WWU home for first time in six weeks, faces CWU and No.18 NNU

WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM Katie Colard
WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM
Katie Colard
WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM

Jan. 6, 2014

BELLINGHAM, Wash, - Having played nine of its first 11 games on the road, the Western Washington University women's basketball team is home for six of its next eight contests, all of them Great Northwest Athletic Conference counters, at Sam Carver Gymnasium on the WWU campus.

The Vikings, 5-6 overall and 1-2 in GNAC action, entertain Central Washington on Thursday (7 p.m.) and nationally No.18 Northwest Nazarene on Saturday (5:15 p.m.). Both games will be broadcast live on KBAI Radio (930 AM - Bellingham). Lives stats and video streams for both contests can be found at wwuvikings.com.

THE LAST MEETING
Central Washington56
Western Washington81
February 23, 2013
BELLINGHAM
WWU clinches tie for GNAC regular-season title with 81-56 win over CWU
Guard Katie Colard scored a game-high 15 points to lead a balanced attack as nationally ranked Western Washington University defeated Central Washington University, 81-56, in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference women's basketball contest Saturday at Sam Carver Gymnasium on the WWU campus.

THE LAST MEETING
Northwest Nazarene51
Western Washington81
February 21, 2013
BELLINGHAM
No.8 WWU uses big defensive effort to defeat NNU, 81-51
Keyed by a stellar defensive effort, nationally ranked Western Washington University jumped to an early lead and went on to an 81-51 triumph over Northwest Nazarene University in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference women's basketball contest Thursday at Sam Carver Gymnasium on the WWU campus.

WWU is working on a 22-game winning streak at Carver Gym. It is the second-longest home string in school history, trailing only the mark of 29 set from 1983 to 1986. The Vikings, who are 2-0 at home this season, last played at Carver Gym on Dec. 29-30 at their annual Lynda Goodrich Classic when they posted wins over Pacific Lutheran, 84-46, and Northwest, 83-44.

Last week, WWU split a pair of conference road contests. Following an upset of nationally No.9-ranked Seattle Pacific, 84-77, they fell to preseason GNAC favorite Montana State Billings, 82-69.

The 84 points scored against Seattle Pacific was a season-high for WWU as were the 82 points given up to MSUB.

WWU has won two of its last three games, shooting 50.0 percent or better in each of those contests. The Vikings lead the GNAC in field-goal percentage (45.3) and 3-point percentage (38.3)where they are ranked 14th nationally in NCAA Division II.

Junior guard Katie Colard scored a career-high 25 points on 5-of-7 3-point shooting in the win at Seattle Pacific. She is averaging a team-leading 12.5 points per game on 39.0 percent accuracy from 3-point range, and tops the GNAC in made threes (2.7, 30). Over the last four games, Colard has connected on 17-of-32 treys, 53.1 percent, and is averaging 18.5 points.

Freshman guard Taylor Peacocke has a 10.3 scoring average, hitting 82.8 percent (24-of-29) of her free throws.

Junior point guard Jenni White is scoring at a 9.9 clip. She leads the Vikings in assists (4.5, 49) and steals (2.1, 23) and is shooting 45.5 percent (15-of-33) on 3-pointers.

Freshman forward Tia Briggs is averaging 9.8 points on 52.4 percent (44-of-84) floor accuracy, and senior center Sarah Hill is averaging 8.1 points and a team-best 6.5 rebounds. Briggs has made 50 or more percent of her field goals in eight games this season.

CENTRAL WASHINGTON: The Wildcats are 5-7 overall and 0-4 in GNAC play, losing their last three games. They are coming off an 82-80 loss to Alaska Anchorage. Central returns all five starters and nine letter winners from last year's 9-17 team. They are led by second-team GNAC all-star 5-9 senior guard Jessica Van Dyke (17.3 ppg, 6.9 rpg) and honorable mention all-conference 6-2 sophomore center Jasmine Parker (9.7 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 2.3 bpg-leads GNAC), who had a GNAC-leading 2.3 blocks per game average last season. Three other standouts back for coach Shawn Nelson (3rd year, 23-41; 11th overall, 225-111) are 5-11 junior forward Courtney Johnson (12.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg), 6-0 junior forward Amber Moser (8.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 54.4 FG Pct.-leads GNAC) and 5-8 junior guard Ally Schmitt (6.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 6.8 apg-leads GNAC). Van Dyke scored 30 points versus California Baptist and Johnson had 27 against UAA. Parker grabbed 19 rebounds versus Hawaii Pacific and 14 against UAA. WWU holds an 84-10 series advantage, winning the last 11 meetings and 19 of the last 20.

