March 2, 2012
LACEY, Wash. - Western Washington University, the No.2-seed, played stifling defense in rolling to a 66-54 victory over No.3 seed Northwest Nazarene University in a semifinal round contest of the second annual Great Northwest Athletic Conference Women's Basketball Tournament on Friday at Marcus Pavilion on the Saint Martin's University campus.
The Vikings improved to 21-6 with their sixth straight victory and ninth in 10 games. They advance to Saturday's championship game at 7:30 p.m. against No.1 seed and nationally No.8-ranked University of Alaska Anchorage, which defeated No.5-seed Simon Fraser University, 74-70, in the other semifinal. The contest will be televised live on ROOT Sports.
The GNAC final will be WWU's second straight. It lost 68-67 to UAA last year at Bellingham after winning the regular-season title.
The Vikings held NNU to 29.4 percent (15-of-51) field-goal shooting and had a 42-32 edge in rebounds with reserve forward Sarah Hill (So., Richmond, VA) grabbing a game-high nine and center Britt Harris (Jr., Marysville/Marysville-Pilchuck) eight.
Forward Kristin Schramm (Sr., Chelan) and guard Corinn Waltrip (Jr., Tigard, OR) each had a game-high 13 points for WWU, which shot 44.0 percent from the field (22-of-50) and made just 17-of-30 free throws (56.7 percent). Guard Trishi Williams (Jr., Mabton) contributed nine points.
NNU dropped to 18-10 overall, having a four-game winning streak snapped. The Crusaders got 11 points each from guards Alla Dzhidzhiyeshvili and Chelsie Luke, and forward Megan Hingston had 10. Center Briaunna King, who entered the game averaging 15.7 points, was held to four points.
"Our defense saved us tonight when our offense and free throws just weren't there," said WWU head coach Carmen Dolfo (21st year). "Britt [Harris] did a great job of jumping to the ball and playing defense to shut down Briaunna King.
"One thing that really helped us was our depth. I don't think NNU was able to match that."
NNU made just five field goals in 24 attempts (20.8 percent) in the first 20 minutes. Despite that, WWU led by only six points midway through the period and the Crusaders tied the game at 17-all with 3:35 left in half.
WWU ended the period with a 7-1 run, Williams hitting two jumpers around a three-pointer by Erin Feeney (R-Fr., Bothell/Jackson), for a 24-18 halftime lead.
The Vikings scored seven straight points to begin the second half, Erika Ramstead (Jr., Everson/Nooksack Valley) making a jumper followed by two free throws and a three-pointer by Waltrip, who had 11 points in the half, for a 12-point advantage, 31-19, with just over two minutes gone.
WWU led by 13 points, 52-39, with 9:15 remaining, and the closest the Crusaders got after that was seven.
"I'm really proud of our effort and the heart that we played with tonight but it was a rough shooting night," said NNU head coach Kelli Lindley. "When you shoot 29-percent against a great team like Western, you are going to struggle to win.
"I thought we did a really good job defensively in the first half, but because we shot so poorly it was hard to get any offensive momentum. I give Western Washington credit...they are very deep and really play hard."
WWU has won eight of the last nine series meetings with NNU. During the regular season, the Vikings lost 75-62 at Nampa, Id., and won 75-68 at Bellingham.
Women's Hoops Announces 2017-18 Schedule
WWU to play all home games in the newly-renovated Carver Gym on WECU Court
Peacocke Honored with Hall of Fame Jersey Display
After standout senior season, Taylor Peacocke's jersey is featured at the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame
Vikings Add Three Transfers to Program
Dani Iwami (Hawai'i Pacific), Taylor Enders (Utah State) and Anna Schwecke (Colorado-Colorado Springs) join program
2016-17 Women's Basketball Season in Review
WWU recorded 34th 20-win season in the 46-year history of the program
Women's Basketball Adds Three Players for 2017-18
Emma Duff, Kelsey Rogers and Bobbi Westendorf to join WWU women's hoops team
Summer Hoops Camps Set for July
Register for WWU Women's Basketball Camps in Carver Gym in July
Taylor Peacocke to Participate at Pro Combine
Peacocke also adds another All-American accolade with First Team All-America honor from Division II Bulletin
WWU is 14th in Division II All-Sports Standings
WWU's men's and women's basketball programs gather points by advancing to the NCAA Tournament
Hathaway Recognized as SHAPE America Major of the Year
Hathaway appeared in 120 games during her WWU career and was a three-time GNAC Academic selection
Taylor Peacocke Named WBCA First Team All-American
Peacocke becomes fourth player in program history to earn First Team All-America recognition from WBCA
Taylor Peacocke Named D2CCA All-American
Peacocke set WWU and GNAC single-season records with 745 points (23.3 points/game) during senior season
Taylor Peacocke Named All-West Region
Taylor Peacocke is the nation’s leading scorer at NCAA II level with 23.3 points per game
WWU Falls 80-68 to Cal Baptist at West Regional
Tia Briggs scores career-high 29 points, Taylor Peacocke scores 25 points in loss to Lancers
WWU Tops Cal State East Bay 74-48 at NCAA West Regional
Tia Briggs and Taylor Peacocke each score 18 points, Vikings will face Cal Baptist on Saturday in semifinal round
How To Follow Today's Basketball Games
WWU men play Chico State at 12 pm PT in San Diego, WWU women play Cal State East Bay at 1 pm PT in Anchorage