WWU Vikings

Vikings topple No.1 seed Western Oregon, 88-79, in GNAC semifinal

Forward Jeffrey Parker scored 15 of his team-high 20 points in the first half as Western Washington University upended nationally ranked Western Oregon University, 88-79, on Friday, March 6, in a semifinal of the 5th annual Great Northwest Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament at Alterowitz Gymnasium on the campus of Montana State Billings.

The Vikings, the No. 5 seed in the tourney, improved to 20-10 with its 10th straight triumph, and play No. 2 seed Seattle Pacific in the tourney championship Saturday at 6:30 PST. The winner earns an automatic berth in next week’s West Regional of the NCAA Division II National Tournament.

WOU, ranked No. 24 in this week’s National Association of Basketball Coaches/NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll and the No.1 seed after winning the GNAC regular-season title, fell to 23-6 despite the game-high 29 points of GNAC Player of the Year Andy Avgi.

Five Vikings reached double figures, including center Mac Johnson, who had an outstanding all-around game with 12 points on 6-of-6 field goal shooting, eight rebounds and a game-high eight assists.

“We’re excited about the win, we beat a very good team,” said WWU coach Tony Dominguez, who became the first coach in school history to post 20 victories in each of his first three seasons. “We’re playing good defense, and offensively we’re moving the ball.”

The Vikings used a run of 11 straight points in a 2:07 span to open up a 15-7 lead five minutes into the game. Parker had the first nine points in the charge, which was capped on a Kyle Impero dunk.

WWU led by as much as 10 in the opening half, and shot 60.7 percent (17 of 28) from the field in taking a 41-32 lead at halftime.

WOU pulled within five points in the opening minute of the second half, but never got that close again. The Vikings never led by less than seven points in the final 10 minutes, and had a 77-61 advantage with 3:32 to play.

Joey Schreiber had 15 points for WWU. Ricardo Maxwell added 14 points, and Impero added 12 points and eight rebounds. For the game, the Vikings shot 61.1 percent (33 of 54) from the field and had a 29-20 advantage in rebounds.

WWU first-team GNAC all-star Anye Turner picked up two fouls in the first 30 seconds and played just seven minutes before fouling out.

WWU is still looking for its first GNAC tourney title despite winning a national championship in 2012, reaching the national semifinals in 2013, winning two West Regional titles, and taking two GNAC regular-season crowns during the first four years of the tourney.

WESTERN WASHINGTON 88, WESTERN OREGON 79

WESTERN WASHINGTON (20-10)

Parker,Jeffrey 8-10 3-4 20; Schreiber,Joey 4-9 4-4 15; Maxwell,Ricardo 5-8 3-6 14; Johnson,Mac 6-6 0-0 12; Impero,Kyle 6-13 0-0 12; Javier,Harris 2-4 2-2 8; Turner,Anye 1-2 2-3 4; Hopkins,Mark 1-1 0-0 3; Bowen,Blake 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 33-54 14-19 88.

WESTERN OREGON (23-6)

Avgi,Andy 11-17 6-8 29; Nichols,Julian 7-15 1-2 15; Alexander,Devon 5-12 1-2 14; Wiley,Jordan 4-6 2-3 13; Sarhan,Marwan 3-7 0-0 6; Thomas,Lewis 1-4 0-0 2; Schriber,Jordan 0-1 0-0 0; Hastings,Adam 0-1 0-0 0; DupreeTurner,Dezmond 0-0 0-0 0; Nestell,Nick 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 31-63 10-15 79.

Half: WWU 41, WOU 32

3-point field goals — Western Washington 8-18 (Schreiber,Joey 3-6; Javier,Harris 2-4; Parker,Jeffrey 1-3; Hopkins,Mark 1-1; Maxwell,Ricardo 1-2; Bowen,Blake 0-1; Impero,Kyle 0-1), Western Oregon 7-16 (Wiley,Jordan 3-4; Alexander,Devon 3-5; Avgi,Andy 1-2; Thomas,Lewis 0-1; Schriber,Jordan 0-1; Sarhan,Marwan 0-1; Nichols,Julian 0-2). Fouled out--Western Washington-Turner,Anye, Western Oregon-Nichols,Julian; Wiley,Jordan. Rebounds--Western Washington 29 (Impero,Kyle 8; Johnson,Mac 8), Western Oregon 20 (Avgi,Andy 6). Assists--Western Washington 22 (Johnson,Mac 8), Western Oregon 14 (Nichols,Julian 5). Total fouls--Western Washington 13, Western Oregon 18. Technical fouls--Western Washington-None, Western Oregon-None. A-376

  Comments