10-1 Western entertains Saint Martin's and Western Oregon
Jan. 4, 2011
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Having matched a season-best five-game winning streak, the Western Washington University women's basketball team hosts two Great Northwest Athletic Conference foes this week, entertaining Saint Martin's University on Thursday (7 p.m.) and Western Oregon University on Saturday (3 p.m.) at Sam Carver Gymnasium on the WWU campus.
Unbeaten in three home games this season, the Vikings are 10-1 overall and rank a season-high No.13 in the latest Women's Basketball Coaches Association USA Today/ESPN NCAA Division II Top 25. They are tied for the GNAC lead at 3-0 with Western Oregon and No.17 Seattle Pacific University.
With only a loss to then No.17 Chico State tarnishing its record, Western began 2011 with road victories over Northwest Nazarene, 68-51 on Saturday, and Central Washington, 76-67 on Monday.
The Vikings rank fifth nationally and are tied for the GNAC lead in scoring defense, allowing just 51.2 points per game. If they maintain that pace, it would be the best since allowing an average of 52.2 points during the 1983-84 campaign and the lowest since the 3-point line was introduced in 1987-88.
Western is holding opponents to 35.9 percent (207-of-577) field-goal shooting, second in the conference, and is limiting the opposition to a league-best 25.4 percent (35-of-138) 3-point accuracy.
The Vikings have held four opponents under 40 points this season, the most since the 1973-74 campaign when it performed that feat 10 times while allowing only 45.6 points, a school record.
Western tops the GNAC in 3-point percentage at 36.4 percent (87-of-239) and in 3-point makes with an average of 7.9 (87).
Coach Carmen Dolfo, who is in her 20th season, needs three wins to tie Lynda Goodrich's school record of 411. Western is the first school at any college level to have two women's basketball coaches reach the 400 milestone.
Senior center Lauren Hefflin, who had career highs of 25 points and 12 rebounds in the Central win, is averaging 12.9 points on 63.5 percent field-goal shooting (61-of-96), 8.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocked shots, all team highs.
Senior guard Amanda Dunbar is averaging 11.5 points and leads the GNAC in 3-point makes with 23 (2.6). She ranks seventh among school career leaders in points with 1,388 and holds the school career record for 3-point makes with 220.
Dunbar needs 20 points to move into sixth place on Western's career scoring list (Lori deKubber, 1,408, 1981-85) and become the top scoring guard in WWU history. She has been named to three all-tourney teams this season, being picked MVP at the Goodrich Classic. In all, Dunbar has received all-tournament recognition nine times during her four-year career.
Senior guard Megan Pinske is scoring at a 10.3 per game clip. She leads the GNAC in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.3 and is shooting 50.0 percent (16-of-32) from 3-point range.
Completing the first five are senior forward Gabby Wade, who is averaging 7.7 points and is tied for the team lead in rebounds at 8.1, and sophomore guard Corinn Waltrip, who has a 7.5 scoring average.
Junior guard Kristin Schramm is averaging 10.1 points off the bench. She matched her career high point total with a game-high 19 at Northwest Nazarene. Two other top reserves, both sophomores, are forward Erika Ramstead (5.1 ppg & 4.1 rpg) and center Britt Harris (3.6 ppg & 4.3 rpg).
Saint Martin's is 6-5 overall and 1-2 in conference play. The Saints have lost their last three games after opening the season with six wins in eight contests.
Leading Saint Martin's is 5-10 senior forward Dara Zack, a second-team Daktronics West Region and GNAC all-star last season who is averaging 15.4 points and 6.2 rebounds.
Two other starters back from last year's 12-15 squad are 5-6 senior guard Roni Jo Mielke (8.6 ppg) and 6-0 senior center Katie Hawkins (5.1 ppg).
Completing the lineup for coach Tim Healy (15 year, 185-208) are 5-9 junior guard Morelle Moehrle (5.5 ppg), a transfer who played two seasons at Western, and 6-0 senior forward Kellie Snyder (6.1 ppg, 6.6 rpg), who transferred from Southern Utah.
Western holds a 53-10 series advantage, winning five straight and 24 of the last 25 meetings.
Western Oregon is 5-6 overall (Jan. 6 at Simon Fraser) and 3-0 in conference action.
The Wolves, who top the GNAC in free throw shooting at 75.8 percent (172-of-227), is led by 5-9 senior guard Sara Zahler (13.3 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 40.7 3-point pct., 22-of-54; 89.5 free throw pct., 34-of-38).
Another top returnee for coach Greg Bruce (5th year, 35-87; 20th season overall, 328-224) is 5-7 sophomore guard Jamie Richardson (8.9 ppg, 2.0 spg).
A top transfer is 5-11 junior forward Rylee Peterson (12.8 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 2.6 spg) from Clackamas CC.
Western has won the last four meetings and leads the series, 36-9.
DEFENSE! DEFENSE!: The Vikings are allowing just 51.2 points per game this season. The school record of 45.6 was established in 1973-74, just the third year of the program, and the next best scoring defense average is 52.2 in 1983-84. The best mark since the three-point line was established in 1987-88 is 56.8 in 2005-06.
