News

Viking men advance to GNAC Tournament championship game

Viking men advance to GNAC Tournament championship game

WWU's Jeffery Parker Photo: KPUG/Courtesy of Western Washington University

LACEY, Wash. – Forward Jeffrey Parker (R-Fr., Richmond, CA/Salesian) scored a game-high 21 points, 16 in the first half, as Western Washington University defeated University of Alaska Fairbanks, 73-52, in a semifinal men’s basketball game Thursday at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Tournament being held at Marcus Pavilion on the campus of host Saint Martin’s University.

Forward Joey Schreiber (Fr., Renton/Eastside Catholic) scored 14 points and point guard Robert Harris, Jr. (Sr., Kent/Rainier Beach) added 10, all of them in the second half, for the Vikings, the No.2 seed, who improved to 20-7 and advanced to Saturday’s GNAC championship game (5:15 p.m.) against either No.1 seed Seattle Pacific or No.6 Western Oregon.

UAF, the No.4 seed, ended its season at18-10, shooting just 29.0 percent (18-of-62) from the floor. Ronnie Baker scored 18 points and Sergej Pucar 12 for the Nanooks. Baker had just four in the first half and Pucar two.

UAF, which had a three-game winning streak snapped, reached the semifinals by defeating Montana State Billings, 69-59, in an opening-round contest Wednesday.

WWU guard Richard Woodworth (Sr., Bellevue/Newport), a first-team GNAC all-star, sustained an injury to his right knee one minute into the second half and did not return to action.

WWU led 17-5 after the first 11:38 as the Nanooks made just two of their first 19 shots from the field.

With 5:36 left in the period, UAF had crept back to within five, 19-14. But the Vikings responded by scoring the last 19 points of the half, the run beginning with five straight 3-pointers, four of them by Parker, to lead by 24, 38-14, at the intermission.

“I just came out firing,” said Parker, who finished 5-of-6 from 3-point range. “I knew that I had to be aggressive.”

The Nanooks shot just 15.6 percent from the field (5-of-32) in the first half, making just 1-of-10 3-point attempts.

UAF began the second half with a 13-1 run, cutting the deficit to 12, 39-27, on a 3-pointer by Pucar with 15 minutes left.

But that was as close as the Nanooks would get as WWU scored 15 of the next 19 points to lead, 54-31, with 11:21 to go. The Vikings’ biggest advantage was 27 points on two occasions, the first at 65-38 with five minutes remaining.

WWU had a 43-29 rebound advantage with forward Anye Turner (Jr., Tumwater/Black Hills) grabbing a game-high 10 and Harris and Parker nine each.

The victory clinched a third straight 20-win season for WWU as head coach Tony Dominguez became the first coach in school history to reach the 20-win plateau in each of his first two seasons.

“Once we got comfortable, we got into a grove, everything began to click,” said Dominguez.

-WWU-

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: July 30

elvis

The Hollywood headlines that made history.

in Entertainment

REVIEW: ‘Vacation’ is a fun road trip for a new generation

18-overlay7

Rating: R | Run time: 99 min. | Genre: Comedy | Starring: Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Skyler Gisondo, Steele Stebbins…

in Music

Miranda Lambert launches scholarship fund for women

mirandalambert

The country superstar is establishing a new scholarship at Nashville's Belmont University to help women pursue jobs in the entertainment industry.

in Entertainment

Conan O’Brien accused of stealing jokes

20-overlay8

The late night host is being sued for allegedly lifting gags from Twitter.