Feb. 23, 2013
BELLINGHAM, Wash. -
Guard Katie Colard (So., McCleary/Elma) scored a game-high 15 points to lead a balanced attack as nationally ranked Western Washington University defeated Central Washington University, 81-56, in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference women's basketball contest Saturday at Sam Carver Gymnasium on the WWU campus.
The Vikings, ranked No.8 in this week's USA Today Sports/ESPN NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll and No.1 in the West Regional rating,improved to 21-3 overall and clinched at least a share of first place in the GNAC regular-season standings at 15-1.
Simon Fraser remained two games behind in second with a 73-52 triumph over Northwest Nazarene.
CWU fell to 9-15 overall and 4-12 in the GNAC with its eighth loss in the last nine games. Courtney Johnson, Daisy Burke and Ally Schmitt each had 12 points for the Wildcats.
The Wildcats hit six of their first 11 shots from the field and opened up a 12-6 lead just over four minutes into the game, but WWU responded with a run of seven straight points to take a 13-12 lead. The Vikings still led by just one, 24-23, with 5:42 remaining in the first half, but closed the period with an 18-4 run and held a 42-27 lead at halftime.
WWU then opened the second half with an 11-3 charge in the first four minutes to grab a 53-30 lead, and the margin was never less than 20 after that.
Center Britt Harris (Sr., Marysville/Marysville-Pilchuck) had 13 points for WWU and forward Trishi Williams (Sr., Mabton) added 12. Six players had eight points or more for the Vikings, who were also effective at the defensive end, holding the Wildcats to 34.4 percent (21-of-61) shooting from the field and 18.2 percent (4-of-22) from 3-point range.
The contest was the final regular-season home game for four WWU seniors - Harris, Williams, guard Corinn Waltrip (Tigard, OR) and forward Erika Ramstead (Everson/Nooksack Valley).
The Vikings concluded the regular season undefeated at home at 13-0, and have won 17 straight games at Carver Gym over the last two seasons.
WWU has won the last 11 series meetings and 19 of the last 20.
WWU closes out its regular season with GNAC road games at Saint Martin's on Thursday (7 p.m.), Feb. 28, and at Western Oregon on Saturday (2 p.m.), March 2.