The No. 17 Western men’s basketball team extended their win streak to six games in a hard-fought victory over Central Washington University Saturday, Jan. 22.
The 100-89 victory was closer than the final score suggests, with 17 lead changes. However, the Vikings’ defense held the Wildcats without a field goal for the last 4:37 of the game to lock in the win.
“It was a great win. We really just took that energy the fans were feeding us.”
The win over Central keeps Western on top of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.
Senior guard Taylor Stafford led the team with 29 points, with senior forward Jeffrey Parker putting up another 27.
Parker said he feels like he is finding his rhythm on offense.
“I think the guards have been doing a good job of finding me and the coaches have been putting me in positions where I’ve been successful,” Parker said. “It was a great win. We really just took that energy the fans were feeding us.”
Parker is now fourth on the all-time scoring list for the Vikings with 1691 points over 108 games in his career.
Head Coach Tony Dominguez said the offense is staying smart as well as spreading the ball around.
“We have a group of guys who are very skilled offensively, they’ve done a good job of moving the ball and sharing it,” Dominguez said. “We weren’t just shooting bad shoots, we were taking what the
defense gave us. We were very disciplined.”
Central jumped out to a quick but small lead, leading by four after two minutes, their largest lead of the game. However, they were rarely in front for very long, as Western was ahead for nearly 28 minutes.
Central played a fairly inefficient game, shooting 48.6 percent from the field to Western’s 57.6 percent. They also lost the rebound game, snatching 27 to Western’s 35.
The Vikings haven’t lost a game since Dec. 31 of 2016 and they’ve won six games in a row in Great Northwest Athletic Conference play.
The key to the six-game winning streak?
“Chemistry,” Parker said. “Our chemistry is the big key. Guys who know each other’s tendencies. We really want to stay in first place, so that drive helps us.”
The Vikings will take on Simon Fraser University (2-16, 0-10 GNAC) Tuesday, Jan. 24 at home. Simon Fraser University is in the midst of a 14-game losing streak.