Jan. 20, 2014
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Working on a four-game winning streak, the Western Washington University women's basketball team begins a four-game home stand this week with Great Northwest Athletic Conference contests against University of Alaska Anchorage on Thursday (7 p.m.) and University of Alaska Fairbanks on Saturday (7 p.m.) at Sam Carver Gymnasium on the WWU campus.
Lives stats and video streams for both games can be found at wwuvikings.com.
WWU, which hosts Montana State Billings and Seattle Pacific the following week, is working on a 24-game winning streak at Carver Gym. It is the third-longest home string in school history, trailing just the record of 29 set from 1983 to 1986 and 26 from 2009 to 2011.
The Vikings are 4-0 at home this season. Their last loss at Carver Gym was to Alaska Anchorage, 75-55, on Jan. 14, 2012.
WWU leads the GNAC in field-goal percentage (45.6) and 3-point percentage (38.2). The 3-point figure ranks 11th nationally in NCAA Division II.
HILL NAMED GNAC POW: Senior center Sarah Hill received GNAC Player of the Week honors for her play last week. She scored 27 points and grabbed 30 rebounds in the two games. Hill had a double-double with career highs of 18 points and 16 rebounds against Western Oregon, and just missed another double-double with nine points and 14 rebounds versus Saint Martin's.
Hill is averaging 9.3 points per game this season and a team-high 7.5 rebounds.
CONSISTENT KATIE: Junior guard Katie Colard has averaged 17.4 points over the last eight contests while making 29-of-59 3-pointers, 49.2 percent. She has scored double figures in seven of those games with a career-high 25 points on 5-of-7 3-point shooting in an 84-77 win at Seattle Pacific on Jan. 2. Overall, Colard is averaging a team-leading 13.5 points per game on 40.8 percent (42-of-103) accuracy from 3-point range, and tops the GNAC and ranks 22nd nationally in made threes (2.8, 42). She hit a career-best six treys versus Northwest Nazarene on Jan. 11.
DONALDSON CONTINUES STELLAR PLAY: Junior forward Sydney Donaldson has been outstanding during WWU's four-game win streak. She is averaging 15.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists, shooting 64.7 percent (22-of-34) from the floor. Donaldson was the GNAC Player of the Week for Jan. 5-11. She scored 36 points and grabbed 24 rebounds in the two games along with nine assists and nine blocked shots. Donaldson, who is averaging 7.7 points and 5.9 rebounds, had a career-high 21 points on 8-of-10 field-goal accuracy, nine rebounds, five assists and five blocked shots versus Central Washington on Jan. 9. Against Northwest Nazarene on Jan. 11, she scored 15 points and grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds.
Freshman guard Taylor Peacocke is the only Viking, besides Colard, averaging double figures in scoring at 11.2. She scored 35 points on 59.1 floor shooting (13-of-22) and made 9-of-11 free throws in the two road games last week. Peacocke has reached double-figure points in 10 games this season. Junior point guard Jenni White is scoring at a 9.3 clip. She leads the Vikings in assists (4.3, 64), steals (2.0, 30) and 3-point accuracy at 45.0 percent (18-of-40), second in the GNAC. Freshman forward Tia Briggs is averaging 8.7 points.
ALASKA ANCHORAGE: The Seawolves are 12-3 overall and tied for first in the GNAC standings at 5-2. They have won three of their last five games following a 9-1 start and rank third nationally in both scoring offense at 87.5 points per game and steals at 15.8 and 15th in 3-point percentage defense at 25.2. Two returning starters are 5-9 senior forward Kylie Burns (13.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg) and 5-8 sophomore guard Jessica Madison (11.3 ppg), who was the GNAC Freshman of the Year. Another top returnee for coach Ryan McCarthy (2nd year, 29-13) is 5-8 junior guard Alli Madison (15.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg). Three impressive newcomers are 5-7 freshman guard Kiki Robertson (11.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 5.5 apg), who leads the nation in steals per game at 4.5; 6-0 junior forward KeKe Wright (8.4 ppg, 6.7 rpg), an NJCCAA All-American at Gillette JC, and 6-2 junior center Emily Craft (9.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.3 bpg), a transfer from Central Wyoming. WWU holds a 27-14 series advantage, winning both meetings last season to snap a five-game series losing streak.
