Jan. 26, 2013
NAMPA. Id. -
Forward Trishi Williams (Sr., Mabton) and guard Corinn Waltrip (Sr., Tigard, OR) each scored 14 points to pace a balanced attack as nationally ranked Western Washington University defeated Northwest Nazarene University, 70-66, in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference women's basketball contest Saturday at Johnson Sports Center on the NNU campus.
Center Britt Harris (Sr., Marysville/Marysville-Pilchuck) added 13 points for the Vikings who are No.5 in this week's USA Today Sports/ESPN NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll. It was the ninth straight victory for WWU, which improved to 15-2 overall and 9-0 in the GNAC.
NNU, which knocked off No.7 Simon Fraser, 60-59, on Thursday, fell to 14-3 overall and 6-3 in conference play. Chelsie Luke led the Crusaders, who suffered their first home loss in eight games this season, with a game-high 24 points, and Megan Hingston added 14 points and 11 rebounds.
The Vikings led by as much as seven early in the second half, but the Crusaders rallied to take a 42-41 advantage on an Ellen Ferrenburg basket with 14:58 left. That was the first of six lead changes and three ties in the next nine minutes.
WWU finally took the lead for good, 60-58, on a layin by Sarah Hill (Jr., Richmond, VA/Lloyd C. Bird) with 4:41remaining. A Katie Colard (So., McCleary/Elma) 3-pointer pushed the margin to five and although NNU twice got within two points, and were within three with 22 seconds left, the Crusaders never had a possession with a chance to tie.
WWU shot 48.3 percent (28-of-58) from the field and held NNU to 38.2 percent (26-of-68), although the Crusaders had a 44-39 advantage in rebounding.
NNU used a run of 10 straight points to take to 20-9 lead nine minutes into the game, but the Vikings responded with a 14-2 run of their own to pull ahead 23-22 with 5:47 left in the first half and eventually held a 35-30 lead at halftime.
WWU returns home to face Alaska Fairbanks on Thursday, Jan. 31 (5:15 p.m.) and Alaska Anchorage on Saturday, Feb. 2 (5:15 p.m.), in GNAC counters at Sam Carver Gymnasium.