Herald news services
BELLINGHAM — Richard Woodworth, John Allen and Rico Wilkins combined for 51 points to lead defending national champion Western Washington to a 86-77 victory over Cal State University San Bernardino on Monday night in a men’s semifinal basketball game of the NCAA Division II West Regional.
The Vikings, ranked No.4 in this week’s NABC NCAA Division II National Top 25 Poll and the No.1 seed in the West Regional, improved to 29-2 overall and face Seattle Pacific in the regional final today at 8:30 p.m.
Woodworth had a team-high 18 points, 12 in the first half; Allen had 17 points and five assists; and Wilkins had 16 points, 11 in the last nine minutes.
“We played a complete game tonight,” said WWU coach Tony Dominguez. “We moved the ball on offense, then defensively we were really on it.”
The victory was the 26th straight at home for WWU, breaking the Great Northwest Athletic Conference record of 25 set by Humboldt State (2001-03). The Vikings are 16-0 at Carver Gym this season.
WWU and SPU have already met three times this season. The Vikings won the two regular season games, winning at Seattle, 66-56, on Jan. 3; and at Bellingham, 83-76, in overtime, on Feb. 2.
Cal State San Bernardino, the No.5 seed, concluded its season with a record of 20-9. Kwame Alexander scored a game-high 28 points for Cal State San Bernardino.
SPU 67, Cal Poly Pomona 54
BELLINGHAM — Patrick Simon scored 18 points and had a career-high 13 rebounds, helping second-ranked Seattle Pacific post its school record-tying 27th win with a victory over No. 5 Cal Poly Pomona.
The third-seeded Falcons (27-3) advance to the West Regional championship game for the second straight season. In last year’s regional final, the Falcons lost 56-50 to Western Washington.
“We’re excited to advance,” SPU coach Ryan Looney said. “Cal Poly Pomona is a great team. It’s a little bit of a shame we had to play each other this early in the tournament. Right now, we feel fortunate to get through that one.”
Seattle Pacific extended its winning streak to 11 games and matched the victory total of its 2000 team that reached to the national semifinals. Jobi Wall scored 17 points for the Falcons, and David Downs had 13 points and five assists.
Second-seeded Cal Poly Pomona finished its season with a record of 28-3.