WWU Trips Up Chaminade in West Region Quarterfinals
Allen (29 points) and Chaminade's Bennie Murray (32 points) combined for 61 points (Photo by Dan Levine)
Allen (29 points) and Chaminade's Bennie Murray (32 points) combined for 61 points (Photo by Dan Levine)

Friday, March 15, 2013

BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Guard John Allen scored a team-high 29 points and added eight assists to lead defending national champion Western Washington to a 102-87 victory over Chaminade before a crowd of 2,385 in the final quarterfinal game of the NCAA Division II West Regional Friday at Sam Carver Gymnasium. 

The Vikings (28-2) advance to Monday's semifinals at 7:30 p.m. against Cal State San Bernardino.

WWU never trailed in the second half, but the result remained in doubt until the final moments.

The Silverswords were down by just six (89-83) with 4:28 to go, but a Cameron Severson layin and an Austin Bragg dunk pushed the margin to 10 (93-83) with 3:05 to go.   The gap was never less than eight after that.

Center Chris Mitchell had 19 points, going 4-of-5 on 3-pointers, for the Vikings, who shot 58.2 percent (32-of-55) from the field, including a sizzling 68.4 percent (13-of-19) in the second half.

“We found a group that clicked in the second half, we started running the offense and getting easier buckets,” said WWU coach Tony Dominguez. “Chaminade plays a frenzied style and we got caught up in that in the first half, but we did better in the second half.”

Forward Paul Jones  had 16 points for WWU. Bragg added 14 points and a game-high 10 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season, and Severson had 12 points off the bench.

Chaminade, the No.8 seed, concluded its season 19-11 despite a game-high 32 points from guard Bennie Murray.

Lee Bailey had 15 points for the Silverswords,who shot 56.3 percent (9-of-16) on 3-pointers, but Pacific West Conference Player of the Year De’Andre Haskins was held to eight, roughly 10 below his average.

In a wild first half, the Vikings twice opened up significant leads only to have the Silverswords rally.  WWU’s biggest lead of the period was 11, the last time at 52-41 with a minute left, but Chaminade ran off seven straight points to narrow the halftime margin to 52-48.

Allen, who was 8-of-15 from the field and 10-of-10 on free throws, now has 1,430 career points, just six short of ninth place in school history.