ALASKA FAIRBANKS: The Nanooks are 8-7 overall (Jan. 23 at Simon Fraser) and 2-5 in GNAC action. They have won just two of their last eight games after a 6-1 start. Leading the way for coach Cody Bench (4th year, 20-74) is 5-11 freshman forward Jordan Wilson (17.3 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 54.7 FG Pct.-leads GNAC), who has scored double figures 13 times this season. As a high school senior, she ranked third among Colorado Class 5A scoring leaders with a 20.3 average. Three other freshmen having significant playing time are 5-5 guard Victoria Milton (7.5 ppg), 5-9 guard Autumn Childers (6.9 ppg) and 5-11 center Kaillee Skjold (5.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg). Two returning starters are 5-6 junior guard Benissa Bulaya (8.3 ppg) and 5-9 junior guard Kelly Logue (7.0 ppg). UAF ranks sixth nationally in 3-point percentage defense at 24.1. WWU has won 40 of 45 series meetings, taking the last 10 straight.
Jan. 23 (Thu.) ALASKA ANCHORAGE* (CARVER GYM - 7 p.m.) Jan. 25 (Sat.) ALASKA FAIRBANKS* (CARVER GYM - 7 p.m.) Jan. 30 (Thu.) MONTANA STATE BILLINGS*# (CARVER GYM - 5:15 p.m.) Feb. 1 (Sat.) SEATTLE PACIFIC*# (CARVER GYM - 5:15 p.m.)
*Great Northwest Athletic Conference contest #broadcast on KBAI Radio (930 AM) and on internet at wwuvikings.com
THREE-DOT NOTES: WWU had a player achieve a double-double in back-to-back games (Donaldson vs. Northwest Nazarene on Jan. 11 and Hill at Western Oregon on Jan. 16) after not doing so in its first 12 contests ... 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 442-72 (86.0 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 24-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 484-179 (73.0 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 916 victories (314 losses, 74.5 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 484.
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 Tia Briggs, 6-1, Fr., Tacoma, WA/Wilson F Sydney Donaldson, 6-0, **Jr., Edmonds, WA/Edmonds-Woodway 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 Taylor Peacocke, 5-9, Fr., Kenmore, WA/Inglemoor/Sacramento State 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. 16 - WWU 78, Western Oregon 58 at Monmouth, OR
Hill posted her first double-double with career highs of 18 points and 16 rebounds, leading WWU to a 78-58 victory over Western Oregon in a GNAC game at the New P.E. Building. Peacocke scored a game-high 19 points, 13 in the second half, for the Vikings, who improved to 8-6 overall and 4-2 in GNAC action with their third straight win and fifth in six games. Donaldson contributed 14 points, making five of six shots, and nine rebounds. WOU which fell to 5-9 overall and 2-4 in conference action, was led by Kelsey Henry with 17 points. Chantel Divilbiss had 15 and Dana Goularte 14 for the Wolves. WWU outscored WOU, 46-19, in the second half after trailing 39-32 at halftime. The Vikings shot 57.1 percent (20-of-35) from the field in the final 20 minutes and held WOU to 28.0 percent (7-of-25). Donaldson scored six points, hitting two 3-pointers, as WWU opened the final period with a 10-1 run in taking its first lead, 42-40, on a layup by Jenni White (Jr., Spokane/East Valley) at 16:53. The Vikings never trailed again and after the score was tied at 44-44, scored nine straight points, seven by Peacocke, for a nine-point lead, 53-44, at 13:36. They led by double figures the last 11:51 and their biggest lead was 22 with just over a minute to go. WWU never led in the first half, falling behind 14-4 in the first five minutes. White had a game-high six assists for the Vikings who have now won their last 22 meetings with WOU and lead the series 43-9.
