Western pitches shutout for nearly 14 minutes in 77-32 win over shorthanded Alaska Fairbanks
Feb. 26, 2009
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Western Washington University held University of Alaska Fairbanks scoreless for nearly 14 minutes to open the game Thursday and went on to claim a 77-32 victory in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference women's basketball contest on Haggen Court at Sam Carver Gymnasium.
The Vikings, ranked No.5 in the West Region of NCAA Division II, improved to 17-7 overall and 9-4 in the GNAC with their 11th triumph in 12 home games. Forward Liz McCarrell (Sr., Ferndale) came off the bench to lead Western with 14 points, and guard Amanda Dunbar (So., Marysville/Marysville-Pilchuck) and center Claire Pallansch (Sr., Redmond) each had 12 points.
UAF fell to 5-18 overall and 0-14 in conference play with its 14th straight loss. Sheena Brown had a game-high 16 points for the Nanooks and Ronisha Edwards added 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Brown and Edwards are two of just three players remaining from UAF's original 15-person roster, with nine of the players lost to season-ending injuries. The third player from the start of the season, guard Caitlin Hamsley, picked up four fouls in the first 11 minutes and sat out the rest of the first half. No player on the current roster is taller than 5-foot-9.
Western scored off the opening tip, getting a Dunbar layin, then didn't score again until the 15:10 mark. But from there the Vikings extended the lead to 20-0 before UAF reached the scoreboard on two Brown free throws with 6:06 left in the first half.
The Nanooks missed their first 23 shots from the floor, not getting a field goal until Edwards hit a shot from the key with 4:04 left in the opening period.
Western held a 34-6 lead at halftime. The Vikings shot only 36.5 percent (11-of-30) from the field in the first half, but it was more than sufficient as the Nanooks were just 2-of-31 (6.5 percent) in the opening half. The six points allowed matched the fewest in Western history, a mark originally set against Evergreen State in 1998.
Both teams were more proficient offensively in the second half, with Western outscoring UAF, 43-26. The Vikings shot 66.7 percent (16-of-24) from the field after halftime and made 12 of 25 (48.0 percent) 3-pointers in the game
Western had a 56-30 advantage in rebounds, with forward Jessica Summers (Sr., Blaine) grabbing a game-high 12 and Willow Cabe (Jr., McCleary/Elma) 11. Cabe also had four of the team's 10 blocked shots.
The Vikings make their final home appearance of the season Saturday (7 p.m.) against nationally No.6 ranked Alaska Anchorage in a GNAC counter.
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