Webster Powers Western Oregon Into Semifinals
Play Video Webster drives for two of his 30 points against UAA's Teancum Stafford (30) and Kyle Fossman (42) in Wednesday's game (Photo by Dan Levine)
Webster drives for two of his 30 points against UAA's Teancum Stafford (30) and Kyle Fossman (42) in Wednesday's game (Photo by Dan Levine)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

LACEY, Wash. – As he has done all season long, Western Oregon guard Rodney Webster spent the early minutes of his team’s game on the bench Wednesday.

When Webster, who leads the Wolves in scoring on the season averaging 15.3 per game, finally got into the contest there was no stopping him.

The 6-1 guard from Hanford, Calif., scored a career-high 30 points – 15 in each half – to lead fifth-seeded Western Oregon (18-11) to a 94-88 win over fourth-seed Alaska Anchorage in Game 2 of the opening round of the GNAC Men’s Basketball championships at Marcus Pavilion on the campus of Saint Martin’s University.

The win advances WOU to Thursday’s 7:30 p.m. semifinal game against top-seed and GNAC regular-season champion Seattle Pacific (24-5). 

The first semifinal at 5:15 p.m. will send third-seed Alaska Fairbanks (18-9) against No. 2 Western Washington (19-7).  UAF gained its berth in the semifinals by defeating Montana State Billings 69-59 in Wednesday’s first game.

The WOU-UAA game was tied 10 times, the final time at 73-73 on a layup by UAA’s Kyle Fossman with 5:21 remaining.

Webster, however, then converted a three-point play seven seconds later for his 28th, 29th and 30th points of the game.

His teammates took over at that point scoring the Wolves final 16 points, including the first six by reserve forward Jordan Schriber who played just 14 minutes.

Ironically, those were Schriber’s only points of the game as he made his only two field goal attempts and two free throws of the contest in that stretch.

Jordan Wiley, who had 24 points, then hit a three-pointer to give WOU a 85-76 lead with 1:42 left.

UAA’s Teancum Stafford cut WOU’s lead back to six with a three-pointer with 1:28 remaining, but two foul shots by Devon Alexander and a dunk by Andy Avgi pushed the Wolf lead to 10 at 89-79 with just 1:08 remaining. 

Webster hit 12-of-18 field goal attempts including 6-of-7 in the second period.  He also led his team with five assists.  Wiley did all his damage from the three-point (7-of-12) and free throw line (3-of-4).  Both Webster's field goal total and Wiley's three-point total are GNAC tournament single-game records.

Avgi joined those two in double figures scoring 10 points and leading his team with seven rebounds.

Fossman paced Alaska Anchorage, which finished its season with a 17-13 record with 27 points.  Fossman was 10-of-18 from the floor, including 6-of-11 from the arc.

Stafford had 18 points, connecting on 5-of-8 treys.  Also in double figures were Travis Thompson with 17 points and Brian McGill with 10.

Both teams had outstanding shooting games, especially in the second half when the fought to a 50-50 standoff.  WOU, which led 44-38 at the break, converted on 64 percent (16-of-25) in the final 20 minutes and 53.6 percent (30-of-56) for the entire contest.

Alaska Anchorage made 17-of-29 (58.6) in the second period and 56.7 percent (34-of-60) for the full 40 minutes.

From the arc, the Wolves shot 50 percent (13-of-26), while UAA made 13-of-24  (56.7). Both teams broke the GNAC single-game tournament record for most three-pointers made.