Jan. 18 - WWU 79, Saint Martin's 73 at Lacey, WA
Colard scored a game-high 21 points, leading WWU to a 79-73 victory over conference-leading Saint Martin's in a GNAC game at Marcus Pavilion. The Vikings improved to 9-6 overall and moved into a tie for first in the GNAC at 5-2 with their fourth consecutive win and the sixth in the last seven games. SMU fell to 11-5 overall and 5-2 in the GNAC, suffering their first home loss in eight contests. Jordyn Richardson and Liz Mills each had 12 points for the Saints. The Vikings held a 46-37 lead with 18 minutes left before SMU ran off 13 straight points, taking a 50-46 advantage just three minutes later on a Richardson 3-pointer. The Saints still held a 65-63 lead with a little over five minutes left, but WWU took control with nine straight points, capped by a Peacocke jumper with 3:55 to play that gave the Vikings a 72-65 advantage. SMU never got closer than four points after that. Peacocke came off the bench to finish with 16 points. Donaldson added 10 points and seven rebounds. WWU had a 42-31 advantage in rebounds, with Hill grabbing a game-high 14 rebounds in addition to scoring nine points. Aided by a pair of Colard 3-pointers, the Vikings jumped to a 13-4 lead 6:30 into the contest, and held a 41-35 advantage at halftime. The win was WWU's 12th straight in the series, upping its advantage to 60-10.
Great Northwest Athletic Conference
Women's Basketball: Four Tied For First Place (Jan. 21, 2014)
PORTLAND, Ore. - In a wide-open Great Northwest Athletic Conference women's basketball race, four teams are tied for the top spot in the standings and two more are within one game of the leaders as the conference schedule reaches its halfway point this weekend.
Action set for Thursday could yield significant movement among the top spots, as Saint Martin's plays at Montana State Billings and Alaska Anchorage at Western Washington as all four boast GNAC-best 5-2 conference records.
Alaska Anchorage continues to set the pace in the GNAC in scoring, as the Seawolves rank third in the NCAA in points per game with 87.5. UAA also ranks No. 3 in steals per game with 15.8 and turnover margin at plus 9.2, and No. 10 in assists per game with 18.2. Saint Martin's remained in the top-10 across Division II in field goal percentage defense, checking in at No. 10 with a mark of 34.3.
Northwest Nazarene maintained its lofty free-throw percentage, as the Crusaders currently rank No. 3 in the NCAA with a mark of 79.0. Alaska Fairbanks is the premier team in the GNAC in terms of 3-point field goal defense, as it's mark of 24.1 ranks No. 6 across Division II.
Individually, the Seawolves' Kiki Robertson kept up her NCAA-leading pace of 4.47 steals per game, and she also ranks No. 12 in assists per game with 5.5.
Erin Chambers of SFU is the conference's top scorer as her 21.9 points per contest rank No. 15 in the NCAA. MSU Billings' Bobbi Knudsen ranks sixth in Division II in assists per game with 5.9, and eighth in free-throw percentage at 91.4. Central Washington's Ally Schmitt is also in the top-10 in assists per game, as her average of 5.7 ranks ninth.
A GNAC-high 30 rebounds from Red Lion Player of the Week Sarah Hill helped Western Washington (9-6, 5-2 GNAC) win both of its games last week and extend its winning streak to a conference-best four straight. The Vikings defeated Western Oregon (5-10, 2-5) 78-58 on Thursday before pulling out a gritty 79-73 win over Saint Martin's on Saturday in Lacey.
The Saints (11-5, 5-2) maintained a share of first place by narrowly defeating Simon Fraser (10-5, 4-3) 73-71 on Thursday and nearly overcoming WWU two days later. Angela Gelhar led the way for SMU with 28 points, and Megan Wiedeman was a jack-of-all-trades with 15 points, 11 rebounds five blocks and four steals on the weekend.
Knudsen continued her fabulous senior campaign, totaling 42 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists as the Yellowjackets (12-5, 5-2) beat Central Washington (6-10, 1-7) 72-44 in Ellensburg on Thursday and Northwest Nazarene (10-6, 3-5) 66-61 on their way back to Billings on Saturday. Janiel Olson and Chelsea Banis also had big weekends for MSUB, as Olson hauled in 28 rebounds and scored 24 points, and Banis came up one rebound shy of a double-double against NNU on Saturday with 13 points and nine rebounds. NNU senior Megan Hingston turned in a brilliant 30-point performance on Thursday in an 82-77 loss to Seattle Pacific, but was held to just two points in Saturday's loss to the Yellowjackets.
