March 3, 2012
LACEY, Wash. - Western Washington University center Britt Harris (Jr., Marysville/Marysville-Pilchuck) had game-highs of 21 points and 12 rebounds, but it wasn't enough as the Vikings fell to University of Alaska Anchorage, 67-52, in the championship game of the second annual Great Northwest Athletic Conference Women's Basketball Tournament on Saturday at Marcus Pavilion on the Saint Martin's University campus.
The Vikings, the No.2 seed in the tournament, had a six-game winning streak snapped in falling to 21-7, with three of the losses against UAA.
The Seawolves, the No.1 seed in the tournament and the No.8-ranked team in NCAA Division II, improved to 27-4. Forward Haley Holmstead led UAA, which defeated the Vikings in the GNAC title contest for the second straight year, with 19 points on 9-of-14 field-goal shooting.
WWU trailed by just three, 48-45, after a jumper by Katie Colard (R-Fr., McCleary/Elma) with 5:51 to play. But UAA went on an 11-2 run in a little over two minutes to go up 59-47 with 3:17 remaining and was never seriously threatened after that.
Despite the setback, WWU is likely headed to their third straight and 13th appearance in the last 14 years at the NCAA Division II National Tournament. The Vikings were listed fourth in the latest West Region rankings and the top eight receive post-season berths. The 64-team playoff field will be announced Sunday at 7 p.m. Pacific Time. UAA, No.2 in the region this week, earned an automatic berth with the GNAC title.
UAA shot 52.3 percent (23-of-44) from the field to just 27.7 percent (18-of-65) for the Vikings, who had 17 offensive rebounds.
"When I look at the stat sheet, it's surprising we won," said UAA coach Tim Moser. "You don't win very often when your opponent takes 21 more shots and you turn the ball over 21 times, but we'll take it. Western Washington had a lot to do with getting us out of our game for large stretches, and they'll be a formidable opponent for whoever they face in the (NCAA) first round next week."
The Vikings, who lost to the Seawolves by 20 and 22 points in the regular season, never trailed by more than six points until the final five minutes, and were down by only three, 29-26, at halftime.
"It's disappointing that we didn't come out on top and I think we shot the ball very poorly which hurt us, but we battled and didn't back down," said WWU coach Carmen Dolfo. "We had a stretch there where we played poor defense but other than that we played really well."
Harris was 9-of-15 from the field, but the rest of the Vikings were just a combined 9-of-50.
"I was just really proud of (Britt), she wanted the ball offensively, she boarded hard and she had a great tournament," said Dolfo. "We need to put this behind us and learn from this game. We get to keep playing and that's the thing we need to focus on."
In the first half there were three ties and 12 lead changes, UAA scoring the last four points of the period, all by Holmstead, for a 29-26 advantage into the break.
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