Woodworth scores career-high 33 in WWU win

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDFebruary 8, 2014 

Guard Richard Woodworth scored a career-high 33 points and had a pair of key assists late in the contest, leading Western Washington University to an 84-83 victory over Simon Fraser University in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference men's basketball contest Saturday at West Gym on the SFU campus.

The Vikings improved to 16-4 overall and is second in the GNAC at 10-2 with their sixth consecutive victory. Center Austin Bragg had 16 points for WWU and forward Jeffrey Parker added 14.

SFU fell to 9-11 overall and remains at the bottom of the GNAC at 2-10 with its 10th loss in the last 13 games. Guard Sango Niang led five Clan players in double figures with 20 points.

SFU had a 73-70 lead with under three minutes left, but Bragg was fouled, and a technical foul on the SFU bench gave the Vikings four free throws. Woodworth hit the first two, then Bragg made one of two, tying the score at 73-73.

On the next two WWU possessions, Woodworth fed Robert Oliver for a reverse layin off a backdoor cut, then set up Bragg for a dunk off a pick-and-roll screen, putting the Vikings up for good, 77-73, with 1:15 to go.

SFU did have two late chances to tie. With WWU up 81-78, Niang hit a driving bank shot and was fouled with 15 seconds left. He missed the free throw for the potential tie. Parker then hit 1-of-2 free throws at the other end. Niang then drove to the basket, but Bragg stepped in to draw a charging foul with five seconds left.

Woodworth made two free throws to seal the victory before Niang hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer for the final margin.

Woodworth was 8-of-18 from the field, including 4-of-8 on 3-pointers, and a perfect 13-of-13 on free throws, hitting six in the final minute.

The game was tightly contested, with 13 ties and 18 lead changes, and no leads of more than seven points. SFU held a 43-41 advantage at halftime.

Justin Cole had 18 points for the Clan. Taylor Dunn added 16, 13 in the first half. Ibrahim Appiah had 14 and David Gebru had 13. Appiah had a game-high nine rebounds, and Niang had a game-best eight assists.

The Vikings had a 34-30 advantage on the boards, with Colby Mitchell (Jr., Chugiak, AK) grabbing a team-high eight.

The Vikings are at Montana State University Billings on Thurs., Feb. 13 (7:30 p.m.) for a GNAC counter.

WWU 84, SIMON FRASER 83

WWU: Woodworth,Richard 33; Bragg,Austin 16; Parker,Jeffrey 14; Mitchell,Colby 8; Harris,Robert 7; Abe,Dana 3; Oliver,Robert 3; Turner,Anye 0; Thorpe,Dane 0. Totals 26-54 25-34 84.

SIMON FRASER: Niang,Sango 20; Cole,Justin 18; Dunn,Taylor 16; Appiah,Ibrahim 14; Gebru,David 13; Hamilton,Dillon 2; Staudacher,Matt 0. Totals 30-60 18-25 83.

Half: Simon Fraser 43, WWU 41

3-point goals--Western Washington 7-20 (Woodworth,Richard 4-8), Simon Fraser 5-16 (Cole,Justin 2-6). Fouled out--Western Washington-Mitchell,Colby, Simon Fraser-Gebru,David. Rebounds--Western Washington 34 (Mitchell,Colby 8), Simon Fraser 30 (Appiah,Ibrahim 9). Assists--Western Washington 12 (Woodworth,Richard 4), Simon Fraser 15 (Niang,Sango 8). Total fouls-Western Washington 19, Simon Fraser 23. Technical fouls--Western Washington-None, Simon Fraser-TEAM. A-423

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