SPU (11-4, 4-3) used 21-point games from Suzanna Ohlsen and Betsy Kingma to stave off Hingston's incredible effort on Thursday, and then let Katie Benson take over with 23 points in a 73-65 win over Central Washington on Saturday.
Alaska Anchorage (12-3, 5-2) relied on its potent offense to win its only game of the week, defeating in-state rival Alaska Fairbanks (8-7, 2-5) 96-87 on Saturday evening. A balanced attack featuring four players with at least 15 points was led by Robertson's 19, and was enough to hold off two Nanook 20-point scorers including freshman Jordan Wilson's phenomenal 22-point 16-rebound double-double. Kelly Logue scored 21 points and grabbed six rebounds for UAF in the loss.
After a tough loss to the Saints on Thursday, Simon Fraser recovered with a 56-47 road win over Western Oregon (5-10, 2-5) on Saturday. Chambers paced the Clan with 36 points, and Rebecca Langmead came up big with 17 rebounds and 10 blocks on the weekend. The Wolves' Dana Goularte kept her place as the No. 3 scorer in the GNAC as she turned in 28 points and added a dozen rebounds last week.
Great Northwest Athletic Conference
2013-14 Women's Basketball Report 11 Week 10 (Jan. 21, 2014)
Conf. Overall W L W L H A N Alaska Anchorage 5 2 12 3 7-2 5-1 0-0 MSU Billings 5 2 12 5 7-0 3-2 2-3 Saint Martin's 5 2 11 5 7-1 3-1 1-3 Western Washington 5 2 9 6 4-0 4-4 1-2 Seattle Pacific 4 3 11 4 4-3 4-1 3-0 Simon Fraser 4 3 10 5 6-1 4-3 0-1 Northwest Nazarene 3 5 10 6 8-2 2-4 0-0 Alaska Fairbanks 2 5 8 7 4-5 4-2 0-0 Western Oregon 2 5 5 10 4-6 1-2 0-2 Central Washington 1 7 6 10 3-5 1-3 2-2
LAST WEEK: Thursday - MSU Billings 72 at Central Washington 44; Seattle Pacific 82 at Northwest Nazarene 77; Simon Fraser 71 at Saint Martin's 73; Western Washington 78 at Western Oregon 58 Saturday - Alaska Anchorage 96 at Alaska Fairbanks 87; Seattle Pacific 73 at Central Washington 65; MSU Billings 66 at Northwest Nazarene 61; Western Washington 79 at Saint Martin's 73; Simon Fraser 56 at Western Oregon 47.
THIS WEEK: Thursday - Alaska Anchorage at Western Washington 7 p.m.; Alaska Fairbanks at Simon Fraser 7 p.m.; Saint Martin's at MSU Billings 7 p.m.; Western Oregon at Seattle Pacific 7 p.m. Saturday - Alaska Anchorage at Simon Fraser 7 p.m.; Alaska Fairbanks at Western Washington 7 p.m.; Northwest Nazarene at Central Washington, 5:15 p.m.; Western Oregon at MSU Billings, 5:15 p.m.; Saint Martin's at Seattle Pacific 7 p.m.
POLLS: WBCA (Jan. 21) - None ranked.
