Western wins 16th straight, 65-60 at Central Washington

Tina Donahue

Feb. 18, 2006

Box Score

ELLENSBURG, Wash. - Forward Tina Donahue (Sr., Stanwood) scored a game-high 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as nationally top-10 ranked Western Washington University survived a late rally and defeated Central Washington University, 65-60, in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference women's basketball contest Saturday at Nicholson Pavilion.

The Vikings, No.8 in the Women's Basketball Coaches Association/NCAA Division II Top 25 and No.2 in the West Region rating, improved to 22-1 overall with its 16th straight victory and remained alone atop the GNAC standings at 14-0.

Central fell to 13-9 overall and 7-7 in the GNAC as its five-game home winning streak was snapped. Forward Hanna Hull had 18 points for the Wildcats and guard Ashley Fenimore added 14, but forward Jamie Corwin, who had a school-record 37 points in an 85-61 win over Grand Canyon on Wednesday, was held to six.

Western held a 28-18 lead at halftime and led by 16, 34-18, with just over 16 minutes to play. The Vikings were still up by 10, 58-48, with five minutes left, but Central rallied, pulling to within three, 63-60, on a 3-pointer by Fenimore with 58 seconds left.

After Western center Courtney Clapp (Sr., Kirkland/Juanita), who had 10 points, had a shot partially blocked, the Wildcats had a possible game-tying possession, but were unable to get a 3-pointer off, and Hull missed a two-point shot with 10 seconds left.

Donahue grabbed the rebound, and made two free throws with six seconds to go, putting the game out of reach.

"We needed a game like this where we had to step up at the end," said Western coach Carmen Dolfo. "I'm upset we didn't play well, but it was good for us to be in this kind of situation."

The 65 points matched Western's fourth-lowest total of the season, but the Vikings had a 41-37 edge in rebounds, and held the Wildcats to 35.9 percent (23-of-64) field-goal shooting.

Central got out to a quick 5-1 lead in the first three minutes with a layup and 3-pointer by Hull, but the Wildcats did not score another field goal for 10 minutes as Western went on a 16-2 run for a 17-7 lead with 8:08 left in the period.

Central cut the lead to four, 21-17, with 1:41 left in the first half, but baskets by center Stephanie Dressel (Sr., Gig Harbor) and forward Kelly Dykstra (Sr., Elma) in the final 22 seconds gave the Vikings a 28-18 halftime lead.

Western shot just 40.0 percent (10-of-25) in the first 20 minutes, but held Central to 25.9 percent (7-of-27).

Dressel returned from a knee injury to make her first appearance since Jan. 7.

Western entertains Saint Martin's University in a GNAC contest Wednesday (7 p.m.).