The Western Washington Vikings slipped past the Central Washington Wildcats 89-84 on Jan. 23 at the Nicholson Pavilion in Ellensburg, Washington behind a career night from senior point guard Ricardo Maxwell.
In a rivalry game that was shown on ROOT Sports, Maxwell matched a career-high with 31 points. He scored 21 of those points in the first half but was held to just six points in the first 19 minutes of the first half before scoring two crucial baskets in the final minute of the second half.
Maxwell’s first basket secured the lead for the Vikings at 85-84 after the Wildcats took an 84-83 lead after climbing back from a 21-point deficit in the second half. Maxwell’s second basket padded the lead to 87-84 and the Vikings left Ellensburg with a victory.
Before the Vikings took the large lead into halftime they were down 14-4 at the 15-minute mark. They finished the half on a 45-23 run to take a 49-37 lead into the half.
The change of momentum was led by Maxwell, but junior forward Jeffrey Parker also contributed 17 points, while freshman forward Trey Dreschel and senior guard Kyle Impero both scored 12 points.
The Vikings finished 23-28 (82 percent) from the free throw line while the Wildcats only were able to convert 14-26 (54 percent) of their free throws. The Vikings were also able to shoot 60 percent from the field in the first half, and 50 percent for the entire game.
The Vikings are now 12-7 overall and 6-4 in the Greater Northwest Athletic Conference. Their next game will be against Simon Fraser University on Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 7 p.m.