Western shows strides made in 58-48 loss at No.2 Seattle Pacific

Amanda Dunbar

Feb. 16, 2008

Box Score

SEATTLE, Wash. - It may have been a loss, but Western Washington University demonstrated the strides it has made in the last few weeks in a 58-48 loss to undefeated Seattle Pacific University in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference women's basketball game Saturday at Royal Brougham Pavillion.

The Vikings, who have had 87 player-games missed with injury this season, suffered an 86-44 loss on Jan. 17 to the Falcons, ranked No.2 in the latest USA Today/ESPN Women's Basketball Coaches Association Top 25 Poll. It was Western's most lopsided home floor setback in school history. But Saturday, the Vikings led much of the first half and were never down by more than six points until the final 10 minutes.

Western, which fell to 7-18 overall and 4-9 in league play, used its 16th different starting lineup. The Vikings were led by the game-high 18 points of redshirt freshman guard Amanda Dunbar (Marysville/Marysville-Pilchuck), who had 16 in the first half. Center Claire Pallansch (Jr., Redmond) scored 13 points and forward Gabby Wade (So., Lacey/River Ridge) grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds.

Seattle Pacific, which improved to 22-0, had three players score double-figure points, guard Jackie Hollands leading the way with 12. Megan Hoisington came off the bench to score 11 and forward Jesse Christensen contributed 10 points and eight rebounds. The Falcons, who top the West Region rating, lead the GNAC standings with a 13-0 record and are 11-0 at home this season.

There were six ties and neither team led by more than four points in the first half which ended with Seattle Pacific holding a 27-25 advantage.

Western was still within four, 40-36, with 13:59 left in the second half, but the Falcons went on a 12-3 run over the next 5:27 for their biggest lead of 13 points, 52-39, with 8:32 to go. The closest the Vikings got after that was eight points, 54-46, with 3:07 left.

Western shot just 34.0 percent (18-of-53) from the field, 29.6 percent (8-of-27) in the second half, and had 24 turnovers. The Falcons hit 40.3 percent (25-of-62) from the floor and had 20 turnovers.

Making her first appearance for the Vikings since missing 10 games after suffering a broken thumb on Jan. 10 was center Tara Holgate (So., Everett/Snohomish County Christian). She made her only field goal attempt and blocked three shots.

Western makes its final home appearances next week, entertaining Saint Martin's University on Thursday (7 p.m.) and Western Oregon University on Saturday (2 p.m.) in a pair of GNAC counters.