WEEKLY RELEASE: Vikings begin two-game homestand Saturday
Jan. 19, 2009
BELLINGHAM, Wash. -
UPDATE: Needing wins to stay in contention while still recovering from a rash of injuries, the Western Washington University women's basketball team opens a two-game homestand Saturday at 2 p.m., entertaining Montana State Billings in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference contest on Haggen Court at Sam Carver Gymnasium.
The Vikings, 9-5 overall and 1-2 in GNAC play, split a pair of league contests last week. After claiming a 72-60 home win over Central Washington, they lost 88-79 at Northwest Nazarene.
Western, which is 5-1 at home this season, has split its last eight games following a 5-1 start.
Last week, the Vikings were without starting senior center Claire Pallansch because of a back injury. She is not expected to return until next week.
Senior forward Jessica Summers, though hampered by a fractured thumb on her non-shooting left hand, was back for both contests last week following a three-game absence. She is averaging 11.8 points and leads the team in rebounds at 8.6 per game.
Sophomore guard Amanda Dunbar has been phenomenal throughout the tough stretch, averaging 20.0 points over the last six games. She had 37 points, the second-highest figure in school history, in the loss to Northwest Nazarene, connecting on 12-of-19 field goals, 7-of-14 from 3-point range.
Dunbar leads the team in both scoring with a 13.6 average and assists at 3.2 per game.
Sophomore guard Marelle Moehrle is averaging 7.7 points on 42.3 percent (30-of-71) 3-point accuracy. She ranks second in the GNAC in 3-point makes (2.3).
Cabe, who is averaging 7.6 points and 5.6 rebounds, had a game-high 17 points in the win over Central.
MSU Billings has split its four league games, all at home, over the last two weeks, and is 10-5 overall (Jan. 22 at Central Washington).
The Yellowjackets are led by 5-foot-8 senior guard Alira Carpenter, who is seeking her second straight league scoring title with a 24.1 average, making 43-of-103 (41.7 percent) 3-pointers. A second-team all-region and first-team GNAC all-star, she has been the team's top scorer in all but one game this season, matching her career high with 33 points against Colorado State Pueblo.
Also back for MSU Billings is 5-10 junior guard Shantell Marquis, who received GNAC all-star honorable mention last year. She is averaging 8.9 points, 7.6 assists, 5.8 rebounds, and 3.9 steals.
Two other top players, both returnees, for coach Kevin Woodin (5th year, 82-47) are 6-0 sophomore forward Kayla Ryan (10.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg) and 5-10 senior forward Jen Smith (9.5 ppg, 7.7 rpg).
Jan. 24 (Sat.) MONTANA STATE BILLINGS* (BELLINGHAM - 2 p.m.) Jan. 29 (Thu.) SEATTLE PACIFIC*# (BELLINGHAM - 7 p.m.) Jan. 31 (Sat.) at Central Washington* (Ellensburg - 7 p.m.)
THREE-DOT NOTES: The Vikings and MSU Billings have split their first 16 meetings ... Dunbar was named Most Valuable Player at the 2008 WWU Great Western Shootout and was last season's GNAC Freshman of the Year. Western won GNAC titles in 2002 and 2006 ... Pallansch has accumulated 907 points, 695 rebounds and 100 blocks during her four-year career ... Summers' 17 rebounds in Western's win over Hawaii Hilo on Nov. 29 were the most by a Viking since Sara Nichols brought down 19 against Lewis-Clark State on March 6, 1998 ... Summers was named MVP at the WWU Lynda Goodrich Classic, earned all-tourney honors at both the GNAC/CCAA and CCAA/GNAC Challenge Classics and received GNAC Player of the Week recognition for her performance at the Hawaii-Hilo Invitational ... The Vikings opened the season with five straight tournaments. They swept two games at both the WWU Lynda Goodrich Classic and the Hawaii Hilo Invitational, while splitting a pair of contests at both the GNAC/CCAA and CCAA/GNAC Challenge Classics as well as the WWU Great Western Shootout.
HOME COURT DOMINANCE: The Vikings are 381-68 (84.9 percent) in 37 seasons at Carver Gym and they are 5-1 at home this season.
