Viking men, women grab wins Saturday
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The Western Washington University men overcame a three-point deficit in the final seconds of regulation and went on to claim its 26th consecutive victory, an 83-76 triumph in overtime against Seattle Pacific University in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference men's basketball contest between two top five nationally ranked teams Saturday before a sellout crowd of 2490 at Sam Carver Gymnasium on the WWU campus.
The defending NCAA Division II national champion Vikings, who are ranked No.2 in this week's National Association of Basketball Coaches Top 25, improved to 20-0, one shy of the WWU record for an unbeaten start set in 1971-72, and remain atop the GNAC at 11-0.
Forward Austin Bragg (Jr., Longview/Mark Morris) had 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Vikings, who have won 26 straight games dating back to last season, a school and GNAC record. Cameron Severson (Sr., Petersburg, AK) came off the bench to contribute 16 points and 10 rebounds, including two free throws with 4:04 left in overtime that put WWU in front to stay, 74-72.
It was the 21st consecutive home victory for the Vikings, breaking a school record set from 1970 to 1972. WWU is 11-0 at home this season.
SPU, ranked No.4 nationally, fell to 16-3 overall and 9-2 in the GNAC. Both conference losses are against WWU, the only Falcon losses in their last 15 games. Guard David Downs led SPU with 20 points.
Earlier in the night, forward Trishi Williams (Sr., Mabton) had just the third triple-double in school history as the nationally ranked WWU women claimed an 83-72 victory over defending league and West Region champion University of Alaska Anchorage on Saturday in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference women's basketball contest at Sam Carver Gymnasium on the WWU campus.
Center Britt Harris (Sr., Marysville/Marysville-Pilchuck) had 17 of her game-high 25 points in the first half for the Vikings, who are No.5 in this week's USA Today Sports/ESPN NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll. WWU improved to 17-2 overall and stayed two games in front in the GNAC standings at 11-0 with their 11th consecutive victory.
Williams had 11 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists, the latter two figures being game highs, for the first WWU triple-double since Addy Johnson accomplished the feat in the 1994-95 season. The 11 assists were also the most for a Viking since the 2002-03 season.
UAA fell to 10-9 overall and 4-7 in the GNAC with its seventh loss in the last 10 games. Guard Jessica Madison had 18 points and nine rebounds for the Seawolves, center Alysa Horn had 17 points and guard Sasha King added 16.