SEATTLE, Wash. – Despite 25 points from guard Richard Woodworth (Sr., Bellevue/Newport) and 21 by center Austin Bragg (Sr., Longview/Mark Morris), Western Washington University suffered its second straight loss, falling to Seattle Pacific University, 91-88, in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference men’s basketball contest Saturday between two Top 25 nationally ranked teams at Royal Brougham Pavilion on the SPU campus.
The loss dropped the Vikings, ranked No.24 in this week’s National Association of Basketball Coaches/NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll, to 16-6 overall and 10-4 in the GNAC.
Guard David Downs had a game-high 36 points for No.15 SPU, which improved to 22-4 overall and leads the GNAC at 13-2. Forward Patrick Simon added 22 points for the Falcons, who won their 11th straight game.
SPU held an 11-point lead, 58-47, five minutes into the second half, the only double-digit lead of the game. The Vikings rallied to pull within three, 61-58, on a Woodworth jumper with 12:16, but didn’t get that close again until a Bragg free throw with 1:52 left.
The Falcons then went up by six on a 3-pointer by Simon, but WWU pulled within three again, 84-81, as Woodworth, who had 10 points in the final 90 seconds, drove the lane, scored and converted a free throw with 1:26 to go.
The Vikings pulled within two points three times after that, but didn’t have a potential tying possession until Simon made one of two free throws with 1.8 seconds left to give SPU a 91-88 lead. Simon then snuffed out the WWU chance to tie, stealing the inbound pass and holding the ball as time expired.
Forward Jeffrey Parker (R-Fr., Richmond, CA/Salesian) had 14 points for WWU, which shot 57.9 percent (33-of-57) from the field.
SPU shot 57.4 percent (31-of-54) from the floor, with Simon going 9-of-12. Downs was 10-of-19 from the field, including 4-of-8 on 3-pointers, and was 12-of-13 on free throws.
Two Vikings returned to the lineup Saturday. Starting forward Anye Turner (Jr., Tumwater/Black Hills) returned after missing Thursday’s102-101 overtime loss at MSU-Billings with a dislocated big toe, and forward Joey Schreiber (R-Fr., Renton/Eastside Catholic) saw his first action after missing eight games with facial fractures suffered in an 82-69 home win over Simon Fraser on Jan. 11
WWU hosts Northwest Nazarene University on Thursday (7 p.m.) in a GNAC counter.