NORTHWEST NAZARENE: The Crusaders, ranked No.18 in the latest Women's Basketball Coaches Association/USA Today/Top 25 Poll, are 10-2 overall (Jan. 9 at Simon Fraser) and 3-1 in GNAC action. Eight of their wins have been at home, including a sweep of Alaska Anchorage (86-80) and Alaska Fairbanks (88-72) last weekend. NNU is led by honorable mention All-America 5-9 senior guard Megan Hingston (18.2 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 84.6 FT Pct.), a unanimous GNAC first-team all-star. Four more standouts for first-year coach Ryan Bragdon, formerly an assistant at Illinois State who took over a squad that was 20-9 last season, are 5-8 sophomore guard Taylor Simmons (14.3 ppg, 3.1 apg, 3.2 spg, 51.3 FG Pct.), 5-9 senior guard Chelsie Luke (13.7 ppg, 88.0 FT Pct.), 5-9 junior forward Kayla Schumann (9.6 ppg, 48.8 3-pt. Pct.-leads GNAC), and 5-10 senior center Kylee Schierman (4.8 ppg, 9.3 rpg), last year's GNAC Newcomer of the Year. NNU tops the GNAC in rebound margin (9.0 avg.) and free throw shooting (78.8 percent) and is second in floor accuracy (43.9 percent). WWU holds a 23-9 series lead, winning 10 of the last 11 meetings. That included all three last season, 70-66 at Nampa, Id., 81-51 at Bellingham and 60-49 in GNAC semifinal at Lacey.

UPCOMING GAMES:

Jan. 9 (Thu.)  CENTRAL WASHINGTON*# (CARVER GYM - 7 p.m.)
Jan. 11 (Sat.) NORTHWEST NAZARENE*# (CARVER GYM - 5:15 p.m.)
Jan. 16 (Thu.) at Western Oregon* (Monmouth, Ore. - 7 p.m.)
Jan. 18 (Sat.) at Saint Martin's* (Lacey, Wash. - 7 p.m.)

*Great Northwest Athletic Conference contest #broadcast on KBAI Radio (930 AM) and on internet at wwuvikings.com

THREE-DOT NOTES: Two Vikings, junior forward Sydney Donaldson and Hill, were named to the GNAC preseason all-conference team ... Two of WWU's losses have come in overtime and four have been by single digits ... WWU won its own Goodrich Classic title for the 15th time in the 17-year history of the tourney with wins over Pacific Lutheran, 84-46, and Northwest, 83-44. That ran its Goodrich Classic victory string to 12, with wins in 31 of 34 tourney games overall. Three WWU players were all-tournament picks. Briggs was named Most Valuable Player, and was joined by Hill and White.

FAMILY TIES: Two members of this year's team have fathers who played men's basketball at WWU. They are Tia Briggs (Ed) and Kiana Gandy (Joe). Sarah Hill's sister, Celeste, was an All-America hoop player for the Vikings, and Katie Colard, had a sister, Kelly, who played basketball at WWU, and a brother, Kevin, who competed in football for the Vikings.

VIKINGS THIRD IN GNAC COACHES POLL: WWU received three of 10 first-place votes and was picked to place third in the GNAC coaches' preseason poll. The Vikings previously won GNAC championships in 2002, 2006, 2011 (regular season) and 2013 (regular season and tournament). Montana State Billings was No.1 with six first-place votes and Seattle Pacific second with one first-place vote.

HOME COURT DOMINANCE: The Vikings are 440-72 (85.9 percent) in 42 seasons at Carver Gym. Their longest home court win streak was 29 from 1983 to 1986. WWU was 16-0 at home last season and is working on a 22-game home court victory string over the last three years.

COACH DOLFO: Carmen Dolfo, who was the CaptainU Division II National Coach of the Year last season, is in her 23rd year as head coach at WWU. She has a 480-179 (72.8 percent) record and ranks No.9 among active NCAA II coaches in winning percentage and No.12 in victories. Her winning percentage in NCAA II all-time ranks No.21 and her victory total No.26. Dolfo's teams have reached post-season play 21 times and have won 20 or more games 17 times. She was named GNAC Coach of the Year in 2004, 2006, 2011 and 2013; Northwest small college Coach of the Year in 2000 and Pacific Northwest Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 1995 and 1996. Dolfo has coached 13 All-Americans (includes honorable mention) and 48 conference all-stars during her tenure. She was the top Viking assistant for four seasons (95-28, 77.2) and earned All-America honors as a player at WWU.

TRADITION OF SUCCESS: With 912 victories (314 losses, 74.4 percent) in its 43-year history, WWU is one of just a handful of colleges in all divisions of the NCAA to reach the 900-plateau... The Vikings have made 40 post-season appearances, including one stretch of 28 straight, with two national semifinal and three quarterfinal finishes ... They have made 14 West Regional appearances in their 15 seasons as a NCAA II member, and also have had 31 20-win seasons ... WWU has had 22 winning streaks of 10 or more games with its longest being 21 ... Former WWU coach Lynda Goodrich is a member of the NAIA National Hall of Fame. She coached WWU 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 ... WWU has had 13 first, second or third-team All-Americans.

