The Western Washington University Vikings crushed it at home on Saturday, Oct. 29, with women’s soccer shutting out Saint Martin’s University and men’s basketball dominating Douglas College.
Saturday’s game was important for two reasons: It was senior night for seven players, and the Vikings clinched their ninth regular-season Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) title.
After coming off a 2-1 loss at home against Western Oregon on Oct. 27, the Vikings regrouped and beat Saint Martin’s 3-0, adding another shutout win for their stat book this season.
In the 11th minute, junior defender Kascia Muscutt played a through ball to freshman midfielder Morgan Manalili who then shot it past the keeper into the back of the net, giving the Vikings a 1-0 lead.
The next goal came in the 62nd minute when the ball bounced off the Saints’ defense, resulting in an own goal. The Vikings led 2-0.
Junior forward Estera Levinte played a through ball to senior forward Dayana Diaz who then shot it into the net, giving the Vikings a 3-0 lead in the 70th minute and eventually the win.
Western had 20 shots total with six on goal, and Saint Martin’s had six shots total with four on goal.
The Vikings travel to Nampa, Idaho on Thursday, Nov. 3 to play Simon Fraser University in the GNAC semifinal matchup. Western has won both meetings this year, defeating the Red Leafs 3-0 in September and 2-0 in early October.
Even though preseason just began, Western men’s basketball are off to a good start, beating Lincoln 95-81 on Oct. 26 and now handily defeating the Douglas College Royals 114-71 on Oct. 29.
The Vikings throttled the Royals in the first half, heading into halftime with a commanding 61-29 lead. Western shot 18-41 in field goals, 9-25 in 3-pointers and 16-19 in free throws during the first half whereas the Royals shot 14-39 in field goals, 1-13 in 3-pointers and 0-4 in free throws.
In the second half, the Vikings did not let off the attack. Their field goal and free throw stats both improved as they shot 20-42 from the field and 7-8 in free throws; they shot 6-19 in 3-pointers, decreasing their 3-point stat ever so slightly. The Royals could not counter as they only shot 12-35 from the field, 6-17 in 3-pointers and 12-16 in free throws.
Overall, the Vikings’ offense was too much for the Royals to keep up with, and the Vikings’ defense prevented the Royals from ever taking a lead the entire game.
Western scored 40 points in the paint compared to Douglas’ 28 points, and the Vikings scored 27 points off turnovers compared to the Royals’ 10 points.
Junior guard D’Angelo Minnis scored 21 points, shooting 6-11 from the field, 3-5 in 3-pointers and 6-6 in free throws. He had five rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Both senior guard Daniel Hornbuckle and sophomore guard Matthew Mayes scored 14 points. Hornbuckle ended the game shooting 3-10 in field goals, 3-9 in 3-pointers and 5-5 in free throws while Mayes shot 7-11 in field goals, 0-3 in three pointers and had six rebounds and five steals.
Sophomore forward Nic Welp tallied nine points and 13 rebounds, sophomore guard Kai Johnson had nine points and nine rebounds and junior forward Jonathan Ned scored six points and got six rebounds, two steals and four assists.
The Vikings play their last preseason exhibition game against Columbia Bible College on Tuesday, Nov. 1 before heading to Burnaby, British Columbia on Nov. 11 and 12 to take on Cal Poly Humboldt and Cal St. Dominguez Hills.
Taras McCurdie (he/him) is the sports editor for The Front this quarter. He is an aspiring sports journalist entering his final quarter at Western Washington University (WWU). Outside of school, you can find him freelancing for the Lynden Tribune, playing on the WWU club tennis team or running on the treadmill at the Rec Center. When chilling at night, he listens to throwback slow jams and ’90s hip-hop. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.