WWU topples No.18 Northwest Nazarene, 81-68

WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM Katie Colard
WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM
Katie Colard
WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM

Jan. 11, 2014

Box Score

BELLINGHAM, Wash, - Guard Katie Colard (Jr., McCleary/Elma) scored a team-high 20 points, hitting six 3-pointers, to lead Western Washington University to an 81-68 triumph over nationally ranked Northwest Nazarene University in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference women's basketball game Saturday at Sam Carver Gymnasium on the WWU campus.

WWU improved to 7-6 overall and 3-2 in the GNAC with its 24th consecutive home victory and the fourth this season. Center Sarah Hill (Sr., Richmond, VA/Lloyd C. Bird) and guard Taylor Peacocke (Fr., Kenmore/Inglemoor) each added 16 points for the Vikings.

Forward Sydney Donaldson (Jr., Edmonds/Edmonds-Woodway) added 15 points, a career-high 15 rebounds, and a game-high four blocked shots for WWU.

NNU, ranked No.18 in the latest Women's Basketball Coaches Association/USA Today/NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll, fell to 10-4 overall and 3-3 in the GNAC. Chelsie Luke came off the bench to score 20 points for the Crusaders, and Taylor Simmons added 16, going 10-of-12 on free throws, and had a game-high six steals.

NNU jumped to a 7-1 lead, but WWU responded with 10 straight points to take an 11-8 advantage just over five minutes into the game and led the rest of the way.

The margin was still just six, 29-23, late in the first half, but the Vikings closed the period with a 16-6 run over the last 4:40 to take a 45-29 halftime lead. Peacocke had 10 of her 12 first-half points in the burst.

NNU pulled to within eight, 54-46, with 12 minutes remaining, but that was the last time the margin was in single digits, as the Vikings used an 11-3 burst to open up a 65-49 advantage with 8:27 remaining. WWU's biggest lead was 17 points, 70-53, with 5:14 to go.

WWU had a 42-33 advantage in rebounding, and held the Crusaders to 34.9 percent field-goal shooting (22-of-63).

The WWU home winning streak is the second-longest in school history and five short of the school record of 29. The Vikings' last home loss was 75-55 to No.8 ranked Alaska Anchorage on Jan. 14, 2012.

WWU next goes on the road to face Western Oregon on Thursday, Jan. 16 (7 p.m.), in a GNAC counter.