NCAA STATISTICS (Through Jan. 19)
TEAM (Top 30): Scoring Offense - 3. Alaska Anchorage (87.5) Scoring Defense - 24. Saint Martin's (59.8) Scoring Margin - 15. Alaska Anchorage (17.3) Field Goal Pct. - 19. Western Washington (45.6) Field Goal Pct. Def. - 10. Saint Martin's (34.3) F.T. Pct. - 3. Northwest Nazarene (79.0) 24. Seattle Pacific (76.1) Rebound Margin - 27. Montana State Billings (7.3) 3-Pt. F.G./Gm. - 28. Alaska Anchorage (7.3) 3-Pt. F.G. Pct. - 11. Western Washington (38.2) W-L-T Pct. - 28. Alaska Anchorage (.800) Ast./Gm. - 10. Alaska Anchorage (18.2) Blks./Gm. - 12. Seattle Pacific (5.1) 21. Western Washington (4.6) 22. Simon Fraser (4.6) Stls./Gm. - 3. Alaska Anchorage (15.8) 30. Alaska Fairbanks (10.9) T.O./Gm. - 3. Montana State Billings (12.5) Fls./Gm. - 4. Montana State Billings (15.5) Ast./T.O. Ratio - 27. Montana State Billings (1.08) T.O. Margin - 3. Alaska Anchorage (9.2) 3-Pt. F.G. Def. - 6. Alaska Fairbanks (.241) 15. Alaska Anchorage (.252) 20. Simon Fraser (.257).
INDIVIDUAL (Top 30): Pts./Gm. - 15. Erin Chambers, SFU (21.9) 21. Katie Benson, SPU (20.7) Reb./Gm. - 21. Janiel Olson, MSUB (10.6) Ast./Gm. - 6. Bobbi Knudsen, MSUB (5.9) 9. Ally Schmitt, CWU (5.7) 12. Kiki Robertson, UAA (5.5) Blk./Gm. - 16. Rebecca Langmead, SFU (2.43) 22. Jasmine Parker, CWU (2.25) Stl./Gm. - 1. Kiki Robertson, UAA (4.47) 13. Taylor Simmons, NNU (3.19) F.T. Pct. - 8. Bobbi Knudsen, MSUB (91.4) 3-Pt. F.G./Gm. - 22. Katie Colard, WWU (2.8) .
DOUBLE-DOUBLES (Through Jan. 21): 6 - Katie Benson, SPU 5 - Dana Goularte, WOU; Megan Hingston, NNU 4 - Jordan Wilson, UAF 3 - Chelsea Haskey, SMU; Jasmine Parker, CWU; Jessica VanDyke, CWU; Rebecca Langmead, SFU; Janiel Olson, MSUB.
RED LION PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Week of Jan. 13-19: Sarah Hill, WWU (F, 6-3, Sr., Richmond, VA - Maryland-Baltimore County) scored 27 points and grabbed a GNAC-high 30 rebounds to help WWU to a pair of victories that extended the Vikings' winning streak to four games. Hill shot 10-for-22 from the field while averaging 32.0 minutes per contest last week. The senior also contributed three blocks, three steals and an assist. On Thursday, Hill notched a big double-double as she led all scorers and rebounders with 18 points and 16 boards in a 78-58 triumph over Western Oregon. Hill just missed a double-double on Saturday, scoring nine points and turning in a game-high 14 rebounds in WWU's 79-73 win over first-place Saint Martin's in Lacey. The wins propelled WWU into a four-way tie atop the GNAC standings, and Hill now ranks No. 8 in the conference in rebounds per game with 7.5.
Honorable Mention - Suzanna Ohlsen, SPU (G, 5-7, Jr., Monroe, WA - Monroe); Chelsie Luke, NNU (G, 5-9, Sr., Meridian, ID - Meridian); Janiel Olson, MSUB (F, 5-10, Jr., Billings, MT - Billings West); Jordan Wilson, UAF (F, 5-11, Fr., Henderson, CO - Prairie View); Megan Wiedeman, SMU (F, 6-0, So., Sammamish, WA - Skyline).
VIKINGS ROLL TO FOUR STRAIGHT: Last week's road trip did not bother Western Washington as the Vikings picked up wins over Western Oregon on Thursday and Saint Martin's on Saturday to extend their winning streak to four straight and move into a share for first place in the GNAC standings. A conference-high 30 rebounds from senior Sarah Hill accompanied the forward's 27 points, three blocks and three steals as she became the second-straight Viking to earn Red Lion Player of the Week honors following Sydney Donaldson's lead from a week ago. Donaldson scored 24 points last week and totaled 16 rebounds, and Taylor Peacocke (35 points) and Katie Colard (29) were the other WWU players to average in double figures. Colard remained hot from the perimeter, sinking 5-of-11 shots from behind the arc to account for more than half of her total points on the weekend.