A LOOK BACK AT 2012-13: Last year, WWU finished 29-4 and reached the semifinals at the NCAA II National Championships after winning the West Regional title and both the Great Northwest Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament crowns.

COLLEGIATE FIRST: WWU was the first college in the country to boast two 400-win women's basketball coaches. Lynda Goodrich, who recently retired after 26 years as the school's director of athletics, posted 411 victories from 1971 to 1990, and current coach Carmen Dolfo is in her 23rd season with 480.

ON THE WEB: All Viking home games are being video streamed live and are available at www.stretchinternet.com. For up-to-date statistics, box scores of every game, records, stories, etc., see the WWU 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 WWU 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.

ROOT SPORTS: The WWU home game with Simon Fraser on Saturday, March 1 will be televised live on ROOT Sports (Comcast Channel 30). Tipoff is 3 p.m. (originally 7 p.m.). ROOT Sports is the home of the Seattle Mariners, Seattle Seahawks and Portland Timbers, among numerous other professional and collegiate sports teams in the Pacific Northwest. Its scope covers Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska, and the ROOT SPORTS regional networks combine to reach nine million homes across 18 states.

PROBABLE WESTERN STARTERS & TOP RESERVES:

F Sydney Donaldson, 6-0, **Jr., Edmonds, WA/Edmonds-Woodway
F Taylor Peacocke, 5-9, Fr., Kenmore, WA/Inglemoor/Sacramento State
C Sarah Hill, 6-3, **Sr., Richmond,VA/Lloyd C.Bird/ Maryland-Baltimore County
G Jenni White, 5-5, **Jr., Spokane, WA/East Valley
G Katie Colard, 5-9, **Jr., McCleary, WA/Elma

F Tia Briggs, 6-1, Fr., Tacoma, WA/Wilson F Kiana Gandy,5-10, R-Fr., Des Moines, WA/Mount Rainier F Rachel Albert, 5-10, Fr., Bellingham, WA/Sehome G Marcel Pounds, 5-8, **Jr.., Bonney Lake, WA/Bonney Lake *letters won

MOST RECENT GAME SUMMARIES:

Jan. 2 - WWU 84, Seattle Pacific 77 at Seattle, Wash.

Colard scored a career and game-high 25 points, hitting 5-of-7 3-pointers, as WWU upset nationally top 10-ranked Seattle Pacific, 84-77, in a GNAC game at Royal Brougham Pavilion. The Vikings, improved to 5-5 overall and 1-1 in GNAC play with their second straight win. They also got a career-high 16 points from Hill, who also contributed four rebounds, four blocked shots and three steals. SPU, ranked No.9 in the country, fell to 8-3 overall and 1-2 in conference action. The Falcons, who suffered their third loss in four games after a 7-0 start, got 18 points from guard Suzanna Ohlsen and forward Katie Benson had 17 points and a game-high nine rebounds. With the score tied at 67-all with under seven minutes remaining, Colard put the Vikings ahead to stay at 70-67 on a 3-pointer at 6:27. That began a stretch in which she scored 12 of WWU's last 17 points, including six straight for a 79-73 lead with 2:16 to go. SPU, which scored just one field goal in the last four minutes, never got closer than three after that. The Falcons, who were ahead by seven points three times during the opening 12 minutes, led 44-43 at halftime on a jumper by Betsy Kingma with two seconds left. WWU never trailed after scoring the first five points of the second half for a 48-44 advantage, opening with a 3-pointer by Hill. Colard was 7-of-9 from the floor and made 6-of-7 free throws. White and Peacocke each scored 11 points for the Vikings, who shot 50.0 percent (28-of-56) from the field and 56.3 percent (9-of-16) from 3-point range. White also had a game-high six assists. Maddey Pflaumer and Kingma each had 12 points for SPU, which had a 40-26 rebound advantage.

Feb. 4 - Montana State Billings 82, WWU 69 at Billings, MT

All-America guard Bobbi Knudsen scored a career-high 37 points as Montana State Billings defeated WWU, 82-69, in a GNAC game at Alterowitz Gymnasium. WWU, which fell to 5-6 overall and 1-2 in GNAC play, got a team-high 18 points from Colard. Peacocke contributed 15 points and Briggs14. MSUB, picked to win the GNAC title in the preseason coaches' poll, improved to 10-4 overall and 3-1 in conference action. The Yellowjackets are unbeaten in seven home games this season. Knudsen, who had 15 points at halftime, finished 14-of-21 from the field, including 3-of-4 3-pointers, and hit all six of her free throws. She also had six assists, three rebounds and two steals. Knudsen's previous high was 33 points in Nov. 23, 2012 at Dixie State. WWU was within two points, 21-19, midway through the first half, but MSUB finished the period with a 21-6 run for a 42-25 lead at halftime. The Vikings never got closer than 11 after that and MSUB's biggest advantage was 23, 71-48, with 7:53 remaining. White had a game-high seven assists for WWU, which shot 52.7 percent from the field (29-of-55). The Vikings were outrebounded, 29-19.

