Men's Basketball: Allen, McLaughlin Have Big Nights
CWU's Mark McLaughlin (32) scored 32 points in home win over MSUB Thursday (Photo by Ron Hole)
CWU's Mark McLaughlin (32) scored 32 points in home win over MSUB Thursday (Photo by Ron Hole)

Friday, January 18, 2013

PORTLAND, Ore. - John Allen and Mark McLaughlin had big nights Thursday leading their respective teams to Great Northwest Athletic Conference victories.

Allen scored 38 points, the most by a GNAC player in nearly two years, to lead unbeaten Western Washington (15-0, 6-0) to a 91-81 road victory against Western Oregon.  The nationally third-ranked Vikings have now won a GNAC-record 21 consecutive games.

McLaughlin netted 32 points in Central Washington's 89-86 home win against Montana State Billings.

Seattle Pacific and Saint Martin's also earned wins Thurday.  David Downs scored 22 points and had six assists in SPU's 77-62 road victory at Northwest Nazarene.  Eric Taylor and Rei Jensen each had 18 points as the Saints beat Simon Fraser 78-65.

Seattle Pacific's win moved the nationally sixth-ranked Falcons (12-2) into a tie for second-place in the GNAC with idle Alaska Fairbanks.  Both teams are 5-1 and one game back of WWU.

Both also have big games Saturday.  SPU visits Nicholson Pavilion to face CWU in a game that matches the GNAC's top scoring team against the conference's stingiest defensive team.

Central (10-5, 4-3), which began the week ranked fourth nationally in scoring, is averaging 90.3 points per game, while Seattle Pacific, which started the week ranked ninth nationally in scoring defense, allows 59.6 and is on pace to set a new conference record.  Alaska Anchorage set the GNAC record for fewest points allowed in 2007-08 giving up 60.1 per game.

Alaska Fairbanks (10-4) brings a six-game win streak into its home contest Saturday against Alaska Anchorage (10-4, 3-3).

Elsewhere Saturday, Western Washington risks its long win streak at Lacey against Saint Martin's (6-8, 2-4), MSUB (8-9, 1-5) visits Northwest Nazarene (9-6, 3-4) and Simon Fraser (5-9, 0-6) plays at Western Oregon (7-7, 2-4).

Western Washington 91, Western Oregon 81

Allen, who ranks second to McLaughlin in scoring in the GNAC averaging 18.3 points per games, connected on 15 of 21 shots, including four of five three-pointers in scoring the most points in a GNAC game since Brandon Walker of Alaska Anchorage scored 40 against Western Oregon on Feb. 19, 2011.

Forward Paul Jones also had a big night, scoring a career-high 27 points.  He made 12 of 16 shots.  Chris Mitchell had a double-double, scoring 11 points and grabbing 11 rebounds as the Vikings dominated the backboards 47-26.

Kolton Nelson came off the bench to lead Western Oregon, which lost its fourth straight, with 21 points, while Devon Alexander contributed 20 points.  Andy Avgi chipped in with 15.

WWU trailed 9-6 early in the contest, but went on a 15-3 run to go ahead for good.  Jones, who hit a shot from well behind halfcourt to end the first half, had six of the 15.

Central Washington 89, Montana State Billings 86

McLaughlin earned his third 30-point game of the season - the most in the GNAC this winter - and CWU fought off a late rally from Montana State Billings.

McLaughlin, who has also had 33 and 31 point games this season and leads the GNAC with a 23.7 average, connected on 14 of 20 shots and also had eight rebounds before fouling out with 23 seconds left.

MSUB trailed 86-75 with less than four minutes left but ran off 10 straight points - eight by Omar McDade - to pull to within one with 1:07 remaining.  McLaughlin, however, then hit a jumper with 51.7 seconds left and Jordan Coby added a free throw with 18.8 ticks remaining.   MSUB had a chance in the closing seconds but missed a three-point shot.

McDade finished the game with 26 points and six assists, converting on six of 10 three-point shots.  Jerrell Crayton had 22 points and 11 rebounds.  Chris Holmes had 13 points and Coby had 10 for the Wildcats.

Seattle Pacific 77, Northwest Nazarene 62

Downs was perfect from the foul line (9 of 9) and  led four players in double figures in Seattle Pacific's victory. 

The Falcons also were led by Patrick Simon with 17 points, Jobi Wall with 15 and Andy Poling with 10.  Kenny Jones had 17 points and Michal Kurismy had 15 for the Crusaders.

NNU capitalized on six SPU turnovers in the opening four minutes to build a 15-6 lead, but SPU responded with a 15-1 run, fueled by three Simon three-pointers to go ahead 21-16.

NNU rallied to take its last lead at 29-28, but the Falcons closed the first period with a 14-4 surge to gain control with a 42-33 halftime lead.

Saint Martin's 78, Simon Fraser 65

Jensen connected on eight of 12 shots and Taylor made six of seven to key Saint Martin's victory.  The Saints also got 17 points from Roger O'Neill who increased his career point total to 986.

Matt Ravio and Anto Olah each scored 14 for Simon Fraser, which dropped its eighth game in a row.  Elijah Matthews added 12 points.

SMU shot 53.6 percent in the first half in building a 37-25 lead at the break and finished the contest shooting 50.9 (27-53), while holding the Clan to 20 field goals in 60 attempts (33.3).