Feb. 28, 2013
LACEY, Wash. -
The nationally ranked Western Washington University women's basketball team picked up the 900th win in its program's 42-year history, defeating Saint Martin's University, 57-48, in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference contest Thursday at Marcus Pavilion on the SMU campus.
The win clinched the regular-season conference title outright for the Vikings, ranked No.7 in this week's USA Today Sports/ESPN NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll and No.1 in the West Region rating. They improved to 22-3 overall and 16-1 in GNAC play with their fifth straight win.
WWU was led by the 11 points of center Britt Harris (Sr., Marysville/Marysville-Pilchuck), who had her 10th straight double-figure scoring game, and guard Jenni White (So., Spokane/East Valley) came off the bench with 10, eight of them in the second half.
Forward Sarah Hill (Jr., Richmond, VA) grabbed a game-high nine rebounds for the Vikings, who had a 40-28 advantage on the boards (17-9 on offensive glass).
Saint Martin's fell to 12-15 overall and 5-12 in league action, losing for the eighth time in its last nine games. The Saints got a game-high 12 points from reserve Krista Stabler and guard Jordyn Richardson had 10.
WWU did not allow the Saints to score in the first seven minutes as it took an 11-0 lead. Saint Martin's missed its first 11 shots and had three turnovers during that stretch.
SMU got back to within two points twice before the Vikings scored the last eight of the period for a 31-21 advantage at halftime.
The Saints scored the first six points of the second half to close to within three, 31-28, with 17:43 to go and were still down by just six, 40-34, at 11:28. But WWU used a 12-2 run to take its biggest lead of the game, 52-36, with 8:39 to go. SMU never got closer than double figures until the final seconds.
WWU forward Trishi Williams (Sr., Mabton) finished with eight points, all of them in the first half, eight rebounds and five steals; and point guard Corinn Waltrip (Sr., Tigard, OR) had a game-high six assists.
The win was the 11th straight for the Vikings over SMU, upping its series advantage to 59-10.
WWU is one of just a handful of colleges to reach 900 all-time wins. During that span the Vikings have made 41 post-season appearances, posted 31 20-win seasons and had 22 winning streaks of 10 or more games.
WWU closes out its regular season with a road game at Western Oregon on Saturday (2 p.m.), March 2.