WWU returns to the friendly confines of Sam Carver Gym in Bellingham, where visiting Alaska Anchorage and Alaska Fairbanks challenge to end the Vikings' home winning streak of 24-straight games.
KNUDSEN, OLSON PUSH `JACKETS INTO 1ST: Forty-two points, 11 assists and 14 rebounds from Bobbi Knudsen and two dozen points and 28 boards from Janiel Olson helped Montana State Billings down Central Washington on Thursday and Northwest Nazarene on Saturday on the road. The Yellowjackets improved to 5-2 in GNAC play and now share first place with three other teams midway through the season. Knudsen also contributed five steals and a pair of blocks, while shooting 16-for-26 from the field overall. Olson's third double-double of the season came in a decisive 72-44 win over CWU on Thursday, as the junior scored a game-high 19 points and hauled in 13 boards for MSUB. Chelsea Banis nearly logged a double-double against the Crusaders on Saturday, as the 6' 4" senior was a perfect 7-for-7 from the free-throw line en route to 13 points and nine rebounds.
MSUB welcomes Saint Martin's and Western Oregon to Alterowitz Gym in Billings this weekend, facing the final two GNAC teams that it hasn't played yet this season.
SPU BACK ON TRACK, 3-STRAIGHT W'S: Seattle Pacific has followed a three-game losing skid with three-straight victories, as wins over Norhtwest Nazarene and Central Washington last week helped the Falcons move to just one game out of first place in the GNAC standings. Katie Benson continued her magnificent senior campaign, scoring 37 points and leading SPU with 18 rebounds and five blocked shots. Also averaging in double figures for SPU were Betsy Kingma (33 points), who shot 10-of-25 from the field including 8-of-18 from downtown, and Suzanna Ohlsen (32 points), who contributed five 3-pointers of her own. Ohlsen also led the team with six steals and a dozen assists, and contributed nine rebounds in the victories. Overall, the Falcons shot .467 from the field and an impressive .848 from the foul line (28-of-33).
Seattle Pacific hosts Western Oregon on Thursday and Saint Martin's on Saturday, with an opportunity to gain significant ground as the latter team is currently tied atop the conference standings.
ANCHORAGE WINS BATTLE OF AK, RND. 1: The Seawolves prevailed in the first of two in-state rivalry games this season, defeating Alaska Fairbanks on Saturday 96-87 inside the Patty Center in Fairbanks. Kiki Robertson paced the No. 3 scoring offense across Division II, as she contributed 19 of UAA's 96 points and was one of four double-digit scorers. The freshman also notched six steals, improving her already NCAA-leading mark to 4.7 per game. Jenna Buchanan (17 points), Emily Craft (16) and Alli Madison (15) were the other Seawolves to log double figures on Saturday, as Craft notched a team-high nine rebounds in the victory.
UAA, currently tied for first place, hits the road to challenge Western Washington on Thursday and Simon Fraser on Saturday.
SAINTS MAINTAIN SHARE OF FIRST: After defeating Simon Fraser on Thursday, Saint Martin's came up just short of a big win against Western Washington on Saturday in a 79-73 loss. The victory was enough to keep SMU tied for the top spot in the GNAC standings, as the split left the Saints at 5-2 in conference play this season. Sophomore forward Megan Wiedeman was instrumental in SMU's victory on Thursday, contributing 12 points and landing one rebound shy of a double-double while also notching three blocks and three steals. Angela Gelhar led the Saints with 17 points in the win over the Clan, and four different Saints scored in double figures in the loss to the Vikings. The Saints leading scorer on the season, Chelsea Haskey, was held to just 11 points last week, nine of which came on Saturday against WWU. Haskey contributed 10 rebounds, which tied Liz Mills' mark and was second only to Wideman's 11.
SMU faces perhaps its toughest test of the season this week, traveling to Billings to challenge the Yellowjackets on Thursday before heading back west for a clash with the SPU Falcons inside Brougham Pavilion on Saturday.
