Western Washington Wins GNAC Team of Week Award
Richard Woodworth shares his joy with many of the 2,490 fans in attendance Saturday at Carver Gym.
Richard Woodworth shares his joy with many of the 2,490 fans in attendance Saturday at Carver Gym.

Monday, February 4, 2013

PORTLAND, Ore. - Western Washington continued its remarkable run Saturday, overcoming a three-point deficit in the final seconds to defeat Seattle Pacific 83-76 in overtime and extend its school and conference-record win streak to 26 games.

The nationally second-ranked Vikings, who also beat Montana State Billings Thursday, earned GNAC Team of the Week honors for the second time this season with the two victories.

WWU (20-0) is just one of two remaining unbeaten teams in Division II along with top-ranked Metro State, Colo. (19-0).

WWU’s win streak is now eight games longer than any other win streak in the 12-year history of the conference.  The Vikings have also won a school-record 21 consecutive home games, which is four shy of the conference record of 25, set by Humboldt State between Nov. 24, 2001 and Feb. 27, 2003.

WWU’s previous school record for consecutive home wins of 20 was established between 1970 and 1972.  Western can match another school record Thursday – most consecutive wins to begin a season - when it plays at Northwest Nazarene.   

WWU then travels to Ellensburg Saturday to take on Central Washington.  The Vikings edged the Wildcats 86-85 earlier this season at Bellingham.

Western’s streak appeared to be in serious jeopardy Saturday as nationally fourth-ranked Seattle Pacific led  69-66 with 1:21 to play, but WWU took advantage of six consecutive missed free throws by the Falcons to go ahead 70-69 on two free throws by Rico Wilkins with 13.5 seconds left.

SPU's Alex Weber-Brader then tied the game with 3.5 seconds remaining, making one of two free throws after grabbing an offensive rebound, to force overtime.

In the extra period, Western Washington took the lead for good at 74-72 on two free throws with 4:04 left by Cameron Severson, who came off the bench to contribute 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Forward Austin Bragg had 20 points and 11 rebounds recording his GNAC-best fifth double-double of the season.  Bragg ended the week netting 27 points and 17 rebounds.

WWU had a balanced attack in the two wins as center Chris Mitchell scored 30 points and Bragg and John Allen each had 26.  Richard Woodworth netted 26 points.  Mitchell converted on 11 of 16 shots, including five of seven three-pointers.

Western also won GNAC Team of the Week honors earlier this season after earning road wins at Seattle Pacific and MSU Billings.