By Meg Wochnick
LACEY -- Jobi Walls 28-footer with 0.03 seconds left in the clock gave No. 3-ranked Seattle Pacific a 72-70 victory over No. 2 Western Washington at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference tournament mens championship game Saturday night at Saint Martin's University's Marcus Pavilion.
As tournament champions, it secures the Falcons (25-3) as the No. 1 seed going into next weekends Division II West Regional. The rest of the teams and locations for the mens and womens regional will be announced Sunday beginning at 7 p.m.
Wall, a 48 percent 3-point shooter on the season, had the ball initially stripped by Westerns Anye Turner, a Black Hills High School graduate, but Wall recovered in time to get the game-winning 3-pointer off after the Falcons drove the length of the court for the final shot.
Point guard David Downs, named the tournaments MVP, led the way for Seattle Pacific with 20 points, including 11 of 14 from the free throw line. He hit two free throws with 15.8 seconds that pulled a once three-point deficit to one at 70-69.
Western (27-2) had a chance to pull its lead in the final seconds to a larger margin, but Richard Woodworth missed both free throws which could have given the Vikings a three-point lead.
Cory Hutsen chipped in with 16 points and Wall finished with 10 for the Falcons. Paul Jones had 14 of his team-best 20 points in the second half and John Allen, the GNACs regular-season player of the year, finished with 19 for the Vikings.
WOMENS CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Western Washington 60, Simon Fraser 40: Vikings coach Carmen Dolfo didnt hesitate rank Saturday nights defensive performance against the Clan in the GNAC tournament womens championship game No. 1 for the season.
Were taking it because of the time, said Dolfo, whose team earned the conferences automatic berth to next weeks NCAA Div. II West Regional. We felt really good about it. We kept it through the game and to see a 40-minute defensive game was really fun.
The No. 6-ranked Vikings (25-3) split the regular-season series with the No. 10-ranked Clan from Burnaby, B.C. While Westerns the focus was to limit Simon Fraser senior forward Nayo Raincock-Ekunwes touches, another focus was to hold the Clans outside shooting. SFU was 2-for-11 from 3-point range. Raincock-Ekunwe, the GNACs player of the year, was held to just eight shots and finished with a team-best 12 points and a game-best 14 rebounds. She hit just two field goals but was a perfect 8-for-8 from the free-throw line.
With Westerns lead at 27-16 at halftime, the Clan (23-5) pulled within seven at 33-24, but thats when the Vikings when on an 8-0 run -- including back-to-back baskets by Elma High School graduate Katie Colard -- and pushed their lead to 41-26 after a steal and Williams with 13:58 left in the game.
Williams, the tournament MVP, had a game-high 16 points, five assists and six steals, which set a single-game tournament record, breaking the previous record of five.
She answered on both ends, Dolfo said.
Western ranked second in the regular season in scoring defense at 59.3 points a game, and the 40- points given up was a season-best. It held the Clan to 27 percent shooting (13 of 48) and Raincock-Ekunwe was the only SFU player in double figures.
To do it against Simon Fraser in the championship game is pretty big, Williams said. We knew we had to come out and pressure, and thats what weve worked on all year.
Center Britt Harris had nine points and eight rebounds and Sydney Donaldson and Sarah Hill had eight points apiece for the Vikings.
Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473