College basketball: CWU notches first-round shocker over SPU

March 1, 2012 by  

LACEY, Wash. — Earlier this season, when his Central Washington Wildcats were struggling, Greg Sparling said, “What we’re hoping to do now is just get into the GNAC tournament and make some noise.”

Well, the noise has started.

Central, the sixth and final seed, fired the first salvo of the tourney Wednesday with a 70-69 upset of third-seeded Seattle Pacific at Saint Martin’s University’s Marcus Pavilion.

The victory, which avenged regular-season losses of 27 and eight points to the Falcons, puts CWU (15-12) into a Friday semifinal at noon against second-seeded Alaska Anchorage (21-5) and conference MVP Taylor Rohde.

“I thought our guys did a good job on the defensive end, turning them over 18 times,” CWU coach Greg Sparling said. “That really got our offense going. And I thought Jordan Coby in the second half hit some huge shots that gave us a lot of confidence.”

Wednesday’s game saw the Wildcats build a 35-31 halftime lead, then endure a see-saw second half. The game included 17 ties, 12 lead changes and neither team led by more than five points.

Central took a late 68-67 lead on a 3-pointer by Jody Johnson, the former Yakima Valley Community College standout. It was Johnson’s only field goal in eight attempts.

SPU (21-7), which probably has already secured an NCAA Division II regional bid via a No. 3 regional ranking, answered with 3-ball from Scott Morse with 58 seconds left.

But on the ensuing possession Downs fouled CWU point guard Lacy Haddock in the act of shooting a 3-ball with only two seconds left on the shot clock, and Haddock made two of his three free throws.

The Falcons then went inside to 6-foot-11 junior Andy Poling, a transfer from Gonzaga, but his jumper missed and Central’s Roby Clyde rebounded.

Fouled, Clyde missed both free throws and SPU’s Jobi Wall retrieved the second miss with five seconds left.

Coby, a junior transfer from Tacoma Community College, then sealed the win by intercepting Downs’ inbounds pass.

Coby led the Wildcats with 18 points, hitting 3 of 6 3-pointers. Johnson and Haddock added 11 points apiece with Johnson making 10 of 12 free throws.

Downs led SPU with 20 points while Poling had 19.

“We were still minus-seven on the boards, but I thought our guys did a great job all night on the glass. We also got to the free throw line and converted well throughout the game (21 for 28).”

Like the Falcons, Alaska Anchorage swept its regular-season series with Central, winning 99-62 in Anchorage on Dec. 29 and 82-65 in Ellensburg on Jan. 28.

Rohde, a 6-9, 255-pound senior transfer from Arizona State, had 27 points in the first game and 31 in the second. He averaged 20.2 points and eight rebounds during the season.

CENTRAL WASHINGTON — Lacy Haddock 4-9 2-3 11, Jody Johnson 1-8 8-10 11, Jordan Coby 6-10 3-4 18, Clyde 2-3 2-2 6, Tyler 2-9 3-4 8, Gross 1-1 0-1 3, Starr 1-2 0-0 2, Magee 2-3 1-1 5, Davis 2-5 2-3 6, Nelson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-50 21-28 70.

SEATTLE PACIFIC — David Downs 3-7 12-14 20, Stockton 1-4 0-0 2, Andy Poling 8-12 3-5 19, Wall 2-4 0-0 4, Hutsen 4-9 1-1 9, Carel 0-0 1-2 1, Dorman 0-0 0-0 0, Jake Anderson 3-6 2-2 11, Morse 1-4 0-0 3, Niang 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-46 19-24 69.

Halftime — CWU 35-31. 3-point goals — CWU 7-19 (Haddock 1-4, Johnson 1-3, Coby 3-6, Tyler 1-4, Gross 1-1, Magee 0-1); SPU 6-13 (Downs 2-3, Wall 0-2, Anderson 3-5, Morse 1-3). Fouled out — None. Rebounds — CWU 26 (Clyde 6); SPU 32 (Poling 8). Assists — CWU 9 (Haddock 6); SPU 12 (Downs 3, Stockton 3). Turnovers — CWU 10, SPU 17. Total fouls — CWU 20, SPU 23.

Filed under All, CWU Basketball (M)

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