin's 56; Alaska Anchorage 68 at Alaska Fairbanks 70. Saturday - MSU Billings 88 at Central Washington 91; Seattle Pacific 74 at Northwest Nazarene 60; Simon Fraser 67 at Saint Martin's 76; Western Washington 85 at Western Oregon 88 (end-of-regular-season).
GNAC Championships (Mar. 5-8 at Lacey): Wednesday - #3 Alaska Fairbanks (17-9) vs. #6 Montana State Billings (12-14), noon; #4 Alaska Anchorage (17-12) vs. #5 Western Oregon (17-11), 2:15 p.m. Thursday - Alaska Fairbanks/Montana State Billings winner vs. #2 Western Washington (19-7), 5:15 p.m.; Alaska Anchorage/Western Oregon winner vs. #1 seed Seattle Pacific (24-5), 7:30 p.m. Saturday - Championship game at 5:15 p.m. (Note: Winner earns automatic berth in NCAA West Region).
NCAA West Regionals: The NCAA West Regionals will be held Mar. 14-17. Qualifiers and pairings will be announced Sunday night at 7:30 p.m. on ncaa.com.
NCAA NATIONAL STATISTICS (Top 30; End-of-regular season): Team: Scoring - 15. Western Washington 87.3; 23. Alaska Anchorage 85.7. Scoring Defense - 25. Seattle Pacific 66.4; 30. Alaska Fairbanks 67.4. Scoring Margin - 16. Seattle Pacific 12.7. Field Goal PCT. - 9. Seattle Pacific 50.8; 20. Western Washington 49.6. Three-Pointers - 3. Alaska Anchorage 13.0; 15. Northwest Nazarene 9.8; 29. Montana State Billings 8.9. Three-Point PCT. - 1. Seattle Pacific 43.6; 10. Alaska Anchorage 41.0. Three-Point PCT. Defense - 11. Western Washington 29.8. Free Throw PCT. - 2. Alaska Anchorage 79.9; 17. Central Washington 76.5. Assists - 10. Alaska Anchorage 18.0. Rebound Margin - 28. Seattle Pacific 5.9. Assist/TO Ratio - 1. Alaska Anchorage 2.15; 8. Seattle Pacific 1.59; 23. MSU Billings 1.41. Blocked Shots - 6. Western Washington 5.7. Steals - 10. Western Oregon 9.3. Fewest Turnovers - 1. Alaska Anchorage 8.3; 3. Seattle Pacific 9.0. Turnover Margin - 21. Alaska Fairbanks 3.7; 26. Alaska Anchorage 3.5. Fewest Fouls - 9. Alaska Fairbanks 15.2; 13. Seattle Pacific 15.9. Individuals: Scoring - 1. Mark McLaughlin, CWU, 27.1; 21. Travis Thompson, UAA, 21.5. Field Goal PCT. - 12. Andrew Kelly, UAF, 63.9; 28. Austin Bragg, WWU, 60.2. Three-Point FGs - 5. Travis Thompson, UAA, and Kyle Fossman, UAA, 3.69; 19. Jonathan Mesghna, MSUB, 3.04. Three-Point PCT. - 1. Patrick Simon, SPU, 53.6; 7. David Downs, SPU, 47.5; 19. Kyle Fossman, UAA, 44.4. Free Throw PCT. - 17. Travis Thompson, UAA, 89.7; 29. David Downs, SPU, 87.7. Assists - 4. Kalob Hatcher, MSUB, 7.7; 20. Brian McGill, UAA, 5.9; 28. Sango Niang, SFU, 5.6. Assist/TO Ratio - 5. Riley Stockton, SPU, 3.63; 21. Kyle Fossman, UAA, 2.89; 22. Kalob Hatcher, 2.86. Steals - 28. Devon Alexander, WOU, 2.14. Double-Doubles - 23. Austin Bragg, WWU, 11.
DOUBLE DOUBLES (End-of-regular season): 11 - Austin Bragg, WWU. 8 - Austin Hudson, MSUB. 7 - JB Pillard, CWU; Andrew Kelly, UAF; Kevin Davis, CWU. 6 - Ibrahim Appiah, SFU. 5 - Teancum Stafford, UAA. 4 - Kalob Hatcher, MSUB; Anye Turner, WWU. 3 - Matt Borton, SPU; Andy Avgi, WOU; Kevin Rima, NNU. 2 - Brian McGill, UAA; Mark McLaughlin, CWU; Ryan Rogers, SMU; Jonathan Mesghna, MSUB; Sango Niang, SFU; Grayson Moore, NNU. 1 - Six with.