Great Northwest Athletic Conference

2013-14 Women's Basketball Report 9 Week 7 (Jan. 7, 2014)

                   Conf.               Overall
                   W	L	W	L	H	A	N
Saint Martin's     3	0	9	3	6-0	2-0	1-3
Northwest Nazarene 3	1	10	2	8-0	2-2	0-0
Alaska Anchorage   3	1	10	2	6-1	4-1	0-0
MSU Billings       3	1	10	4	7-0	1-1	2-3
Simon Fraser       2	1	8	3	5-0	3-2	0-1
Western Washington 1	2	5	6	2-0	2-4	1-2
Western Oregon     1	2	4	7	4-4	0-1	0-2
Seattle Pacific    1	3	8	4	3-3	2-1	3-0
Alaska Fairbanks   1	3	7	5	3-3	4-2	0-0
Central Washington 0	4	5	7	3-3	0-2	2-2

LAST WEEK: Thursday - Alaska Anchorage 80 at Northwest Nazarene 86; Alaska Fairbanks 75 at Central Washington 64; Simon Fraser 63 at MSU Billings 81; Western Washington 84 at Seattle Pacific 77 Saturday - Alaska Anchorage 82 at Central Washington 80; Alaska Fairbanks 72 at Northwest Nazarene 88; Western Washington 69 at MSU Billings 82; Western Oregon 46 at Saint Martin's 77; Simon Fraser 63 at Seattle Pacific 60.

THIS WEEK: Thursday - Western Oregon at Alaska Anchorage 7 p.m.; Saint Martin's at Alaska Fairbanks 7 p.m.; Central Washington at Western Washington 7 p.m.; Northwest Nazarene at Simon Fraser 7 p.m. Saturday - Saint Martin's at Alaska Anchorage 7 p.m.; Western Oregon at Alaska Fairbanks 7 p.m.; Central Washington at Simon Fraser 7 p.m.; MSU Billings at Seattle Pacific, 3 p.m.; Northwest Nazarene at Western Washington, 5:15 p.m.

POLLS: WBCA (Jan. 7) - 18. Northwest Nazarene

NCAA STATISTICS (Through Jan. 5)

TEAM (Top 30): Ast./T.O. Ratio - 22. Montana State Billings (1.13) Ast./Gm. - 20. Alaska Anchorage (17.4) Blk./Gm. - 19. Seattle Pacific (4.8) 25. Western Washington (4.4) Field Goal Pct. - 25. Western Washington (.453) Field Goal Pct. Def. - 4. Saint Martin's (.322) 30. Northwest Nazarene (.354) F.T. Pct. - 4. Northwest Nazarene (.788) 28. Seattle Pacific (.751) Fls./Gm. - 4. Montana State Billings (15.5) Rbnd. Margin - 22. Northwest Nazarene (8.9) Scoring Defense - 8. Saint Martin's (54.2) Scoring Margin - 18. Alaska Anchorage (19.3) 29. Northwest Nazarene (14.3) Scoring Offense - 6. Alaska Anchorage (86.8) 20. Northwest Nazarene (80.0) Steals/Gm. - 3. Alaska Anchorage (16.2) 34. Alaska Fairbanks (11.3) 3-Pt F.G. Def. - 5. Alaska Anchorage (.219) 15. Alaska Fairbanks (.239) 16. Saint Martin's (.241) 23. Simon Fraser (.250) 3-Pt. F.G. Pct. - 14. Western Washington (.383) T.O. Margin - 3. Alaska Anchorage (8.92) T.O./Gm. - 3. Montana State Billings (12.4) W-L-T Pct. - T-27. Alaska Anchorage (.833) T-27. Northwest Nazarene (.833).

INDIVIDUAL (Top 30): Ast./T.O. Ratio - 12. Ellen Kett, SFU (2.50) 25. Ally Schmitt, CWU (2.19) 30. Bobbi Knudsen, MSUB (2.10) Ast./Gm. - 4. Ally Schmitt, CWU (6.8) 5. Bobbi Knudsen, MSUB (6.0) 8. Kiki Robertson, UAA (5.8) Blk./Gm. - 19. Jasmine Parker, CWU (2.33) F.T. Pct. - 4. Bobbi Knudsen, MSUB (.941) Pts./Gm. - 15. Katie Benson, SPU (21.3) 16. Erin Chambers, SFU (21.3) Rbnd./Gm. - 29. Katie Benson, SPU (10.1) Stl./Gm. - 1. Kiki Robertson, UAA (4.5) 20. Taylor Simmons, NNU (3.17) 3-Pt. F.G./Gm. - 28. Katie Colard, WWU (2.73).

