WWU Vikings

WWU falls at Northwest Nazarene, 80-73

Despite 28 points from guard Ricardo Maxwell, Western Washington University saw a 12-point second-half lead slip away and fell to Northwest Nazarene University, 80-73, on Saturday, Jan. 17, in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference men’s basketball contest at Johnson Sports Center on the NNU campus.

The Vikings fell to 9-8 overall and 2-5 in the GNAC. They are 1-8 away from home this season, including 0-6 in true away games.

Center Kevin Rima had a game-high 29 points on 11-of-14 field goal and 7-of-7 free throw shooting for the Crusaders. NNU improved to 7-10 overall and 5-2 in the GNAC with its fifth triumph in the last six games.

The Vikings held a 37-29 lead at halftime and were up by 12 at 50-38 with 14:22 to go.

NNU chipped away at the margin, eventually tying the game at 58-58 on layin and free throw by Erik Kinney with 7:42 left. The Crusaders didn’t take a second-half lead until two Aubrey Ball free throws put them ahead for good at 68-66 with 2:46 to play.

The Vikings had three possessions with a chance to at least tie, the last one coming in the final minute when Maxwell missed a 3-pointer with 55 seconds left. From there NNU hit 5 of 6 free throws and got a dunk from Kinney to keep the game out of reach.

Jaamon Echols, who returned to action after missing four games with an ankle injury, came off the bench to score 15 points for the Vikings, who were without starting forward Anye Turner because of an Achilles problem.

NNU finished the game at 92.9 percent (26 of 28) on free throws, while WWU was only 59.3 percent (16 of 27)

Kinney had 18 points for NNU, and Alex Birketoft added 13.

The loss snapped a six-game series winning streak for the Vikings. Their last loss to NNU came during the 2010-11 season.

The Crusaders jumped to a 7-0 lead and stayed in front until WWU used its own run of seven straight points to take an 18-16 lead on a 3-point play by Maxwell with 9:31 left in the first half.

NORTHWEST NAZARENE 80, WESTERN WASHINGTON 73

WESTERN WASHINGTON (9-8, 2-5 GNAC): Maxwell,Ricardo 12-22 2-4 28; Echols,Jaamon 4-9 6-11 15; Johnson,Mac 3-4 2-3 8; Javier,Harris 1-4 5-5 7; Impero,Kyle 3-9 0-0 6; Bowen,Blake 2-5 0-0 5; Parker,Jeffrey 1-5 0-0 3; Schreiber,Joey 0-1 1-4 1. Totals 26-59 16-27 73.

NORTHWEST NAZARENE (7-10, 5-2 GNAC): Rima,Kevin 11-14 7-7 29; Kinney,Erik 6-15 6-7 18; Birketoft,Alex 3-6 6-6 13; Ball,Aubrey 2-7 4-4 9; N'Diaye,Bouna 1-1 1-2 4; Hering,Matyas 1-3 0-0 3; Massey,Parris 1-1 0-0 2; Olivier,Pol 0-0 2-2 2; Shedrick,David 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-47 26-28 80.

Half: WWU 37, Northwest Nazarene 29

3-point goals--Western Washington 5-21 (Maxwell,Ricardo 2-9; Parker,Jeffrey 1-3; Bowen,Blake 1-2; Echols,Jaamon 1-4; Impero,Kyle 0-1; Javier,Harris 0-2), Northwest Nazarene 4-7 (Hering,Matyas 1-2; N'Diaye,Bouna 1-1; Ball,Aubrey 1-2; Birketoft,Alex 1-2). Fouled out--Western Washington-Johnson,Mac, Northwest Nazarene-None. Rebounds--Western Washington 32 (Johnson,Mac 9), Northwest Nazarene 31 (Birketoft,Alex 8). Assists--Western Washington 3 (Javier,Harris 2), Northwest Nazarene 13 (Kinney,Erik 3; Hering,Matyas 3; Ball,Aubrey 3). Total fouls--Western Washington 20, Northwest Nazarene 18. Technical fouls--Western Washington-None, Northwest Nazarene-None. A-502

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