The Western Washington University men’s basketball team ran off 14 straight points to overcome a late five-point deficit and claim an 84-73 triumph over University of Hawaii Hilo in final-day of the 13th Chuck Randall Classic on Saturday, Nov. 15, at Sam Carver Gymnasium.
Tournament MVP Jeffrey Parker led four Vikings in double figures with 22 points and had a game-high 11 rebounds as No. 11 WWU improved to 2-0.
Hawaii Hilo fell to 1-1 despite a game-high 24 points from Tre Johnson, who was 10 of 15 from the floor. Joey Rodriguez added 16 points for the Vulcans.
The Vulcans held their biggest lead of the game at 72-67 on a Johnson basket with 5:57 left, but didn’t get another field goal the rest of the way. The Vikings scored the next 14 points, taking a 74-72 lead on two Anye Turner free throws with 3:52 left. Hawaii Hilo did not score again until a Rodriguez free throw with 1:32 left.
The contest featured 12 ties and 17 lead changes, and until WWU pulled away in the final two minutes, the biggest margin of the contest was eight, when the Vikings held a 19-11 advantage five minutes into the game. The score was tied, 42-42, at halftime.
Joey Schreiber had 20 points for WWU. Kyle Impero added 18 points, and Turner had 14 points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots.
It was the 18th straight Randall Classic triumph for the Vikings, who are 23-3 all-time in the tourney. WWU had won or shared the last nine Randall championships and 11 of 13 overall.
WWU was without guards Jaamon Echols and Ricardo Maxwell, who were serving the second game of a two-game suspension for a violation of NCAA regulations for improperly playing in a tournament last spring.
Schreiber, Turner and Johnson joined Parker on the all-tournament team along with Erik Kinney from Northwest Nazarene and Jalen Young from Notre Dame de Namur. NNU defeated NDNU, 87-81, in the other tourney contest Saturday.
The Vikings travel to Puerto Rico next week, playing PR-Bayaman on Tuesday, Nov. 18, and PR-Rio Piedros on Wednesday, Nov. 19.