In an intense game Western Washington University defeated Seattle Pacific University 56 to 50. The stands were packed, but there were many SPU fans to be seen in Carver Gym making my job as a SuperFan much more interesting. Of course the SPU SuperFan was there squawking like a dying pigeon, but easily I out yelled her. Having opposing fans at the game always gets the crowd going a bit. Everyone loves a good rivalry game.
Western started off the game a little rusty missing a lot of potential rebounds, but still kept the Falcons at bay. Dan Young was a little excited this game and drew some early fouls which forced him to be sat a good amount. Chris Mitchell did excellent down in the box, not giving into the larger opponents of SPU and going up big for rebounds. At the end of the first half the score was 30-23.
That lead disappeared rather quick in the second half. The Falcons outscored the Vikings 9-2 in the first couple minutes and tied the game at 34, but after a time-out called by Coach Brad Jackson, the team really took charge and pulled into the lead for good. Rory Blanche did exceedingly solid in getting open and making some hard shots tonight. They regained a lead of 8 and stayed ahead for the rest of the game. Towards the end SPU reduced the lead to 4 with about 40 seconds left. The whole crowd was on their feet yelling “defense” and making as much noise as possible. A couple foul shots by John Allen (and him shushing the SPU fans) gave Western the 6 point cushion that ended the game.
Immediately the fans, myself included, stormed the court and surrounded the players, chanting “WWU.”
It wasn’t Western’s best game they played, but they did well enough to win. (Again we had some of the worst referees at the game. At one point Coach Jackson had to yell to get the referee to call the timeout.) The big part of the victory was Western’s defense. They kept SPU to roughly 27 percent accuracy from the field. I just want to point out that Zach Henifin really came through during this whole tournament and played solid defense and made some key shots, but really this victory needed every player that it had and everyone supporting them the whole way. I have never been more proud to call myself a Viking.