WWU falls 66-63 to Chico State in GNAC/CCAA tourney opener

WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM Corinn Waltrip
WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM
Corinn Waltrip
WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM

Dec. 9, 2011

Box Score

SEATTLE, Wash. - Guard Corinn Waltrip (Jr., Tigard, OR), who scored a game-high 17 points, had a three-point shot to tie blocked in the final seconds as Western Washington University fell 66-63 to Chico State University to open the Great Northwest Athletic Conference/California Collegiate Athletic Association Women's Basketball Challenge Classic on Friday at Royal Brougham Pavilion on the campus of host Seattle Pacific University.

The Vikings, who fell to 4-3, were within one point, 64-63, following two free throws by Sarah Hill (So., Richmond, VA) with 1:50 remaining. They missed a shot to take the lead with 54 seconds left.

After Chico State increased its advantage to three on a jumper by Natasha Smith with 25 seconds to go, WWU had three-point attempt to tie go off the iron with five ticks left and and following a timeout Courtney Hamilton swatted Waltrip's shot as time ran out.

Chico State, which improved to 4-2, was led by the 14 points of Synchro Bull. Smith finished with 11 and Jazmine Miller added 10. Crystal Sewell grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds for the Wildcats.

Center Britt Harris (Jr., Marysville/Marysville-Pilchuck) scored 15 points for WWU, and forward Erika Ramstead (Jr., Everson/Nooksack Valley) had 10.

WWU made five of its first six shots to take a 12-4 lead over the first four minutes. The Wildcats responded by scoring 13 of the next 15 points to go in front, 17-14, with 12 minutes left in the opening half.

Waltrip tied the game with a three-pointer and scored 13 of her 15 first-half points over the last 11:39 of the period as WWU used a 15-6 run to take a 29-23 advantage with 7:10 to go in the half. The Vikings led, 38-34, at the intermission.

There were five lead changes and three ties in the first nine minutes of the second half. Chico State took the lead for good, 51-50, on a three-pointer by Miller with 11:03 to go and a three-point play by Smith increased the advantage to four.

The Vikings had a 46-39 rebound advantage with Hill having 10.

Forward Sydney Donaldson (Fr., Edmonds/Edmonds-Woodway), making her first collegiate start for WWU, finished with four points, six rebounds and a game-high four blocks.

The Vikings face Sonoma State University in final-day tourney action Saturday, beginning at 5 p.m.