Jan. 23, 2014
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Center Sarah Hill (Sr., Richmond, VA/Lloyd C. Bird) hit the go-ahead basket with 1:10 left, lifting Western Washington University to a 76-70 triumph over University of Alaska Anchorage in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference women's basketball game Thursday at Sam Carver Gymnasium on the WWU campus.
The Vikings improved to 10-6 overall and retained a share of first place in the GNAC at 6-2 with their fifth consecutive victory and seventh in the last eight games.
Taylor Peacocke (Fr., Kenmore/Inglemoor) came off the bench to lead WWU with 17 points, 15 of them in the second half.
UAA fell to 12-4 overall and 5-3 in conference play. Alli Madison and Jenna Buchanan each had 15 points for the Seawolves.
WWU held a 41-36 lead early in the second half, but UAA used an 18-4 run, with Buchanan scoring 11 of the points, to take a 54-45 advantage with 13:09 remaining.
The Seawolves still led by four, with 2:42 to play, but Peacocke hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Vikings a 69-67 lead with 2:00 to go. Kylie Burns scored to tie the game at the other end with 1:39 left, but Hill responded for WWU, laying the ball in after missing her initial effort.
UAA missed two potential tying shots on the following possession, but got offensive rebounds on both. Madison was then fouled and hit the first free throw, but missed the second, and the Vikings hit 5-of-6 free throws in the final 28 seconds to secure the victory.
Tia Briggs (Fr., Tacoma/Wilson) had 16 points for the Vikings. Hill added 13 points and nine rebounds, guard Jenni White (Jr., Spokane/East Valley) had 12 points, and guard Katie Colard (Jr., McCleary/Elma) contributed 11.
The Vikings committed just 14 turnovers against a UAA defense that was forcing an average of 26.9 a game.
It was the 25th consecutive home victory for WWU, the third-longest streak in school history, and one short of the second longest. The Vikings are 5-0 at Carver Gym this season.
Briggs had 12 points in the opening half, including a putback at the buzzer that gave WWU a 38-36 halftime lead.
WWU entertains Alaska Fairbanks on Saturday (7 p.m.) in a GNAC counter.
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