COACH DOLFO: Carmen Dolfo is in her 18th year as head coach at Western. She has a 365-148 (71.2 percent) record. Dolfo ranks No.14 among active NCAA II coaches in winning percentage and No.23 in victories. Dolfo's teams have reached post-season play 15 times and have won 20 or more games 13 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 797 victories in its 38-year history, Western is looking to become just the second NCAA Division II school to reach 800 wins and the ninth nationally in all NCAA divisions ... The Vikings have made 33 post-season appearances, including one stretch of 27 straight, with one semifinal and three quarterfinal finishes ... They also have had 27 20-win seasons ... Western has had 20 winning streaks of 10 or more games with its longest being 20, and its longest losing streak is just six games ... 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 (411-124, 76.7 percent). Another Viking NAIA Hall of Famer is forward Jo Metzger (1977-81), who earned first-team All-American honors in 1980 and 1981 ... Western has had 13 first, second or third-team All-Americans.
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.
ON THE WEB: For up-to-date statistics, box scores of every game, records, stories, etc., see the Western Athletic 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.
PROBABLE WESTERN STARTERS & TOP RESERVES:
F Jessica Summers, 6-1, Sr.-TR, Blaine, WA/Blaine/Idaho) F Willow Cabe, 5-9, **Jr., McCleary, WA/Elma C Lauren Hefflin, 6-2, *So., Ridgefield, WA/Ridgefield G Amanda Dunbar, 5-9, *So., Marysville, WA/Marysville-Pilchuck G Megan Pinske, 5-9, So., Coquitlam, BC/Port Moody/UBCLAST WEEK'S GAME SUMMARIES:
Jan. 15 - WESTERN 72, Central Washington 60 at Bellingham
Cabe scored 17 points and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds as Western defeated Central Washington, 72-60, in a GNAC game at Carver Gym. McCarrell added 14 points for the Vikings. Central fell to 3-10 overall and 0-2 in conference play. Forward Jenn Jacobs led the Wildcats with a game-high 21 points. The score was tied at 20-20 with six minutes left in the first half, but the Vikings ran off nine straight points in a 2:20 span to take a 29-20 advantage and led the rest of the way, holding a 35-30 lead at halftime. Central pulled within four points twice in the second half, and was down by just five, 62-57, with three minutes to play, but Western scored on three of its next four possessions, taking a 68-57 lead with 1:23 remaining to put the game out of reach. The Vikings shot just 35.7 percent (25-of-70) from the field, but had a 44-30 advantage in rebounds and committed just 16 turnovers to 27 for Central. It was Western's 11th victory in the last 12 meetings with the Wildcats. The Vikings hold a 75-10 margin in the all-time series. Forward Shana Afoa and guard Stephanie Welke each had 12 points for Central. Western was without Pallansch because of a back injury, but had Cabe, Summers and Pinske back after all three missed last week's 85-68 loss at Seattle Pacific with injuries.
Jan. 17 - Northwest Nazarene 88, WESTERN 79 at Nampa, Id.
Dunbar scored 37 points, the second-most in school history, but it wasn't enough as Western fell 88-79 to Northwest Nazarene in a GNAC game at Johnson Sports Center. Wade was the only other Viking in double figures with 11 points. Northwest Nazarene improved to 10-5 overall and 3-1 in the conference with its third consecutive victory. Janee Olds led four Crusaders in double figures with 20 points. Dunbar's total is the most by a GNAC player this season and tied for fifth in conference history. The only Western player to exceed Dunbar's 37 points was Gina Sampson, who scored 42 against Western Oregon on Dec. 9, 1995. Dunbar was 12-of-19 from the field, including 7-of-14 on 3-pointers, and 6-of-7 on free throws. She tied the school record for 3-point attempts in a game and was one short of the mark for 3-point makes. The Vikings jumped to a 9-2 lead and had a 21-18 advantage a little over 13 minutes into the game, with Dunbar scoring 15 of the 21 points. But NNU scored six of the next seven points and did not trail the rest of the half, holding a 42-35 lead at halftime. Western led twice in the second half, the final time at 61-60 after a basket by Pinske with 8:44 to go, but Olds hit a 3-pointer and a layin by Mallory Whipple put the Crusaders up, 65-61, with 7:52 left. NNU pulled away after that, never leading by less than six points in the final 4:51. Jennifer Williams and Lindsay Brady each had 15 points for NNU, and Kristin Hein added 10 for the Crusaders, who were 25-of-31 (80.6 percent) on free throws and had a 48-34 rebound advantage. The 88 points matched the most allowed by Western since the 2002-03 season. It was the Vikings' fourth straight loss to NNU, but Western still holds a 12-8 advantage in the series overall.
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