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Vikings rise to the occasion against rival Wildcats at home.

Trevor Jasinsky went 8-8 from the line and ended the night with a new career-high in points against the Wildcats. // Photo by Claudia Cooper

By Max Gleiberman

Western’s Rivalry Week was full of action with the Western men’s basketball team hosting the Central Washington University Wildcats on Thursday, Feb. 7 at Sam Carver Gymnasium. The Vikings and Wildcats kept it competitive with the Vikings taking it 91-86, snapping a three-game losing streak.

Junior forward Trevor Jasinsky was on fire, hitting 7-of-13 3-pointers and finishing the game with a career-high 33 points. Junior forward Cameron Retherford also had a big game with a 14 point, 11 rebound double-double.

“Trevor had a great performance tonight and really stepped up in key moments, and Cam really stepped up tonight and we needed that. I’m very proud of his efforts and contributions tonight,” head coach Tony Dominguez said.

Both teams had the same number of rebounds with 30, but the Vikings were able to out-rebound the Wildcats on the offensive side 10-6. Those offensive rebounds were the difference-maker, and helped the Vikings build a lead and hold on in the tightly-contested game.

“One of the keys to winning the game was out-rebounding them, so I was shocked to see we were tied,” Dominguez said.

Junior guard Tyler Payne said the Vikings used their size to their advantage. He added that most teams they play tend to have size mismatches in the paint that favor the Vikings, and believes if they play “inside-out” it becomes a game of “pick your poison” for their opponents.

“I feel we got out in transition a little bit more. In the past we tended to run a lot of our sets, but this game we just played free-flowing and had fun,” Payne said.

It was a competitive game all around with both teams getting 17 total assists and moving the ball well throughout the game. The Wildcats even managed to out-shoot the Vikings in terms of efficiency, going 56.9 percent from the field while the Vikings shot 47.5 percent. However, the Vikings took better care of the ball, only committing 14 turnovers compared to the Wildcats’ 18.

“Not having confidence is a weakness and you got to get past that and I think as a team we did,” Dominguez said.

This win improved the Vikings’ season record to 12-11, and moved them up to sixth place in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference with an in-conference record of 6-7. The Vikings’ next game will be Saturday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. at home against No. 24 Ranked Northwest Nazarene University Nighthawks.

“We are going to pick up right where we left off and we can use this momentum to win out the rest of the conference,” Payne said.

This game brief was updated with more information on Saturday, Feb. 9. For more coverage on Western athletics follow @WFSportsLive on Twitter.


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