Western Washington junior forward Jeffrey Parker scored a game-high 31 points on 11-for-15 shooting from the field to lead the Vikings to a 78-73 victory over Alaska Anchorage on Thursday, Feb. 3, in a quarterfinal game of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Tournament in Lacey.
The Vikings, the No. 6 seed in the tournament, improved to 16-14 overall with the five-point victory. Alaska Anchorage (21-11) exits the six-team tournament as its bid for a three-win season over WWU was unsuccessful for the second straight season.
WWU advances to the semifinal game of the conference championship and will face No. 2 seed Alaska (21-7 overall, 15-5 GNAC) tomorrow at noon in Lacey.
“This was a tremendous team victory and I am really proud of the guys,” WWU coach Tony Dominguez said in a news release. “We had renewed energy and confidence on the floor and it was nice to see the team that I knew we had. They were quick to the ball, played excellent defense and I felt like they played a mentally strong game.”
Parker missed only four shots from the field (11 for 15) and was 5 for 8 from 3-point range. This marked his third 30-point effort of the season, and second in a row after scoring 32 points in the regular-season finale Feb. 27 vs. Saint Martin’s. In the deciding second half he scored 19 points going 6 for 7 from the field, including 3 for 4 from three-point range and 4 for 4 from the free throw line.
Senior guard Kyle Impero recorded his fourth double-double of the season with 11 points and 12 rebounds. He scored 9 of his 11 points in the second half, including a key 4 points in the last 1:37 of the game.
Senior point guard Ricardo Maxwell returned to the floor after missing the last two games with a concussion and contributed 18 points, six rebounds and six assists.