30-POINT GAMES (End-of-regular season): 10 - Mark McLaughlin, CWU. 6 - Travis Thompson, UAA. 3 - Patrick Simon, SPU; David Downs, SPU. 2 - Richard Woodworth, WWU; Sango Niang, SFU; Austin Bragg, WWU; Kevin Rima, NNU. 1 - Austin Hudson, MSUB; Evan Coulter, SMU; Michael Loomis, NNU; Kyle Fossman, UAA.
20-POINT GAMES (5 or more; End-of-regular season): 20 - Mark McLaughlin, CWU. 17- Travis Thompson, UAA. 15 - David Downs, SPU. 12 - Richard Woodworth, WWU. 9 - Austin Bragg, WWU. 8 - Brian McGill, UAA; Kyle Fossman, UAA Sango Niang, SFU. 7 - Evan Coulter, SMU; Austin Hudson, MSUB; Patrick Simon, SPU. 6 - Jeffrey Parker, WWU; Ronnie Baker, UAF; Ryan Rogers, SMU; Mario Donaldson, NNU; Jonathan Mesghna, MSUB. 5 - JB Pillard, CWU; Kevin Rima, NNU; Andy Avgi, WOU.
10-REBOUND GAMES (4 or more; End-of-regular season): 12 - Austin Bragg, WWU. 8 - JB Pillard, CWU; Andrew Kelly, UAF; Austin Hudson, MSUB. Teancum Stafford, UAA; Kevin Davis, CWU; Ibrahim Appiah, SFU. 6 - Anye Turner, WWU. 5 - Kevin Rima, NNU. 4 - Matt Borden, SPU; Grayson Moore, NNU.
ALL-TOURNAMENT: CCA Division II Tipoff Classic (Nov. 8-10 at Anaheim) - *David Downs, SPU (MVP). *MVP was selected, but no all-tournament team chosen. UAA AT&T Jamboree (Nov. 15-16) - Travis Thompson, UAA (MVP); Kyle Fossman, UAA; Ronnie Baker, UAF; Brian McGill, UAA; Teancum Stanford, UAA. SPU Sodexo Tipoff (Nov. 15-16) - David Downs, SPU; Patrick Simon, SPU; Mark McLaughlin, CWU. UAF GCI Alaska Invitational (Nov. 21-23) - Ronnie Baker, UAF; Andrew Kelly, UAF. CWU GNAC/Pac West Challenge (Nov. 22-23) - David Downs, SPU (MVP), Mark McLaughlin, CWU; Patrick Simon, SPU. Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout (Nov. 27-30) - Travis Thompson, UAA. WOU Capital City Classic (Nov. 27-30) - Rodney Webster, WOU (MVP); Marwan Sarhan, WOU. Mac Martin Chico State (Nov. 29-30) - Patrick Simon, SPU; David Downs, SPU.
POLLS: NABC (Feb. 25) - 20. Seattle Pacific; 34. Western Washington. NCAA West Region (Feb. 26) - 1. Cal State San Bernardino (20-3); 2. Cal Poly Pomona (19-3); 3. Cal Baptist (23-1); 4. Seattle Pacific (20-5); 5. Chico State (18-5); 6. Dixie State (20-5); 7. Western Washington (15-6); 8. Dominican (18-7); 9. Cal State Stanislaus (14-8); 10. San Francisco (11-11). Note: Record listed is in games against Division II opponents only, Qualifiers for the regional will be revealed on ncaa.com Sunday, March 9 at 7:30 p.m. Pacific. The women's field will be unveiled at 7 p.m. Pacific).
ALL-REGION: CoSIDA Academic - David Downs, SPU (Accounting, Sr., 3.80, Kirkland, WA); Teancum Stafford, UAA (Psychology, Jr., 4.00, Auburn, WA); Riley Stockton, SPU (Business Administration, Jr., 3.87, Spokane, WA).
