Western Oregon University used a big run to start the second half to break the game open and went on to defeat Western Washington University, 78-58, in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference men’s basketball contest Saturday, Jan. 16, at Whatcom Pavilion.
Senior guard Ricardo Maxwell had a team-high 17 points for the Vikings, who fall to 10-7 overall, 4-4 in the GNAC. Western Oregon, ranked 11th nationally in NCAA Division II, improve to 13-3 and 7-1.
Leading by one at halftime, WOU opened the second half with a 20-4 run in first 6:13 that included 4-of-5 3-point shooting. The Vikings rallied to within nine, 58-49, on a Maxwell layup with 8:35 remaining, but never got that close again as the Wolves scored the next 10 points to pull away.
Redshirt freshman forward Trey Drechsel added 16 points and a game-high eight rebounds for WWU, but the Vikings shot just 40.4 percent (21 of 52) from the field, including 32.1 percent (9 of 28) in the second half.
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Senior center Andy Avgi, the reigning GNAC Player of the Year, led Western Oregon with 19 points. Alex Roth, a transfer from Oregon State, added 18 points off the bench on 7-of-10 field goal shooting.
WOU jumped to a 10-1 lead to open the game, but behind the 13 first-half points of Maxwell, the Vikings rallied to trail only 34-33 at halftime.