MONMOUTH, Ore. -- The Western Washington University women's basketball team grabbed a two-point lead with under a minute to play during a contest featuring nine lead changes and 11 ties but Western Oregon scored the final six points of the game to edge the Vikings 54-50 on Saturday night at the New PE Building Gymnasium in Great Northwest Athletic Conference action.
The Vikings (6-8, 2-4 GNAC) used a 5-0 spurt late in the game to lead 50-48 with 52.9 seconds left before the Wolves (6-6, 2-4 GNAC) scored the last six points of the game at the free throw line over the final 38 seconds to claim the win and halt a six-game losing streak.
WOU took a 48-45 lead with just over 2 minutes left in the fourth quarter but the Vikings responded to tie the game on a 3-pointer by sophomore guard Dani Iwami (Seal Beach, CA/Hawai'i Pacific) with 1:29 to play. Iwami found sophomore center Anna Schwecke (Evergreen, CO/Colorado-Colo. Springs) on the next WWU possession for the go-ahead layup to lead 50-48 with 52.9 to play.
However the Wolves tied the game following Schwecke's basket on a pair of free throws by forward Savannah Heugly with 38 seconds to go, and after a turnover on WWU's next possession, guard Shelby Snook made a pair of free throws with 19.6 seconds left to put the Wolves up 52-50. WWU missed a potential tying shot with 12 seconds left on the other end, and guard Kennedy Corrigan added two more free throws with 5.7 seconds left to secure the win for WOU.
The Vikings had gone up 14-10 with 2:45 left in the first quarter before the Wolves closed the period with an 11-0 run, making five consecutive field goals to close the quarter and lead 21-14. Corrigan scored 11 points to lead WOU in the opening quarter.
WWU battled back from a scoring drought after being held scoreless for just over 8 minutes spanning the end of the first quarter and early part of the second quarter before using a 10-2 run to end the second period. After facing a 23-14 deficit with 6:52 remaining in the second quarter, layups on consecutive possessions by junior center Nikki Corbett (Camas, WA) began the 10-2 run, which was capped by a 3-pointer from Iwami with less than a minute to play before halftime, to bring WWU within 25-24. Although WWU was held without a basket for more than 8 minutes, the Vikings defense held WOU to just 4 points in the second quarter.
Neither team led by more than 5 points in the third or fourth quarters with three ties and two lead changes in the fourth quarter alone.
Iwami finished with 10 points for WWU while Schwecke added 9 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Corbett contributed 8 points after scoring 13 points in her season debut on Thursday. Sophomore guard Lexie Bland (Ellensburg, WA) had a game-high 4 assists for the Vikings.
WWU went 18-for-57 (31.6%) from the field, making 3-of-10 (30.0%) 3-pointers. The Vikings were 11-for-16 (68.8%) at the free throw line.
The Wolves went 17-for-57 (29.8%) from the floor, making 4-of-16 (25.0%) from 3-point range. WOU was 16-for-17 (94.1%) at the free throw line.
WOU was led by Corrigan with 18 points while guard Sydney Azorr added 13 points and Heugly had 11 points.
The Vikings return home next week, hosting Seattle Pacific on Thursday (Jan. 11, 7 pm) and Saint Martin's on Saturday (Jan. 13, 7 pm). WWU has 999 all-time victories in program history and will look to become the 15th team in women's college basketball history, according to available records, to reach the 1,000 wins milestone. Fans unable to attend WWU games in person can follow the action via WWUVikings.com/Live.
Game Notes: WWU is 999-350 (.741) all-time in its 47-year history, a win shy of reaching 1,000 all-time wins to become the 15th team in women's college basketball history to reach the mark (according to available NCAA and NAIA records)...Western Oregon snapped an 18-game WWU win streak in the series, with the last win for WOU in the series coming in February of 2008 prior to Saturday...Vikings held the Wolves to 4 points in the second quarter on Saturday, the fewest points allowed by the WWU defense in a quarter this season...WWU held the Wolves to 29.8% from the field, the second-lowest field goal percentage by a WWU opponent this season.
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