March 18, 2014
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Two Western Washington University men's basketball players, center Austin Bragg and guard Richard Woodworth, were named first-team National Association of Basketball Coaches Division II West All-District selections in an announcement made Wednesday.
"I am very proud of Austin (Bragg) and Richard (Woodworth), they have both worked very hard to be the best," said WWU head coach Tony Dominguez (2nd year, 51-11). "Their leadership and high level of play pushed our team to another 20-win season and a great playoff push. They both have unique skill sets that rival the best players ever at Western."
Bragg, a senior from Longview, averaged 17.3 points on 58.7 percent (178-of-303) field-goal shooting and 8.8 rebounds, and blocked 49 shots, all team-leading figures for the Vikings. Those numbers all ranked among the top five in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.
Bragg had just the second triple-double in school history and only the third in GNAC history on Feb. 1 in a 99-76 victory over Alaska Anchorage, finishing with 13 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.
The 6-foot-9 Bragg topped the GNAC in double-doubles with 11 and scored double-figure points in 26 games. He twice earned GNAC Player of the Week honors, earning one for having 20 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks in a 72-69 win over nationally No.1-ranked Metro State on Nov. 30.
Bragg scored a career-high 32 points in a 94-91 win over Central Washington on Feb. 22, and had 30 points and a career-high 17 rebounds against Simon Fraser in an 82-69 victory on Jan. 11.
Last season, Bragg helped the Vikings to a school-record tying 31 wins, a West Regional title and the NCAA II national semifinals. His two-year career totals were 791 points on 56.5 percent (297-of-526) floor accuracy, 494 rebounds and 92 blocks.
Bragg, a graduate of Mark Morris High School, transferred to WWU from Clark CC.
"Austin had a great career here in just two years," Dominguez said. "He started on a final four team and was the center of attention this season. He had the ability to score in a variety of ways, was a great rebounder, and a tremendous shot blocker. He will be sorely missed."
Woodworth, a senior from Bellevue, finished his four-year Vikings career with 1,262 points, 394 rebounds, 342 assists, 132 steals and 43 blocked shots. He shot 47.9 percent (419-of-874) from the field, 41.5 percent (124-of-299) from 3-point range and 80.2 percent (300-of-374) at the free throw line. His point total ranks 15th among WWU career leaders and the assist total 13th.
The 6-3 Woodworth averaged 16.7 points, shooting team-bests of 82.7 percent (124-of-150) at the free throw line as well as 41.2 percent (40-of-97) from 3-point range. He scored a career-high 33 points at Simon Fraser on Feb. 8 and had 19 double-figure point games.
Woodworth hit a buzzer beater from beyond half court in a dramatic 94-91 win over arch-rival Central Washington on Feb. 22, the video of that shot receiving over 32,000 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.
Woodworth, a graduate of Newport High School, 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.
"Richard had a storied career here," said Dominguez. "He played most of the season with nagging injuries and still was able to perform at an extremely high level. This season he took his game to another level and was always a main focus of the opposition. Richard was a leader on and off the court. He will go down in school history as one of the best to play here."
WWU finished 20-8 overall, placed second in the GNAC regular-season standings at 13-5, and reached the championship game of the GNAC Tournament. Bragg was a second-team Daktronics West Region all-star and both he and Woodworth were first-team GNAC all-stars.
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