March 18, 2013
BELLINGHAM, Wash. -
Put away the St. Patrick's Day green - it's Blue Monday in Bellingham.
If Western Washington University basketball fans have their way, it will even stretch into Blue Tuesday.
For the first time in school history, the Vikings will play in a pair of NCAA Division II West Regional semifinals on their home court.
The WWU women's team will face Cal State Monterrey in a 5 p.m. semifinal, with the Viking men to follow with their semifinal against Cal State San Bernardino at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, March 18, at Sam Carver Gymnasium.
The women hope to ride the momentum from a big second half they had in their 70-50 first-round win over the Academy of Art on Saturday, March 16. All five starters scored in double figures in the game.
The Vikings (26-3) face a rematch with a team they beat 65-58 in the first round of last year's tournament.
"They're new a different team from that," WWU coach Carmen Dolfo said. "I think they've got a lot of balance. They're fighters and well coached."
The fifth-seeded Otters (20-8) beat Chico State 66-64 on Saturday on Brittani Jefferson's lay-in with 3.9 seconds to play.
No. 2 Simon Fraser (24-5) and No. 6 Grand Canyon (23-8) will meet in the other women's semifinal at noon.
The Vikings (28-2) advanced to the men's semifinal with a 102-87 first-round victory over Chaminade on Friday, March 15. John Allen scored 29 points and had eight assists in the game.
The fifth-seeded Coyotes (20-8), meanwhile, got 23 points from Brian Goins, to survive a first-round battle with Dixie State, 75-69.
"They're always great," WWU coach Tony Dominguez of CSSB. "They are always really athletic. They've got great quickness. They're tough. It's going to be a good game."
No. 2 Cal Poly Pomona (28-2) and No. 3 Seattle Pacific (26-3) meet in the other intriguing men's semifinal at 2:30 p.m.
Read more here: http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2013/03/18/2924994/vikings-hoping-to-paint-the-semifinals.html#storylink=cpy