Western opponents are shooting just 36.4 percent from the field and 25.4 percent from 3-point range, school-record pace since the three-point line was introduced. The Vikings held the opposition to 35.5 percent from the floor in 1989-90, with the overall record being 33.7 percent in 1983-84. From beyond the arc, the school record is 26.9 percent in 1987-88.
WWU POSTS COLLEGIATE FIRST: When Dolfo reached the 400-victory plateau (406 currently) on Nov. 20 with a 58-24 win over San Francisco State, Western became the first college in the country to have two 400-win women's basketball coaches, as current Vikings' director of athletics Lynda Goodrich posted 411 victories from 1971 to 1990.
WWU NOTES: At the GNAC/CCAA Challenge Classic, the Vikings upset nationally No.11-ranked UC San Diego, 82-64, then defeated San Francisco State, 58-24. The 24 points were the lowest single-game opponent total ever given up by a GNAC school to a NCAA II foe and ranked eighth overall in league history ... Hefflin and Pinske have received GNAC Player of the Week honors this season ... Pinske saw action on the Canadian National Team in 2009, competing in an Olympic-qualifying tournament in Brazil ... Western won GNAC titles in 2002 and 2006 ... The Vikings are coming off a 2009-10 campaign in which they were 23-5, finished second in the GNAC at 14-2, and reached the post-season for the 11th time in 12 years as a NCAA II member.
DUNBAR AMONG ELITE: Senior guard Amanda Dunbar could become the first player in 30 years to lead Western in scoring four straight seasons. The only Viking to accomplish that feat was two-time Wade Trophy finalist Jo Metzger (1977-81).
In 2009-10, Dunbar averaged 17.4 points, 3.0 assists and 2.0 steals while hitting 46.7 percent (91-of-195) on 3-pointers. She earned first-team all-region and all-conference honors and was an honorable mention WBCA and Division II Bulletin All-American.
Dunbar currently has 1,388 career points, seventh among school leaders, and needs 20 more to move into sixth. That would tie her with Lori deKubber as the top scoring guard in school history. Dunbar is Western's all-time leader in 3-point makes with 220.
At the GNAC level, Dunbar is ninth in career scoring, 364 points short of becoming the all-time leader (1,752, Rebecca Kielpinski, UAA, 2005-09). She is third in career treys and needs 14 to tie the 3-point record held by Seattle Pacific's Mandy Wood (2002-06).
TOURNEY TIDBITS: The Vikings competed in four regular-season tournaments, taking top honors at the Great Western Shootout, tying for first at both the WWU Lynda Goodrich Classic and CCAA/GNAC Challenge Classic and splitting a pair of games at the GNAC/CCAA Crossover Challenge ... Pinske was named MVP at the Great Western Shootout, with Hefflin and Dunbar also earning all-tourney honors ... Dunbar was MVP at the Goodrich Classic, receiving all-tourney recognition for the third straight year. Wade also was an all-tournament choice ... Both Dunbar and Hefflin were named all-tournament at the GNAC/CCAA Crossover Challenge, and Hefflin was picked to the CCAA/GNAC Challenge Classic all-tourney team.
VIKINGS THIRD IN GNAC COACHES POLL: Western was voted third in the GNAC coaches preseason poll. Seattle Pacific, which is going for its fifth straight league title, received eight of 10 first-place votes in being selected No.1. Alaska Anchorage, which tied for last year's championship with Seattle Pacific, was picked second.
HOME COURT DOMINANCE: The Vikings are 403-69 (85.4 percent) in 39 seasons at Carver Gym.
COACH DOLFO: Carmen Dolfo is in her 20th year as head coach at Western. She has a 408-158 (72.1 percent) record and prior to the season ranked No.19 among active NCAA II coaches in winning percentage and No.12 in victories. Dolfo's teams have reached post-season play 18 times and have won 20 or more games 14 times. She was named GNAC Coach of the Year in 2004 and 2006, Northwest small college Coach of the Year in 2000 and Pacific Northwest Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 1995 and 1996. Dolfo was the top Viking assistant for four seasons (95-28, 77.2) and earned All-America honors as a player at Western.
TRADITION OF SUCCESS: With 840 victories (293 losses) in its 40-year history, Western is one of just 10 colleges in all divisions of the NCAA to reach the 800-plateau... The Vikings have made 37 post-season appearances, including one stretch of 28 straight, with one national semifinal and three quarterfinal finishes ... They have made 11 West Regional appearances in their first 11 seasons as a NCAA II member, and also have had 28 20-win seasons ... Western has had 21 winning streaks of 10 or more games with its longest being 20 ... Former Western coach Lynda Goodrich, now the Vikings' director of athletics, is a member of the NAIA National Hall of Fame. She coached Western for 19 seasons, winning more than 400 games (411-127, 76.4 percent). Another Viking NAIA Hall of Famer is forward Jo Metzger (1977-81), who earned first-team All-America honors in 1980 and 1981 ... Western has had 13 first, second or third-team All-Americans.
