Western rallies for 58-52 win over Seattle U.

WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM Claire Pallansch
WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM
Claire Pallansch
WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM

Feb. 9, 2008

Box Score

BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Center Claire Pallansch (Jr., Redmond) scored 13 points, including the go-ahead basket with 2:29 to play, as Western Washington University overcame an early 14-point deficit and defeated Seattle University, 58-52, in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference women's basketball game Saturday on Haggen Court at Sam Carver Gymnasium.

The Vikings, who trailed 16-2 less than five minutes into the game, improved to 7-16 overall and 4-7 in the GNAC with their third consecutive victory and the fourth in the last six games.

Seattle, which lost for the sixth time in the last seven games, fell to 13-7 overall and 4-7 in conference play. Forward Chelsie Morrison led the Redhawks with 13 points and guard Alysse Carlson added 10.

The game was tied three times in the final six minutes before Pallansch took an inbound pass and hit a 12-footer, giving Western a 51-49 lead with 2:29 left. The Vikings led the rest of the way, but the Redhawks had a series of chances to tie the game, the final one coming when Morrison missed a 3-pointer with Western up, 55-52, with 14 seconds left. Western forward Sarah Schramm (Jr., Chelan) then hit 3-of-4 free throws in the final seconds for the final margin.

Pallansch was the only Western player in double figures, but the Vikings held their opponent under 36 percent field goal shooting for the fifth straight game, limiting the Redhawks to 35.4 percent (17-of-48). The Vikings shot just 38.5 percent (20-of-52) from the field against a Seattle defense that entered the game leading the GNAC in points allowed at 53.3 a game, but had a 38-33 edge in rebounds as forward Krista Lersch (So., Lynnwood/Blanchet) grabbed a team-high eight.

Seattle sprinted to a 14-point lead, 16-2, in the first five minutes. The Redhawks hit 3-of-4 3-point attempts in the early charge, which was aided by six Western turnovers.

The Vikings fought back, narrowing the margin to five, 18-13, with eight minutes left in the half. Seattle pushed its lead back to 10, 25-15, but Western then held the Redhawks scoreless the last five minutes of the half. A Marelle Moehrle (Fr., Lynnwood/Meadowdale) 3-pointer capped a 13-0 run, giving Western a 28-25 halftime advantage, its first lead of the game.

Western extended its lead to 32-25 with 17 minutes left, but then went scoreless for more than four minutes as Seattle scored 15 straight points and took a 40-32 lead with 12:35 to play.

The Vikings, who have already had 80 player-games missed this season because of injuries, started their 14th different lineup of the season in the contest.

Western, which completed a four-game home stand, is on the road for a pair of GNAC games next week, traveling to Northwest Nazarene University on Thursday (7 p.m.) and nationally No.2-ranked Seattle Pacific University on Saturday (7 p.m.)

Women's basketball team thinks pink

by Lisa Carrougher

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Western women's basketball team had pink on their minds against Seattle University Feb. 9, playing in their first game benefiting breast cancer research.

Looking into the crowd, the color pink was everywhere. Western fans were wearing pink bandanas, pink shirts and pink Viking horn helmets.

Out on the gym floor, team members were running around with pink shoelaces, treating the audience to a 58-52 win over Seattle University.

Approximately 400 to 500 cancer survivors were invited, and received discounted admissions, Western assistant marketing director Katie Rothenberg said.

At halftime, every cancer survivor who came to the game was recognized by being asked to stand up. The audience applauded for those survivors who stood.

A fundraiser at halftime raised approximately $744 for the American Cancer Society. Organizers accepted donations from audience members.

This was Western's first year participating in the Think Pink nationwide event.

It was done for the first time last year with 200 teams across the country. This year, approximately 900 teams sponsored a selected Think Pink game, said business-marketing intern and Western senior Ryan Millard, who helped promote and organize the fundraiser.

Carol Brumet, outreach coordinator and breast cancer survivor worked on behalf of St. Joe’s Cancer Care Center as an honorary coach for the women's team.

As an honorary coach, she went into the locker room, gave an inspirational speech and sat on the bench with the coach and team throughout the game.

People left the gym Saturday night inspired by the theme and atmosphere of the night, Millard said.

"Breast cancer touches everyone, whether it is a sister, a mother or an aunt," Millard said.

Rothenberg helped promote and organize the fundraiser.

She said Think Pink is a great theme for schools, and she has high hopes that the theme will grow in the future by having more people attend next year.

"It was a great turnout, and a lot of people seemed excited," Rothenberg said. "I think even more people will come next year to pack the gym."

Cancer survivors were recognized by being invited by the Cancer Care Center to attend the event on campus.

Relay for Life and St. Joe's Cancer Care Center partnered together to sponsor the event, Millard said.

Relay for Life is the largest fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

All money raised in Relay for Life go to the American Cancer Society for cancer research and patient services.

At Western, students can get involved with Relay for Life and join Western Students Against Cancer, a club offered on campus to help with fundraising events and to educate Western students about finding a cure for cancer, said club president Rachel Rotter.

The Think Pink game gave Western club members time to pass out breast cancer information and Relay for Life information about the 20-hour event on May 17 and 18.