Western moves up six spots to No.17 in NABC/Division II Coaches Poll
Dec. 15, 2009
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Despite taking a break for fall quarter final examinations, the Western Washington University men's basketball team moved up six spots to No.17 in this week's National Association of Basketball Coaches/NCAA Division II Poll.
The 9-1 Vikings, working on an eight-game winning streak, are at Las Vegas, Nevada, this week to host their third annual Great Western Shootout at the Doolittle Community Center. They meet Washburn KS on Thursday at 3 p.m. and Fort Lewis CO on Friday at 5 p.m.
Western, which last saw action on Dec. 5, is ranked among the top 10 nationally in two team statistical categories, being sixth in scoring defense, allowing just 55.4 points per game, and seventh in 3-point field-goal defense, holding opponents to 24.6 percentage.
The Vikings are also 11th in field-goal percentage defense at 36.7 percent and 16th in scoring margin, winning by an average of 22.1 points, and 19th in free-throw percentage at 75.7 percent.
Western point guard Morrris Anderson (Sr., Federal Way), who has made 30 straight free throws (school record is 37), ranks seventh nationally in free-throw shooting at 96.8 percent (30-of-31). He also is 13th nationally in steals per game with a 2.9 average.
The Vikings have held opponents to 55 or fewer points in each of their last four games. That last occurred in the early 1950s when Western had six straight contests giving up 55 or less points, the last three of the 1952-53 season and the first three of the 1953-54 campaign. The last time the Vikings accomplished that for four consecutive games in the same season was 1951-52.
Western last played Washburn in the semifinals of the 2001 NCAA Division II Elite Eight, losing 96-90. The two teams had played earlier that season in Las Vegas, the Vikings prevailing 72-70.
The Ichabods are 6-2, all six of their wins at home. A trio of standouts for coach Bob Chipman (30th year, 652-253) are 6-5 junior college transfer forward De'Andre Washington (16.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg), 6-0 sophomore guard William McNeill (12.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg) and 6-9 junior center Logan Stutz (11.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg).
Fort Lewis is 8-1 and led by 6-2 junior guard DeAndre Lansdowne (19.8 ppg, 6.5 rpg). The Skyhawks also have two talented forwards in 6-6 sophomore Matt Morris (14.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg) and 6-4 junior Kyle Behrens (12.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg). Western won its only previous meeting with Fort Lewis, 102-90, during the 1995-96 season.
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