ALL-AMERICAN: CoSIDA Academic: First Team - David Downs, SPU (Accounting, Sr., 3.80, Kirkland, WA). Second Team - Teancum Stafford, UAA (Psychology, Jr., 4.00, Auburn, WA);
GNAC RED LION PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Andrew Kelly, Alaska Fairbanks (F, 6-7, Sr., Gilbert, AZ - Chandler-Gilbert) scored 14 points, including the game-winner in the final second, as the Nanooks ended a 16-game losing streak to Alaska Anchorage with a 70-68 win at The Patty Center. Kelly received the ball from teammate Ronnie Baker who was falling out-of-bounds and was able to get the shot up before the red light went on. The UAF forward had 18 rebounds, 10 off the offensive glass, as the Nanooks dominated the backboards 38-25 to earn its first win against UAA since Jan. 28, 2006. Kelly also had a steal and three blocks, two during a 20-5 run over the game's final 7 ½ minutes.
HONORABLE MENTION: Mario Donaldson, Northwest Nazarene (G, 6-3, Sr., Rockton, IL) scored 43 points and also had 10 rebounds, four assists and two steals as the Crusaders split two games with a pair of playoff bound teams. Donaldson made 6-of-8 three-pointers and was 16-of-34 overall ... Andy Avgi, Western Oregon (F, 6-6, So., Woodburn, OR) had 41 points and 13 rebounds and shot 50 percent (13-of-26) in wins over Simon Fraser and Western Washington .... Evan Coulter, Saint Martin's (G, 5-10, Sr., Mount Vernon, WA) scored 40 points and had nine rebounds and four steals as the Saints closed their season splitting two games.
MORE MENTIONABLES: Mark McLaughlin, Central Washington (G, 6-6, Sr., Bothell, WA - Inglemoor & Tacoma CC) had 49 points, including 33 in a 91-88 win over Montana State Billings. The 30-point game was his 10th of the season and his GNAC-record tying 14th of his career ... Patrick Simon, Seattle Pacific (F, 6-8, Sr., Ephrata, WA) led the Falcons with 35 points and made 8-of-12 three-point shots in road wins at Central Washington and Northwest Nazarene as SPU won the GNAC title outright.
FROM THE RECORD BOOK: McLaughlin tied the GNAC career record for 30-point games set by Parrish West of Alaska Fairbanks during the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Thirteen of West's 14 came during his senior season ... Simon improved his GNAC-record three-point percentage to 49.5 (141-285). UAA's Kyle Fossman (45.1) and Travis Thompson (43.9) rank eighth and 11th, respectively, in that category. Thompson also ranks sixth in career free throw percentage in GNAC history (87.3 on 234-of-268) ... CWU's Kevin Davis ended his career ranked sixth in GNAC history in career blocked shots (144). He also finished second in blocks per game (2.25), ending up less than one block in back of all-time leader Brannon Stone of Seattle Pacific, who averaged 2.26 blocks between 1999 and 2002.
GNAC GAMES ON ROOT SPORTS: Eight regular-season GNAC games, including six men's contests were scheduled to be televised this winter on ROOT SPORTS. One of the games was snowed out. Brad Adam and Bob Akamian handled the play-by-play and Dave Harshman provided the color.
GNAC GAMES ON ROOT TV SCHEDULE (Talent): MEN: Wednesday, Jan. 15 - Seattle Pacific 76 at Western Washington 60 (Adam, Harshman). Thursday, Jan. 23 - Alaska Fairbanks 64 at Saint Martin's 47 (Adam, Harshman). Saturday, Feb. 1 - Alaska Anchorage 76 at Western Washington 99 (Adam, Harshman). Saturday, Feb. 8 - Northwest Nazarene at Western Oregon, postponed (Akamian, Harshman). Saturday, Feb. 22 - Central Washington 91 at Western Washington 94 (Adam, Harshman). Wednesday, Feb. 26 - Simon Fraser 71 at Western Oregon 82 (Akamian, Harshman). WOMEN: Saturday, Jan. 11 - MSU Billings 57 at Seattle Pacific 63 (Akamian, Harshman). Saturday, Mar. 1 - Simon Fraser 63 at Western Washington 72 (Adam, Harshman).
Alaska Anchorage: Kyle Fossman and Travis Thompson each scored 15 points and each made three 3-pointers in Thursday's 70-68 loss at Fairbanks finishing their regular-seasons with identical 3-point numbers each converting 107 from the arc. The Seawolves also got 14 points from Colton Lauwers.
Alaska Fairbanks: Ronnie Baker led the Nanooks with 18 points and Joe Slocum had 15 in their win over UAA before 956 fans at The Patty Center. UAF had a 14-3 advantage in offensive rebounds and turned the ball over just nine times.