DOUBLE-DOUBLES (Through Jan. 6): 5 - Katie Benson, SPU; Dana Goularte, WOU; Megan Hingston, NNU 3 - Chelsea Haskey, SMU; Jasmine Parker, CWU 2 - Six with 1 - Ten with.

RED LION PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Week of Dec. 30 - Jan. 5: Bobbi Knudsen, MSUB (G, 5-8, Sr., Malta, MT) had 55 points, 12 assists, and four steals and was a perfect 10-for-10 from the free-throw line with five rebounds. She led the team to an 81-63 win over Simon Fraser University and an 82-69 win over Western Washington University. In the game against SFU Knudsen had a team-high 18 points, six assists and two steals. In the win over WWU, Knudsen had a career-high 37 points, making 14-of-21 shots, including 3-of-4 from 3-point territory, for a shooting percentage of 66.6. Her 37 points is the highest by a women's player in the GNAC this season. "Bobbi Knudsen played a special game tonight," head coach Kevin Woodin said. "She had 37 points, and had six assists to only one turnover. It is probably one of the best perimeter games I have ever witnessed."

Honorable Mention - Katie Colard, WWU; Taylor Simmons, NNU; Dana Goularte, WOU; Brooke Paulson, SMU.

KNUDSEN'S CAREER-HIGH CARRIES MSUB: Fifty-five total points from Bobbi Knudsen, including a career-high 37 against Western Washington on Saturday helped the Yellowjackets to a pair of victories last week as MSUB moved to 3-1 in GNAC play and remained a perfect 8-0 at home this season. Janiel Olson averaged 11.5 points and 9.0 rebounds over the two-game stretch, as the Yellowjackets defeated Simon Fraser handily on Thursday 81-63. Excellent free-throw shooting and a strong rebounding effort aided MSUB, as the Yellowjackets shot .820 from the foul line (41-of-50) and outrebounded opponents 78-48 in their two games last week.

MSUB hits the road to take on Seattle Pacific on Saturday at 3 p.m. The Yellowjackets' lone game of the week will be televised live on ROOT SPORTS, kicking-off an eight-game series of GNAC basketball to be broadcast on the northwest sports network this season.

SAINTS' STINGY DEFENSE: For the fourth time in six games and fifth time overall this season, Saint Martin's held an opponent to less than 50 points in a game as SMU downed Western Oregon 77-46 in Lacey on Saturday. The victory increased the Saints' winning streak to six games, and they now sit alone atop the GNAC standings as the only undefeated team at 3-0. Liz Mills and Brooke Paulson each scored 18 points and Chelsea Haskey contributed 15 and a team-high nine rebounds, as SMU held Western Oregon below .300 in field goal percentage at just .291.

SMU will be tested this week as the Saints put their winning streak on the line in Alaska. SMU visits Fairbanks on Thursday and Anchorage on Saturday for a pair of conference matchups.

SIMMONS, `SADERS SWEEP ALASKAS: Taylor Simmons poured in a career-high 24 points against Alaska Anchorage on Thursday and then repeated the feat two days later against Alaska Fairbanks as NNU remained perfect at home with a pair of victories last week. Megan Hingston led the way with a 25-point 15-rebound double-double against the Seawolves, and she contributed 15 of the Crusaders' record-setting 38 made free throws in the win. Simmons' 24 points, thanks in large part to a line of 14-for-15 on free-throws, led the charge for NNU against UAF on Saturday in a solid 88-72 victory. On the weekend the Crusaders made 75-of-90 free throws - 42 of which were converted by Hingston and Simmons.

NNU squares off against Simon Fraser on Thursday and Western Washington on Saturday in a pair of conference road games.

SEAWOLVES SPLIT ON ROAD: After losing to a Division II opponent for the first time this season, UAA recovered with a two-point victory over Central Washington on Saturday for a split in last week's road trip. The Seawolves lost to NNU by just six points, snapping a four-game winning streak and nine-game winning streak against Division II competition. Kylie Burns led the way in the scoring department with 39 points over the two-game stretch, and Jessica Madison (15.5) and Alli Madison (13.5) also averaged in double figures for UAA. The Seawolves were outrebounded on the weekend 100-78, but generated an impressive 27 steals with nine coming from Kiki Robertson.

UAA returns home to host Western Oregon on Thursday and a red-hot Saint Martin's team on Saturday as the Seawolves jockey with the Saints, Crusaders and Yellowjackets for the top spot in the GNAC standings.