ON THE WEB: All Viking home games are being video streamed live and are available free at http://wwu.nmtvsports.com. For up-to-date statistics, box scores of every game, records, stories, etc., see the Western Athletics web page at www.wwuvikings.com. Up-to-date league standings and statistics can be found on the Great Northwest Athletic Conference web page at www.gnacsports.com
RADIO BROADCASTS: Selected Western games are being broadcast this season on KBAI Radio (930 AM) with Doug Lange handling the play-by-play and Mark Scholten providing the color commentary. They also can be heard on the internet at www.wwuvikings.com.
VIKINGS ON TV: Western will play on FSN Northwest as part of a nine-game television package between the GNAC and FSN Northwest for the 2010-11 season. The Vikings' appearance will be on Wed., Feb. 2 (6 p.m.) when they host Seattle Pacific. FSN Northwest is the cable home of the Seattle Mariners, Seattle Seahawks, Portland Beavers, Portland Timbers, Washington Huskies, Washington State Cougars, Oregon State Beavers and Gonzaga Bulldogs. The network delivers more than 350 live events each year - all of which are also available in high definition on FSN HD - to more than 3.4 million cable and satellite homes in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. FSN Northwest is based in Bellevue and is a subsidiary of DIRECTV Sports Networks, which also operates the regional sports networks FSN Pittsburgh and FSN Rocky Mountain (and sub-region FSN Utah). The three networks combined reach more than 8.5 million viewers across 17 states and own exclusive programming and distribution partnerships with more than 25 teams and conferences. DIRECTV Sports Networks is a controlled subsidiary of DIRECTV, the world's most popular television service.
PROBABLE WESTERN STARTERS & TOP RESERVES:
F Gabby Wade, 5-9, ***Sr., Lacey, WA/River Ridge C Lauren Hefflin, 6-2, ***Sr., Ridgefield, WA/Ridgefield G Amanda Dunbar, 5-9, ***Sr., Marysville, WA/Marysville-Pilchuck G Megan Pinske, 5-9, **Sr., Coquitlam, BC/Port Moody/UBC G Corinn Waltrip, 5-6, *So., Tigard, OR/Tigard
RECENT GAME SUMMARIES:
Jan. 1 - WESTERN 68, Northwest Nazarene 51 at Nampa, Id.
Schramm came off the bench to score a game-high 19 points, igniting decisive runs during both halves, as Western opened 2011 with a 68-51 victory over Northwest Nazarene in a GNAC contest at Johnson Sports Center. Pinske scored 15 points and had a game-high five assists for the Vikings, and Hefflin added 15 points and game-highs of 10 rebounds and five steals. NNU dropped to 6-5 overall and 1-2 in conference play. The Crusaders were led by the 17 points of guard Heather Adams. With the score knotted at 17-all with 9:19 left in the opening period, Schramm scored eight points, hitting two 3-pointers, as Western tallied 18 of the next 22 points to take a 35-21 lead with 2:57 remaining. The Vikings were ahead 35-25 at halftime. NNU closed to within five points twice early in the second half, the last time being 47-42 with 13:12 remaining. Western allowed the Crusaders just three field goals from that point on as it ended the game with a 21-9 run, Schramm and Pinske each scoring seven points. Western hit 49.1 percent (27-of-55) from the field, tying its second-best effort of the season. Pinske made all six of her floor shots, including three 3-pointers, Hefflin was 7-of-10 from the field, and Schramm, who matched her career-high point total, connected on 6-of-12 field goals and was 4-of-7 from beyond the arc. The Vikings had a 36-24 advantage in rebounds. Besides Hefflin's 10, Wade grabbed seven and Ramstead six.
Jan. 3 - WESTERN 76, Central Washington 67 at Ellensburg, Wash.
Hefflin scored 25 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, both career and game highs, as Western rallied to defeat arch-rival Central Washington, 76-67, in a GNAC game at Nicholson Pavilion. The Vikings also got 15 points and a game-high nine assists from Dunbar. Central, which suffered its first loss in four home games this season, dropped to 5-5 overall and is 0-3 in conference play. The Wildcats were led by the 18 points of guard Luv Rattler, and center Aleyse Evans contributed 13 points and 10 rebounds. Western, rated among the top 10 nationally in scoring defense, entering the game with a 49.6 average, held the Wildcats to 27 points in the second half after giving up 40 in the first period. Central shot just 29.4 percent (10-of-34) in the final 20 minutes after hitting 57.7 percent (15-of-26) in the first half. The Wildcats took an early 13-0 lead, making five of six shots over the first four minutes. Western got back to within three points on three occasions in the period, but trailed 40-33 at halftime. The Vikings scored the first 14 points of the second half, the first eight by Hefflin, for a 47-40 advantage with 12:41 to go. They extended that lead to 13, 71-58, with 2:58 left. Central closed to within six points, 71-65 with 45 seconds left, but Western made five of six free throws to seal the win. Hefflin was 12-of-16 from the floor. She had 17 points on 8-of-9 field-goal shooting and nine rebounds in the second half. Western turned the ball over 15 times, just three in the final period. Central had 28 turnovers.
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