Men's Basketball: WWU Earns GNAC Team of the Week Award
Mitchell scored 17 points and also had six rebounds and three blocked shots in two wins last week.
Mitchell scored 17 points and also had six rebounds and three blocked shots in two wins last week.

Monday, January 7, 2013

PORTLAND, Ore. - A quick start and a fast finish has earned Western Washington’s men’s basketball team the GNAC Team of the Week award.

The nationally fifth-ranked Vikings built a 31-22 halftime lead and led throughout the second half in defeating seventh-ranked Seattle Pacific 66-56 last Thursday at SPU's Brougham Pavilion. 

WWU then used a 20-0 second-half run to beat Montana State Billings 95-80 Saturday at Billings to extend its win streak to 18 games as it improved to 12-0 on the season.

The 18 wins matches the GNAC record for most consecutive victories set by Alaska Anchorage during the 2007-08 season when the Seawolves reached the semifinal game of the NCAA Division II Elite Eight tournament.

The Vikings will try to set a new conference record Thursday when they host Central Washington.  That game will be regionally televised on ROOT Sports.  Airtime on ROOT Sports will be at 9 p.m. with tip off set for 9:10 p.m.

Guard John Allen scored 33 points in the two games, including 25 in Saturday’s win at Montana State Billings.

Three other players averaged in double figures in the two victories.  Forward Paul Jones and guard Richard Woodworth each scored 25 points and guard Cameron Severson came off the bench to score 23 points and grab a team-high 13 rebounds in the two contests.

WWU outshot its two opponents by a wide margin, converting on 62 of 119 shots (52.1 percent), while limiting the Falcons and Yellowjackets to a combined percentage of 38.6 (49-127).  That, along with a plus 11 turnover advantage (21-32) helped offset a minus 11 rebounding disadvantage (78-67).

In addition to tying the GNAC record, WWU’s 12-0 start and its 18-game win streak are both the second best in WWU history.

Allen scored 16 of his 25 points in the second half in Saturday’s win.  Woodworth had 15 points and a game-high seven steals.

Allen, who scored 16 of his points in the second half, was 10 of 20 from the field.

Jones had a game-high 16 points in Thursday’s win at Brougham Pavilion. Woodworth and Chris Mitchell each had 10 points and Severson had nine points and a game-high 10 rebounds.

"The defense from our bench turned the (SPU) game around," said WWU coach Tony Dominguez, who is now 12-0 in his rookie season as a head coach, said.    "It had been going back and forth, and then they came in and we got some big stops."