Wildcat Men's basketball out-guns #10 Western Washington, 89-82 - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Wildcat Men's basketball out-guns #10 Western Washington, 89-82

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ELLENSBURG, Wash. -- Junior Brandon Magee (Spanaway, Wash./Bethel HS) scored 14 second-half points helping the Central Washington University men's basketball team erase a nine-point deficit as the Wildcats upended 10th-ranked Western Washington University, 89-82, Saturday evening at Nicholson Pavilion, snapping the Vikings' 10-game win streak and handing them their only road blemish of the season.

The Wildcats improved to 13-11 on the season and 7-9 in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, holding onto sixth place in the conference standings. Western Washington drops to 23-4 and 14-2 in the GNAC, but more importantly, the Vikings' previously-undefeated road record of 8-0 was snapped. In addition, the 89 points scored by Central Washington were the most by a WWU opponent this season.

Magee, who was held scoreless in the first half, gave the Wildcats a much-needed second-half boost, scoring 12 straight points over a span of 2:06 as the home team battled through six ties and seven lead changes in the second half. They overcame a nine-point disadvantage to defeat WWU and split the season series at one win apiece.

The first half also witnessed a see-saw battle with nine lead changes and six ties as both teams shot well in the opening period. Central took a slight edge shooting 48 percent (12 of 25) from the field, while the Vikings shot 46.7 percent (14 of 30). The Vikings converted on 4 of 8 three-pointers in the first half, while the Wildcats were just 1 of 5 from behind the arc, helping the visitors to a 39-35 halftime advantage.

Western Washington used a 9-4 run to open the second half to take a nine-point edge at the 17:10 mark, but the Wildcats' grinded away at their deficit, taking their first lead in over 17 minutes of basketball on the first two of Magee's 12-point surge. The Vikings recovered, taking a one-point lead with 4:07 left in regulation, but the Wildcats responded with a 6-0 spurt to take a 83-78 lead with 1:54 left. Central Washington then made all five of its free throws in the final two minutes, and Magee capped the 89-82 victory with a two-handed slam as time expired.

CWU was sharp offensively in the second half, making 56.7 percent of its shots and draining 20 of 25 from the free throw line. WWU fell off just slightly after halftime, making 43.6 percent of its shots, but the Wildcat defense forced eight turnovers in the half, which they converted into 15 points.

Sophomore Lacy Haddock (Las Vegas, Nev./Sierra Vista HS) led the Wildcats in scoring for the fifth straight contest, finishing with 21 points on 6 of 11 shooting and making 9 of his 12 free throw attempts. Sophomore Kevin Davis (Federal Way, Wash./Todd Beamer HS) broke out of a six-game slump to score 17 points and grab 10 rebounds, posting his first double-double in seven contests and his ninth of the season. Senior Roby Clyde (Connell, Wash./Pasco HS) scored 12 points, while junior Trey Gross (Stockton, Calif./Edison HS) gave quality minutes off the bench scoring seven points, converting on his first three shots of the contest.

Western Washington forward Rory Blanche powered the Vikings' offense in the first half, scoring 18 of his game-high 22 points in the opening period, including 15 of the team's first 17 points. John Allen added 14 points for the Vikings, while Zach Henefin logged 37 minutes of action and scored 12 points.

Central Washington will play its final two regular-season games on the road next week against Saint Martin's (Feb. 23 at 7 p.m.) and Western Oregon University (Feb. 25 at 2 p.m.).
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