CWU Men's basketball punches ticket to GNAC tournament - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

CWU Men's basketball punches ticket to GNAC tournament

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By Sammy Henderson

MONMOUTH, Ore. -- The Central Washington University men's basketball team secured the sixth and final berth into the Great Northwest Athletic Conference men's basketball tournament with its 94-74 victory over Western Oregon University on Saturday afternoon at the Physical Education Building in Monmouth, Ore.

Central Washington finished the regular season with a 14-12 overall record and a 8-10 mark in GNAC play, and will play third-seeded Seattle Pacific in the first round of the conference tournament next Wednesday (Feb. 29) at Lacey. Western Oregon, ranked sixth in the NCAA Division II West Region this past week, finished the regular season at 18-9 and 11-7 in the GNAC, and will open the GNAC Tournament versus Montana State Billings on Wednesday.

Sophomore Lacy Haddock (Las Vegas, Nev./Sierra Vista HS), who missed Thursday's game at Saint Martin's due to injury, scored a game-high 21 points on Saturday. Sixteen of his points in the second half, and he made 7 of his 12 shot attempts.

Junior Jordan Coby (Tacoma, Wash./Wilson HS) and senior Jody Johnson (Seattle, Wash./Franklin HS) combined to score 21 points in the first half, as the Wildcats gained a 37-31 advantage going into halftime. Coby scored on a layup at the 16:17 mark in the first half to give the Wildcats a one-point advantage, and CWU held the lead for the remainder of the game, leading by as many as nine points in the opening period.

Western Oregon cut the Wildcats' lead to three points within the first two minutes of the second half, but CWU went on a 9-0 run to take a 48-36 lead with 15:20 left. The Wildcats led by 15 with 11:18 remaining, but the Wolves went on a 10-2 run to cut the margin to seven points at the 9:53 mark. Central Washington answered by going on a 9-0 run to take a 16-point lead with just over eight minutes left in the game. Central's largest lead of the half was 23 points as they outscored WOU 57-43 in the second half.

Central Washington shot 56.3 percent (32 of 60) from the field, making 9 of its 16 three-point attempts. The Wildcat defense held the Wolves to 40.6 percent shooting (26 of 64), and just 22.2 percent (4 of 18) from behind the arc. 

CWU also held an overwhelming 46-30 rebounding advantage, led by Johnson and senior Roby Clyde (Connell, Wash./Pasco HS), who grabbed 14 and 10 rebounds, respectively. Johnson finished with his eighth double-double of the season, as he also scored 16 points on 5 of 13 shooting. In total five Wildcats, scored in double digits, with Coby adding 17, sophomore Kevin Davis (Federal Way, Wash./Todd Beamer HS) had 16, and senior Toussaint Tyler (Kent, Wash./Kentwood HS) scored 15 points.

Western Oregon guards Blair Wheadon and Kyle Long combined to score 37 of the Wolves' points and Kolton Nelson added 12.
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