March 10, 2014
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Two upset winners at conference tournaments kept the Western Washington University men's basketball team from being in the eight-team field of the NCAA Division II West Regional that was announced Sunday night.
The Vikings, who finished 20-8, missed out on an automatic berth with a 65-62 loss to Seattle Pacific in the championship game of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Tournament.
Despite the loss, it still looked as though WWU, which had won the last two regional titles, would make a third straight appearance. The Vikings were ranked seventh in last week's regional ranking and had rolled to a 73-52 victory over Alaska Fairbanks in a GNAC tourney semifinal.
But two teams not ranked among the top eight regionally, Cal State Stanislaus in the California Collegiate Athletic Association and Chaminade in the Pacific West Conference, were upset winners of their respective tournaments. That earned them automatic berths and effectively knocked WWU out.
Cal State San Bernardino will host the regional on March 14-15 and 17. Also participating, besides Seattle Pacific, Cal State Stanislaus and Chaminade, are Cal Poly Pomona, Chico State, Cal Baptist and Dixie State.
WWU split its final four games, but the losses were by one point in overtime and by three points in each of the other three setbacks.
Four of the Vikings' eight losses were to teams ranked among the top 25 nationally. And, while opening the season with eight wins, WWU knocked of nationally No.1-ranked Metro State, 72-69.
Unlike the past two seasons when WWU won the NCAA II national championship in 2012 and reached the national semifinals in 2013, the Vikings had to deal with injuries to three starters.
WWU will lose three starters to graduation. They include two first-team GNAC all-stars - guard Richard Woodworth (Sr., Bellevue/Newport) and center Austin Bragg (Sr., Longview/Mark Morris) - and guard Robert Harris, Jr. (Sr., Kent/Rainier Beach).
Vikings Defeat UAA 70-61 For 10th Consecutive Victory
WWU extends winning streak to 10 consecutive games behind 15 points each from Trey Drechsel and Logan Schilder
Vikings Extend Winning Streak With 86-74 Win at Fairbanks
Trey Drechsel (25 points) and Daulton Hommes (23 points) power WWU to 86-74 victory for ninth straight victory
Vikings Take First Place GNAC Record to Alaska
WWU continues road trip with key GNAC contests at Alaska Fairbanks and Alaska Anchorage
Deandre Dickson Named to Bevo Francis Award Watch List
Senior power forward Deandre Dickson is averaging 15.0 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.9 blocked shots per game
All-Around Week Nets Drechsel GNAC Player of the Week Honors
Drechsel earns second GNAC Player of the Week award this season after averaging 15.0 points, 10.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists per game
Vikings Extend Winning Streak With 100-91 Victory at MSUB
Trey Drechsel goes 8-for-11 from the field and 9-for-9 from the free throw line in 26-point performance
Viking Men Win 7th Straight, 69-54 at Simon Fraser
Deandre Dickson records 17-point, 13-rebound double-double to help keep WWU perfect in GNAC play
First-Place Men's Hoops Hits the Road
Vikings take 6-game winning streak to Simon Fraser and MSU Billings
Strong Second Half Lifts Vikings to 77-67 Win over CWU
Trey Drechsel, Daulton Hommes and Deandre Dickson all record double-doubles to keep WWU perfect at 6-0 in GNAC play
Late Layup Lifts Vikings to 67-66 Victory Over NNU
Senior guard Brad Wallace scores game-winning layup with 13.9 seconds remaining in the game
First-Place Vikings Host NNU and CWU in GNAC Play
WWU takes four-game winning streak into key GNAC contests at Carver Gym
WWU Honored as GNAC/Red Lion Team of the Week
Vikings recognized after earning a pair of key GNAC road victories last week
Daulton Hommes Named GNAC Player of the Week
Hommes averaged 23.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game to help lead Vikings to pair of GNAC road victories
Vikings Improve to 4-0 in GNAC With 90-86 Win at SMU
Daulton Hommes lead five players in double-digits with game-high 29 points
Vikings Record Big Road Win at Seattle Pacific 86-80
Trey Drechsel leads all players with 27 points on 8-for-13 shooting