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Vikings Sweep Final Player Of Week Awards For 2016
Taylor Stafford (left) averaged 26.7 points per game in three games while Tia Briggs averaged a double-double in two contests in Vegas.
Taylor Stafford (left) averaged 26.7 points per game in three games while Tia Briggs averaged a double-double in two contests in Vegas.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. – A pair of outstanding individual performances by Western Washington athletes in the final week of non-conference basketball play provided the Vikings a sweep of the final GNAC Player of the Week awards for 2016.

Senior guard Taylor Stafford was named the Men’s Basketball Player of the Week after he led the Vikings in three games against top-25 ranked programs. Stafford exploded for a 44-point performance in Western Washington’s 104-81 win at UC San Diego. In 37 minutes, Stafford connected on 15 of 21 from the field and 7 of 9 from three-point range to go along with five rebounds. The scoring performance is the second best in WWU history and tied for sixth best in GNAC history. Stafford went on to score 21 points against West Texas A&M and 15 points against Tarleton State at the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic in Las Vegas.

Stafford enters the restart of GNAC play ranked third in the league in scoring at 21 points per game. He is also third in the GNAC in assists, averaging 4.80 per game.

Senior forward Tia Briggs earned the Women’s Basketball Player of the Week award after she averaged 18 points and 12 rebounds per game in a split at the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic. Briggs finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds, to go along with two blocks, in Friday’s 69-68 loss to Angelo State. She came up with another 18-point performance in Monday’s 67-55 win over Eastern New Mexico, adding 11 rebounds.

Briggs is averaging 10.9 points per game and is tied for fourth in the GNAC in rebounding, averaging seven boards per contest. She is also fourth in the league in defensive rebounds, averaging 5.3 per game.

With no games over the next week, the next GNAC Player of the Week awards will be announced on Mon., Jan. 2.

GNAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK SELECTIONS – WEEK 16
MEN’S BASKETBALL
Taylor Stafford
(Western Washington, G, 6-1, Sr., Chicago, Ill. – Univ. of Evansville): Stafford averaged 26.7 points per game in three games for the Vikings, all against top-25 opponents. Last Monday, Stafford exploded for 44 points on 15 of 21 from the field and 7 of 9 from three-point range in a 104-81 win at UC San Diego. He added a game-leading 21-point performance against West Texas A&M on Sunday and 15 points against Tarleton State on Monday at the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic in Las Vegas. Also Nominated: Bouna N’Diaye (Northwest Nazarene), Dom Hunter (Central Washington), Drew Martin (Concordia), Spencer Svejcar (Alaska Anchorage).

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
Tia Briggs
(Western Washington, F, 6-1, Sr., Tacoma, Wash. – Wilson): Briggs averaged 18 points and 12 rebounds in two games as the Vikings split at the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic. She finished with a double-double of 18 points and 13 rebounds to go along with two blocks against Angelo State on Saturday and then contributed 18 points and 11 rebounds in Monday’s 67-55 win over Eastern New Mexico. Also Nominated: Lexi Tubbs (Northwest Nazarene), Jordan McPhee (Seattle Pacific), Danielle Hartzog (Concordia), Taylor Edwards (Montana State Billings), Tara Thompson (Alaska Anchorage).

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