The Vikings improved to 2-0 after opening the season with a victory over Fresno Pacific (86-72) on Friday. Humboldt State fell to 0-2 after losing to Seattle Pacific, 69-49, on Friday.
WWU never trailed in the game and led by as many as 14 points in the fourth quarter, but Humboldt State stayed within striking distance and came within 53-50 with 54 seconds remaining following a late 11-0 run. But a potential game-tying 3-pointer was off the mark for the Lumberjacks with 12 seconds left, and Stipanovich (St. Louis, MO/Clayton/MSU Denver) made 1-of-2 free throws with 2 seconds left to help secure the win.
"It was a good win tonight against a very physical team," head coach Carmen Dolfo said. "We made too many mistakes and gave up to many offensive boards, but they found a way to win."
Stipanovich was the leading WWU scorer for the second consecutive game after scoring 20 points in the season opener, and tied for a game-high point total with Humboldt State's Jovanah Arrington. She scored 9 of her 13 points during the third quarter, pouring in 9 straight points for WWU over the last 2:30 of the period as the Vikings pulled away from a 28-26 halftime lead to grab a 49-37 advantage after three quarters.
The Vikings held the Lumberjacks to 2 points over the first six and a half minutes of the fourth quarter, taking their largest lead of the quarter at 53-39 on a basket by freshman guard Emma Duff (Tumwater, WA/Black Hills) with 4:34 to play before Humboldt State began to battle back. Tyra Turner had 6 of the 11 points during the closing stretch for the Lumberjacks.
WWU came out strong to begin the game, scoring the first 9 points of the contest en route to a 19-4 lead. Redshirt freshman guard Gracie Castaneda (Arlington, WA) had 2 assists and 5 points during the early spurt before the Lumberjacks were able to score the last 8 points in the quarter as WWU led 19-12 after the first quarter.
Stipanovich was 3-of-6 from the field along with making 7-of-10 free throws, and also had 5 rebounds. Sophomore guard Dani Iwami (Seal Beach, CA/Los Alamitos/Hawai'i Pacific) added 8 points and 3 assists while Duff and sophomore guard Lexie Bland (Ellensburg, WA) each added 7 points. Castaneda finished with 6 points and 3 assists while sophomore center Anna Schwecke (Evergreen, CO/Clear Creek/Colorado-Colo. Springs) had 6 points and a game-high 9 rebounds.
Humboldt State held a slight rebounding edge, 40-37, and pulled down 20 offensive rebounds compared with 7 for the Vikings.
In addition to Arrington'ss 13 points, Turner finished with 11 points while Isamar Conde added 8 points and Ashlynn Cox totaled 6 points.
The Vikings shot 40.5% from the field (15-for-37) and made 5-for-13 (38.5%) from long range. WWU made 19-for-26 (73.1%) attempts at the free-throw line.
The WWU defense held Humboldt State to 26.7% from the floor (16-for-60) and 3-of-22 (13.6%) from 3-point range. The Lumberjacks made 15-for-25 (60%) of their free-throw attempts.
WWU will return to California next week for a second West Region Crossover Classic, hosted by Azusa Pacific. The Vikings will face UC San Diego on Nov. 17 (5:30 pm) before facing No. 16 Azusa Pacific on Nov. 18 (7:30 pm).
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