CLAN CUT DOWN FALCONS IN SEATTLE: A tough 81-63 loss to MSU Billings on Thursday did little to discourage Simon Fraser as the Clan recovered with a 63-60 road win over No. 9 Seattle Pacific on Saturday to remain above .500 in conference games at 2-1. Erin Chambers and Katie Lowen, the Clan's leading scorers, converted 10 of SFU's 12 buckets from long-distance, as Chambers contributed 32 points and Lowen 25 overall in the two games. Rebecca Langmead led SFU with a dozen rebounds and blocked six shots, while averaging 8.5 points last weekend. A pair of Kia Van Laare free throws with 39 seconds remaining broke a 60-60 tie with SPU, and one more foul shot from Chambers sealed the win for the Clan.

SFU welcomes Northwest Nazarene and Central Washington this weekend and plays six of its next eight games overall on its home turf in Burnaby.

NANOOKS SNAP 3-GAME LOSING SKID: A team-high 17 points off the bench from Victoria Milton helped UAF snap a three-game losing streak as the Nanooks defeated Central Washington 75-64 on Thursday in Ellensburg. Milton sunk 11-of-12 free-throw attempts and averaged a point per minute in just 17 minutes on the floor. The Nanooks could not quiet NNU on Saturday however, as the Crusaders carried momentum from a win over UAA into an 88-72 defeat of the Nanooks. The lone bright spot for UAF in its second game of the week was Jordan Wilson, who led all players with 26 points on 11-of-24 shooting.

UAF is set to host the hottest team in the GNAC, welcoming Saint Martin's on Thursday before hosting Western Oregon on Saturday.

COLARD CLUTCH FROM DOWNTOWN: Western Washington's Katie Colard added eight 3-pointers - including five in a victory over Seattle Pacific - to raise her GNAC-leading figure to 30 as WWU split a pair of games last week. Colard paced all scorers with 25 points in the Vikings' 84-77 road win over SPU, and added 18 more in a tough 82-69 defeat at the hands of MSU Billings. Colard also led the Vikings with nine total rebounds, while Taylor Peacocke (13.0) and Sarah Hill (11.5) were the other WWU players to average in double figures last week. Jenni White dished out a team-high 13 assists as the Vikings slipped below .500 at 5-6 with the loss on Saturday.

WWU is set to defend its home-court winning streak of 22 games this weekend, as the Vikings host Central Washington on Thursday and a tough Northwest Nazarene team on Saturday. The streak is the second-longest in school history for the women's program, which won 29-straight games from the 1983-86 seasons.

WILDCATS PUSH SEAWOLVES TO LIMIT: After a tough 75-64 defeat at the hands of Alaska Fairbanks on Thursday, Central Washington responded with a gritty performance against Alaska Anchorage on Saturday that came up just short in a two-point loss. Ally Schmitt converted a layup with one second left on the clock to bring the score to 82-80, but the Wildcats ran out of time against UAA. Courtney Johnson led the offensive attack during the two-game stretch, scoring 33 points thanks to a team-high six 3-pointers. Jessica VanDyke also averaged in double figures with 27 points in the two losses. Jasmine Parker was a strong presence inside with a whopping 21 rebounds, and Schmitt continued to be a top distributor for CWU with 16 assists.

CWU hits the road in search of its first GNAC win of the season, challenging Western Washington on Thursday and Simon Fraser across the border on Saturday.

FALCONS QUIETED TWICE AT HOME: Seattle Pacific came up on the short end of a pair of close games in Seattle last week, as the Falcons fell to Western Washington on Thursday and Simon Fraser on Saturday. Katie Benson sustained her average of 20-plu points, contributing 42 total on the weekend and also grabbing a team-high 15 rebounds. Suzanna Ohlsen (16.0) and Betsy Kingma (10.0) were the other Falcons to average in double digits, and Maddey Pflaumer (14) and Hannah Rodrigues (12) were SPU's other top rebounders. SPU led WWU by one point at the half, but was outscored by the Vikings 41-33 over the final 20 minutes. SPU is now 1-3 in GNAC play and has lost three straight games - all of them at home - since beginning the season 8-1.

SPU resumes GNAC play against MSU Billings on Saturday in the first conference game to be televised on ROOT SPORTS of the year. The matchup in Seattle will close a six-game home stand for the Falcons, who will look to salvage a 3-3 mark over the stretch with a victory.

WOLVES HELD TO SEASON LOW: Facing the top scoring defense in the GNAC, Western Oregon struggled to generate an offensive attack against Saint Martin's in a tough 77-46 defeat on Saturday. In the Wolves' lone game of the week, Dana Goularte recorded her fifth double-double of the season, leading all scorers with 23 points and hauling in 15 rebounds. Shyla Akins contributed three steals, an assist and six points in 18 minutes off of the bench for WOU, which slipped to 1-2 in GNAC play.

The Wolves head to Alaska this week to battle Alaska Anchorage on Thursday and Alaska Fairbanks on Saturday.

