Vikings fall to Alaska Anchorage, 61-45

Liz McCarrell

Feb. 8, 2007

Box Score

BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Forward Jayci Stone scored 17 of her game-high 20 points in the second half, leading University of Alaska Anchorage to a 61-45 upset of Western Washington University in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference women's basketball game between two regionally ranked teams Thursday on Haggen Court at Sam Carver Gymnasium.

Western, which had not lost a regular-season game at home for more than two years, had a four-game winning streak snapped and fell to 15-6 overall and 7-3 in the GNAC. Forward Liz McCarrell (Jr., Ferndale) had 16 points for the Vikings, who were ranked fourth in this week's NCAA Division II West Region rating.

The Vikings had won 26 straight regular-season games at Carver Gym since falling to Seattle Pacific, 65-58, on Jan. 27, 2005.

UAA, ranked No.6 in the region, improved to 17-4 overall and 6-4 in conference play. Center Rebecca Kielpinski had 12 points and a game-high 15 rebounds for the Seawolves, who got their first conference road victory in five tries this season.

The score was tied at 24-24 at halftime, but UAA went on a 16-4 run in the first six minutes of the second half to take a 40-28 lead with 14 minutes left and never led by less than nine points after that. The Seawolves led by 18 points on three occasions in the second half, and Western never got closer than 14 points in the final 6:56.

The Vikings shot a season-low 25.8 percent (17-of-66) from the field. Their only previous game shooting under 30 percent was at 27.8 percent in a 63-60 overtime loss to UAA at Anchorage on Jan. 13. The 45 points were the fewest for Western since a 63-43 loss to Simon Fraser in the 1996-97 season.

Guard India Soo (So., Kamuela, HI/Kamehameha) had 12 points, all on four 3-pointers, for Western, and forward Willow Cabe (So., McCleary/Elma) added 10 points off the bench. Guard Mollie Stelmack (Sr., New Westminster, BC), Western's leading scorer entering the contest at 16.7 points a game, was held scoreless on 0-for-8 field-goal shooting. She had averaged 20.2 points over the previous five games.

The Seawolves held an 11-5 lead midway through the first half. Western went on a 14-2 run over the next five minutes, with Cabe scoring the first seven points of the charge to take a 19-13 advantage, but the score was tied at 24-all at halftime.

Western shot only 27.3 percent (9-of-33) in the first half, but Alaska Anchorage was slightly worse, hitting 25.0 percent (7-of-28). The Seawolves went more than 10 minutes without a field goal in the first half, scoring only on eight free throws from before the 14-minute mark until a layup by Kielpinski with four minutes left.

Forward Krystal Robinson (Jr., Kent/Kentridge) had six blocked shots for the Vikings, one short of her career high, and moved into second in school history with 166 career blocks. She ranks fourth nationally this season and leads the GNAC with 65 (3.1 per game).

UAA had a 54-35 rebound advantage.

Western entertains University of Alaska Fairbanks on Saturday (3 p.m.) in a GNAC counter.