Vikings get victory No. 850 with 59-50 triumph at Western Oregon
Feb. 7, 2011
MONMOUTH, Ore. - Center Lauren Hefflin (Sr., Ridgefield) scored a game-high 20 points, 18 in the second half, and guard Amanda Dunbar (Sr., Marysville/Marysville-Pilchuck) added 15 as nationally ranked Western Washington University overcame frigid shooting to defeat Western Oregon University, 59-50, in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference women's basketball game Monday at the New P.E. Building on the WOU campus.
The Vikings, who are seventh in the latest week's Women's Basketball Coaches Association/USA Today/ESPN/NCAA Division II Top 25, improved to 20-1 overall and extended their GNAC lead to three games at 13-0 with their 15th consecutive triumph, matching the third longest in school history. Their last loss was 65-62 in overtime to Chico State on Dec. 10, 2010.
The win clinches at least a tie for second in the GNAC for WWU and no worse than a No.4 seed in the league's post-season tournament as the Vikings become the first team to be assured of a first-round home game on Monday, Feb. 28.
Western Oregon fell to 8-12 overall and 6-6 in GNAC action with its sixth loss in eight games. The Wolves were led by Sara Zahler, who had 16 points and eight rebounds.
The Vikings trailed 25-21 at halftime after shooting 20.8 percent from the field, hitting just five of 24 shots and missing all seven of their 3-point attempts. They were behind by as many as nine points, 22-13, with 3:31 left in the first half before closing with an 8-3 run.
WWU, playing its third game in six days, scored the first 11 points of the second half over a three-minute span for a 32-25 advantage.
WOU got back within two, 34-32, with 14:21 left on a 3-pointer by Zahler. But the Vikings got treys from Corinn Waltrip (So., Tigard, Ore.) and Kristin Schramm (Jr., Chelan) for a 40-32 advantage with 12:28 to go and the Wolves never got closer than four after that.
WOU was still within five, 55-50, with a minute to play, but did not score again and Hefflin and Waltrip each hit two free throws for the final margin.
The Vikings shot a season-low 32.7 percent (16-of-49) from the field, but held WOU to 28.0 percent (14-of-50) floor shooting.
WWU made 24-of-29 free throws (82.8 percent) and outrebounded the Wolves, 41-33. Forward Gabby Wade (Sr., Lacey/River Ridge) grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds for the Vikings and Hefflin had 10.
It was the 850th win for WWU in the 40-year history of the women's hoop program. The Vikings have won 74.4 percent of the time with just 293 losses.
WWU, which is working on a 21-game home court winning streak, entertains Simon Fraser University on Saturday (7 p.m.) in a GNAC contest.
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