Men’s basketball head coach Tony Dominguez gets pumped-up during win over SPU. // Photo by Oliver Hamlin
Compiled by Haley McLendon
The Vikings went 0-3 at the Hoops in Hawai’i Division II Power Invitational at the Hawai’i Convention Center.
Their first loss was to the undefeated Chaminade University Silverswords during their 74-66 tournament opening game on Dec. 16. Despite the loss, junior forward Trevor Jasinsky and sophomore forward Luke Lovelady both double-doubled in points and rebounds during the game. While Western shot an impressive 83.3 percent from the free throw line, it was the Silverswords’ 3-point shooting that helped secure their win.
The Vikings played the Southern Nazarene University Thunder Cats on Dec. 17, losing the match 85-72. The Vikings were again bested in 3-point shooting, making only 27.3 percent compared to SNU’s 60.0 percent. Loss aside, Jasinsky made Vikings history during this game by becoming the 20th Viking in the program to make 100 3-point shots. He scored a total of 13 points during the game, as did freshman forward Jalen Green.
Western’s final game of the tournament was against the Emmanuel College Saints on Dec. 18, where the Vikings lost by three points with a final score of 79-76. Lovelady led the Vikings with a total of 20 points, followed by Jasinsky with 19 points. Lovelady achieved a career-high at the free throw line, making 10 of his 11 attempts along with a career-high of three blocked shots. Overall, five Vikings players reached double figures in scoring, and the game remained close throughout its duration with 20 lead changes and 16 ties.
Back in Bellingham on Thursday Jan. 3, the Vikings competed against the Seattle Pacific University Falcons, losing 86-72. On Saturday Jan. 5, the Vikings ended their four-game losing streak with a 75-68 win against the Saint Martin’s University Saints. In the final minutes, Jasinsky made three consecutive 3-point shots to regain the lead and propel the Vikings to the win. He scored 25 points overall.
The Vikings are now 8-6 for the season and 2-2 in conference play.
Western hosted the 2018 Viking Holiday Hoops Classic over the break, in which the women’s team went 1-1. Their first game was against the Lubbock Christian University Chaparrals on Dec. 17, where they lost 67-54. The Vikings struggled with turnovers, allowing the Chaparrals to score 23 points off of 27 turnovers. They also out-rebounded Western on the offensive side of the ball, resulting in 16 second-chance points compared to the Vikings’ three.
The Vikings won their second and final game of the tournament 77-60 against the Stanislaus State University Warriors on Dec. 18. Five Vikings’ players scored in the double digits, led by sophomore forward Kelsey Rogers, junior guard Lexie Bland and sophomore guard Gracie Castaneda, each scored 13 points. The Vikings controlled the boards, out-rebounding the Warriors 50-26, and they took advantage of the Warrior’s carelessness with the ball, scoring 11 points on 10 forced turnovers.
During their first game of the new year, the Vikings defeated the University of Alaska Nanooks on the road during a 59-57 match on Thursday Jan. 3. The Vikings again dominated in rebounds, claiming 38 to the Nanooks’ 30, with 16 offensive rebounds contributing to 12 second-chance points for the Vikings. At one point during the third quarter, the Vikings led by 22 points, and they were able to maintain their lead despite the 40 points the Nanooks scored in the second half.
After three straight conference wins, the Vikings lost their first Great Northwest Athletic Conference game of the season to the Alaska Anchorage University Seawolves on Saturday Jan. 5 with a 68-50 match on the road. Rogers led the Vikings with six made shots from the field and totaled 15 points. The Vikings turned over the ball 24 times, allowing the Seawolves to snatch 19 points. The Seawolves also had 13 offensive rebounds with 18 second-chance points, compared to the Vikings who had five offensive rebounds with two second-chance points.
The Vikings are now 8-4 for the season and 3-1 in the conference.