Top seed WWU advances to GNAC final with 60-49 win over NNU
March 8, 2013
LACEY, Wash. - Tournament top seed Western Washington University held Northwest Nazarene University scoreless for more than eight minutes midway through the first half to overcome an early deficit and advanced to the championship game with a 60-49 semifinal win Friday at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Women's Basketball Tournament at Marcus Pavilion on the campus of host Saint Martin's University.
Center Britt Harris (Sr., Marysville/Marysville-Pilchuck) had a team-high 13 points and a game-high 12 rebounds for the Vikings, who are ranked No.6 in this week's USA Today Sports/ESPN NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll and No.1 in the West Region rating, and improved to 24-3 with their seventh straight win.
WWU, which has won 18 of its last 19 games, faces No.2 seed Simon Fraser in Saturday's championship game, which tips off at 5:15 p.m. and will be televised by ROOT Sports. The Clan, ranked No.10 nationally, defeated Seattle Pacific, 66-55, in Friday's other semifinal.
NNU, the No.5 seed in the GNAC tournament, fell to 20-8. Megan Hingston led the Crusaders with a game-high 21 points.
NNU jumped to a 15-9 lead just over six minutes into the game, but the Vikings held the Crusaders scoreless for a span of more than eight minutes to take a 22-15 advantage. NNU rallied to tie the score at 22-22, but WWU held a 31-27 lead at halftime.
The Vikings opened the second half with an 8-2 charge to take a 38-29 lead with 15:54 to play, and led by 10, 43-33, after a Katie Colard (So., McCleary/Elma) 3-pointer with 12:04 left. The Crusaders briefly pulled within four at 45-41, but WWU then took control, going on an 11-2 run in a 3:18 span to open up a 56-43 advantage with 3:41 to go.
The margin was never less nine points after that.
Harris, who entered the game third nationally in field-goal percentage at 59.1 percent, was 6-of-8 from the field.
Guard Corinn Waltrip (Sr., Tigard, OR) had 11 points for WWU and Colard added 10. The Vikings held NNU to just 31.5 percent shooting (17-of-54) from the field, and had a 39-30 advantage in rebounding.
WWU has now won 10 of the last 11 series meetings with the Crusaders, winning all three encounters this season.
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