Jan. 5, 2013
FAIRBANKS, Alaska -
Center Kayla Bernsen (So., Moses Lake) scored 10 of her game-high 16 points in the first half, helping Western Washington University jump to an early lead and defeat University of Alaska Fairbanks, 87-59, in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference women's basketball contest Saturday at Patty Center on the UAF campus.
The Vikings, ranked No.20 in the latest USA Today Sports/ESPN NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll, improved to 10-2 overall and 4-0 in the GNAC with their fourth straight win. Forward Sarah Hill (Jr., Richmond, VA/Lloyd C. Bird) had 14 points for WWU.
UAF fell to 2-9 overall and 0-3 in conference play. Jacqueline Lovato had 14 points and Kelly Logue had 13 points and five assists for the Nanooks, who opened the season with seven straight losses.
The triumph gave WWU its second Alaska sweep in three years, as it defeated defending GNAC champion Alaska Anchorage, 70-60, on Thursday.
The Vikings got off to a quick start, jumping out to an 18-4 lead just 5:21 into the contest. Bernsen, who didn't start the game, had four points and two assists in the burst.
The Nanooks ran off eight straight points to narrow the margin to six, 18-12, but WWU pulled away after that and held a 46-28 lead at halftime.
WWU's lead was never less than 14 in the second half and its biggest margin was 30 points, 87-57, with 1:16 remaining.
The Vikings made their first 12 free throws and finished the game 20-of-22 (90.9 percent). WWU was also 7-of-15 on 3-point attempts, with guard Brandi Benner (Jr., Lynden) going 3-of-3.
Forward Trishi Williams (Sr., Mabton) had 13 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four steals for the Vikings. WWU had a 48-36 advantage on the boards, with Bernsen and Hill each grabbing nine.
WWU returns home to host Simon Fraser on Saturday (5:15 p.m.), Jan. 12, in a GNAC counter at Sam Carver Gymnasium.