2013-14 RED LION PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

Week of Dec. 16-22: Bobbi Knudsen, MSUB (G, 5-8, Sr., Malta, MT) scored 32 points while dishing out 17 assists and grabbing 14 rebounds in a pair of South Point Holiday Hoops Classic games last week in Las Vegas. Knudsen led the Yellowjackets to a 78-58 win over Texas Woman's and was instrumental in MSUB's one-point loss to No. 6 Drury. Trailing by two points in the final minute against the Panthers, Knudsen drove into the paint, scored a layup and drew a foul. After converting the free throw to give MSUB a one-point lead with six seconds left, Drury scored a buzzer-beater from 18 feet to shock the Yellowjackets and escape with the victory. "Bobbi played some incredible basketball over the two games," MSUB head coach Kevin Woodin said. "Our team played the two best games we have all season, and Bobbi was a top contributor in both contests." Honorable Mention: Taylor Simmons, NNU (G, 5-8, So., Middleton, ID); Angela Gelhar, SMU (G, 5-6, Jr., Vancouver, WA); Katie Colard, WWU (G, 5-9, Jr., McCleary, WA); Dana Goularte, WOU (F, 6-0, Jr., Port Orchard, WA); Alli Madison, UAA (G, 5-8, Jr., Seattle, WA); Jasmine Parker, CWU (F/C, 6-0, So., Spokane, WA). Week of Dec. 9-15: Krista Stabler, SMU (G, 5-6, So., Silverdale, WA - Central Kitsap) finished with a career-high 18 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the field while she was 8-of-10 from the line against Hawaii Hilo on Saturday. She also had career highs in rebounds with six and assists with four while adding two steals and committing zero turnovers in 27 minutes off the bench.Week of Dec. 2-8: Dana Goularte, WOU (F, Jr., Port Orchard, WA - South Kitsap) averaged a double-double last week with 22.5 points and 12 rebounds in the Wolves' loss to No. 18 Northwest Nazarene and victory over Central Washington. Goularte averaged 36.0 minutes, shooting .538 from the floor and .800 from the free-throw line. She racked up four assists and six blocks and became the first WOU player since 2005 to grab 17 rebounds in a game when she accomplished the feat against NNU on Thursday. "She had one of the best all around performances I've ever seen," WOU head coach Holli Howard-Carpenter commented on Goularte's performance against NNU. "She defended, made some great passes and was a beast on the boards." The double-figure scoring performances gave her 22 total in her career, and her double-double on Thursday was the eighth of Goularte's career and third this season. Honorable Mention - Jessica VanDyke, CWU; Emily Craft, UAA; Marcell Pounds, WWU; Angela Gelhar, SMU; Megan Hingston, NNU; Janiel Olson, MSUB. Week of Nov. 25 - Dec. 1: Kiki Robertson, UAA (G, 5-7, Fr., Honolulu, HI - Mid-Pacific) averaged 16.5 points and grabbed a dozen rebounds in a pair of games against Division I competition last week in the Great Alaska Shootout. Robertson averaged 34 minutes on the court, contributing a GNAC-high 12 steals and 11 assists in a victory against UC Riverside and a loss to Georgetown. Robertson shot 39 percent from the field, while turning in a solid 1.6 assist-turnover ratio. Honorable Mention - Annie DePuydt, MSUB; Chantel Divilbiss, WOU; Tia Briggs, WWU; Jessica VanDyke, CWU; Megan Hingston, NNU. Week of Nov. 18-24: Katie Benson, SPU (F, 6-1, Sr., Snohomish, WA - Snohomish) led the GNAC in scoring (28.5) and rebounding (11.5), and was second in blocks (3.0) and field goal percentage (.667) last week as the Falcons won a pair of games to improve to 6-0 in 2013. Benson also shot 83 percent from the free throw line and turned in seven steals while converting three-of-four attempts from long distance. Honorable Mention - Chelsea Haskey, SMU; Megan Hingston, NNU. Week of Nov. 11-17: Katie Benson, SPU (F, 6-1, Sr., Snohomish, WA - Snohomish) averaged a double-double with 18 points and 12.5 rebounds in a pair of Falcon wins last week as SPU has started the 2013-14 campaign 4-0. Sixteen of Benson's 25 total rebounds were defensive, and she also turned in six steals and four blocks while committing just two turnovers. Overall, the senior shot 14-of-25 from the field and drained 7-of-8 free throws while averaging 25 minutes of action per game. Benson's 17 rebounds on Saturday night against Point Loma Nazarene tied her career high, and she was named tournament Most Valuable Player for the SPU-hosted Sodexo Tip-Off Classic. Honorable Mention - Jordan Wilson, UAF; Dana Goularte, WOU; Jessica VanDyke, CWU; Megan Hingston, NNU. Week of Nov. 4-10: Jordan Wilson, UAF (F, 5-11 Fr., Henderson, CO - Prairie View) posted a double-double with 27 points and 12 rebounds in her first career collegiate game. Wilson helped the Nanooks to an 87-72 victory over Western New Mexico, marking the first time UAF has won its season opener in four seasons. Wilson also notched an assist while shooting 10-of-11 from the field and sinking seven free throws on 10 attempts. Honorable Mention - Chelsea Haskey, SMU; Megan Hingston, NNU; Alli Madison, UAA; Erin Chambers, SFU.