Central Washington: Mark McLaughlin scored 49 points in a pair of games and finished the season with a 27.1 scoring average, just missing the GNAC record of 27.2 by Parrish West of Alaska Fairbanks during the 2010-11 season. McLaughlin did set GNAC records for total points (508) and average (28.2) for conference contests, breaking West's records of 484 and 26.9.
Montana State Billings: Jonathan Mesghna led the Yellowjackets with 35 points in their two losses. Kalob Hatcher had 17 points and 20 assists. He finished the regular-season with exactly 200 assists joining Mark White of Humboldt State (235 in 2003-04) and Luke Cooper of Alaska Anchorage (230 in 2006-07 and 310 in 2007-08) as the only players in GNAC history to record 200 or more in a single season, Northwest Nazarene: In addition to Donaldson's 43 points, the Crusaders were led by Kevin Rima (21 points, 12 rebounds) and Grayson Moore (18 points, 22 rebounds) as they split two games to close out their season. NNU missed just four free throws, shooting 88.6 percent (31-of-35), while their opponents made 27-of-32 (84.4 percent).
Saint Martin's: Evan Coulter finished his season with his second highest output of the year, netting 26 in Saturday's 76-67 win over Simon Fraser. Over his last eight games, Coulter averaged 21 points per game, five above his final season average of 16. Tyler Idowu had 19 rebounds in his final two contests.
Seattle Pacific: David Downs moved into a tie for fourth place on the GNAC career assist list. He has 548 and could climb as high as second depending on long the SPU post-season run lasts. Kevin Tyner of Western Oregon (2002-06) ranks second with 600 and Mark White of Humboldt State is third with 594. Downs had 32 points and nine assists last week and ranks 11th in career scoring with 1,715 points.
Simon Fraser: Taylor Dunn scored 45 points, including a season-high 29 in Saturday's loss at Lacey. Ibrahim Appiah netted 32 rebounds in SFU's two contests finishing his career ranked 14th in GNAC history in career rebounds with 622.
Western Oregon: Andy Avgi and Rodney Webster combined for 80 of the Wolves' 170 points and Avgi had 41 and Webster came off the bench to score 39. Two of WOU's top three scorers for the week were non-starters as Marwan Sarhan had 23. Overall, the bench produced 79 of WOU's 170 points, 46.5 percent.
Western Washington: Richard Woodworth scored 37 points and redshirt freshman Jeffrey Parker had 39 points as the Vikings split two games. Austin Bragg had 27 points, 20 rebounds and five blocks, WWU outrebounded its opponents 87-71 and also held them to a 39.2 shooting percentage.
Three Vikings Named to NABC Honors Court
WWU Men's Basketball earns the NABC Team Academic Excellence Award for team GPA over 3.0
Stafford Dominating Seattle's Crawsover Pro-Am
2016-17 GNAC Player of the Year is averaging 34.0 points per game
Vikings Add Pair of Transfers from Cerritos College
Tyler Payne and Micah Winn set to join WWU for 2017-18 season after standout careers at Cerritos College
Stafford to Play Professionally in Iceland
Feature story on Taylor Stafford in the Western Front
Parker and Stafford to Play for Bellingham Slam
WWU basketball standouts to play in 2017 Seattle Pro-Am League
2016-17 Men's Basketball Season in Review
The Vikings won the GNAC Regular-Season and Conference Tournament Title
Taylor Stafford To Play Professionally in Iceland
Stafford was the 2016-17 GNAC Player of the Year and a First Team All-American
Alumni Edge Slam in Back 2 Bellingham Battle
David Gage and Anye Turner combine for 60 points for the WWU Alumni squad
Alumni Men's Basketball Game Set for Saturday
Former WWU basketball players will take the court in an exhibition game vs. the Bellingham Slam
Men's Basketball Banquet To Celebrate Season
GNAC champion Vikings will hold 2016-17 banquet May 2 at Bellingham Golf & Country Club
WWU is 14th in Division II All-Sports Standings
WWU's men's and women's basketball programs gather points by advancing to the NCAA Tournament
Stafford Scores 12 Points in D2 All-Star Game
Taylor Stafford represents WWU in Reese's Division II All-Star Game
Watch Taylor Stafford in D2 All-Star Game
Stafford will play for the East squad in the Reese’s® Division II College All-Star game tonight in Sioux Falls, SD
Taylor Stafford Named First Team All-American
Stafford becomes third player in WWU men’s basketball history to earn first-team All-America status
Stafford & Parker Named NABC All-West Region
Stafford (1st team) and Parker (2nd team) earn All-West Region honors for the Vikings