Women's Basketball: NNU Ranked No. 18 in Latest Poll (Jan. 7, 2014)

PORTLAND, Ore. - A Great Northwest Athletic Conference women's basketball showdown between visiting Montana State Billings and Seattle Pacific that will be televised live on ROOT SPORTS highlights a full week of conference action as the season is in full swing.

The Yellowjackets, coming off two straight victories, challenge the Falcons inside their home court Brougham Pavilion as SPU looks to snap a three-game losing skid. The broadcast on ROOT SPORTS is the first of eight GNAC men's and women's basketball games that will air live on the northwest sports network throughout the season, and is set to begin on Saturday at 3 p.m. Pacific time.

In the latest Women's Basketball Coaches Association top-25, Northwest Nazarene fell one spot to No. 18, while Seattle Pacific dropped into the `others receiving votes' category after a pair of losses.

Saint Martin's ranks No. 4 across NCAA Division II in field goal percentage defense, allowing opponents to shoot just .322 from the field. The Saints' scoring defense is also in the top-10 in the NCAA, as their average allowance of 54.2 points is eighth-best.

Alaska Anchorage is near the NCAA leaders in scoring offense, ranking No. 6 with 86.8 points per game. The Seawolves rank No. 3 in steals per game with 16.2 and turnover margin (8.92), and No. 5 in 3-point field goal defense at .219.

Northwest Nazarene is the best free-throw shooting team in the GNAC and ranks fourth across all of Division II with a percentage of 78.8.

Individually, Ally Schmitt of Central Washington ranks in the top-5 across Division II in assists per game with 6.8. Bobbi Knudsen of Montana State Billings is right behind with an average of 6.0, and UAA's Kiki Robertson is No. 8 with 5.8 in the same category. Knudsen also ranks No. 4 in free-throw percentage with a mark of .941 (28-of-31), and Robertson ranks No. 1 in the NCAA in steals per game with 4.5. Katie Benson of Seattle Pacific, the GNAC's leading scorer, ranks No. 15 across Division II in points per game with 21.3.

RECAP

Saint Martin's (9-3, 3-0 GNAC) picked up in 2014 right where it left off 2013 as the Saints won their sixth straight game with a 77-46 triumph over Western Oregon (4-7, 1-2). The point total was the Wolves' lowest of the season, and marked the fifth time that SMU's GNAC-leading scoring defense has allowed less than 50 points in a game in 2013-14. SMU's opponents currently average just 54.2 points per game. Liz Mills and Brooke Paulson each had 18 points for SMU in the victory.

Montana State Billings (10-4, 3-1) earned a pair of big victories as Bobbi Knudsen turned in 55 points in the two games including a career-high 37 points against Western Washington on Saturday. The point total was the highest so far this season by any individual, and Knudsen is averaging the sixth-most points in the GNAC with 16.2 per game. Knudsen was named Red Lion Player of the Week for the fifth time in her career for her efforts.

Taylor Simmons of Northwest Nazarene (10-2, 3-1) wasn't satisfied with a career-high 24 points on Thursday, as the sophomore repeated her point total on Saturday as NNU defeated Alaska Anchorage (10-2, 3-1) and Alaska Fairbanks (7-5, 1-3) in Nampa last week. Simmons contributed 13 of the Crusaders' GNAC record-setting total of 38 made free-throws against the Seawolves on Thursday, and made 27-of-28 overall. Megan Hingston added 35 points and 23 rebounds in the victories as NNU remained perfect at home (8-0).

The Seawolves recovered from the defeat at NNU with a two-point win over Central Washington on Saturday. Kylie Burns contributed 39 points for UAA while Kiki Robertson had a team-high nine steals on the weekend.

Western Washington (5-6, 1-2) earned a split last week as the Vikings beat Seattle Pacific (8-4, 1-3) on the road on Thursday before losing to MSU Billings on Saturday. Katie Colard converted eight 3-pointers and 43 total points for the Vikings, and Jenni White dished out a team-high 13 assists last week.

Jordan Wilson of UAF continued her impressive freshman campaign, turning in a game-high 26 points in the Nanooks' loss at NNU and 13 in their win over CWU (5-7, 0-4). Simon Fraser (8-3, 2-1) handed SPU its third-straight home loss on Saturday, as the Clan topped the Falcons 63-60. Erin Chambers led the way with 15 points and Katie Lowen was close behind with 14. -30-