CLAN FALL IN CLOSE CALL, RECOVER WITH W: A two-point defeat at the hands of Saint Martin's on Thursday did little to dash the spirits of traveling Simon Fraser last week, as the Clan responded with a solid 56-47 win over Western Oregon in Monmouth on Saturday. Twenty-five points from GNAC-leading scorer Erin Chambers weren't quite enough on Thursday, as 26 turnovers and a free-throw percentage of 72.7 (16-for-22) hampered SFU in Lacey. Rebecca Langmead led the team in assists with 17 on the weekend, 13 of which came as part of her third double-double of the season on Saturday at WOU. Chambers logged 36 total points on the weekend, and Katie Lowen was the other Clan player to average in double-digits with 33 points in the two contests.
SFU is back in BC for its next four games, welcoming the Alaska schools to the West Gym in Burnaby this weekend at 7 p.m. on Thursday and Saturday.
NANOOKS BATTLE SEAWOLVES TO THE END: A career night from Alaska Fairbanks freshman Jordan Wilson gave the Nanooks every opportunity to defeat their Alaska rival in the Patty Center on Saturday, but UAA pulled away down the stretch and held on for the 96-87 victory. Wilson led all players with 22 points and 16 rebounds, logging her fourth double-double of the season. Kelly Logue also topped 20 points with 21, six rebounds, two steals and three assists. Benissa Bulaya led UAF with eight assists while contributing 13 points of her own. The Nanooks shot .449 (31-of-69) from the floor and outrebounded UAA 45-41 in the defeat.
Fighting for a spot in the postseason tournament, UAF hits the road for two trying matchups in the form of Simon Fraser on Thursday and Western Washington on Saturday.
CRUSADERS STUMBLE TWICE: A pair of five-point losses last week pushed Northwest Nazarene's losing streak to four games and moved NNU below .500 in conference play with a record of 3-5. Hosting Seattle Pacific on Thursday, NNU witnessed a stellar performance from senior Megan Hingston, who scored 30 points and added six rebounds for the Crusaders. Chelsie Luke came off the bench with 15 and Ellen Ferrenburg did the same with 10, but NNU could not overcome a 42-28 halftime deficit in the 82-77 loss. Luke repeated her strong effort on Saturday, scoring 17 points and grabbing nine rebounds off the bench, but Hingston was held to just two points in the 66-61 loss to MSU Billings. Taylor Simmons had 14 points for NNU on Saturday and led the team with 10 assists on the weekend, while Kylee Schierman's 16 rebounds were a team-high over the two-game stretch.
NNU looks to recover with an off day on Thursday before heading to Ellensburg to face Central Washington on Saturday at a special start time of 5:15 p.m. Pacific.
WOLVES DROP A PAIR AT HOME: After a tough 78-58 loss at the hands of Western Washington on Thursday, Western Oregon battled visiting Simon Fraser to the finish in a 56-47 defeat on Saturday in the New P.E. Building in Monmouth. Kelsey Henry led the Wolves with 17 points on Thursday and Chantel Divilbiss (15) and Dana Goularte (14) were the others to log double figures. Outside of those three, the Wolves scored just 12 points in the loss to the Vikings. Goularte continued her excellent junior campaign with 14 more points against the Clan on Saturday, and remained third in the GNAC in scoring with an average of 17.6 points per game this season. Henry led WOU with 13 rebounds on the weekend, while Elise Miller turned in a team-high five assists and six steals.
WILDCATS NEARLY UPSET SPU: Battling Seattle Pacific into the closing minutes on Saturday, Central Washington fell short in a comeback effort as the Wildcats lost to the Falcons 73-65 in Ellensburg. The defeat followed a tough 72-44 loss to Montana State Billings, as CWU fell to 1-7 in GNAC play. Jasmine Parker and Courtney Johnson led CWU with 24 and 23 points, respectively on the weekend, while Jessica VanDyke hauled in a team-high 13 rebounds and added 19 points as well. Ally Schmitt kept her rank among the NCAA leaders in assists per game, totaling six on the weekend while also contributing a team-high three steals for the Wildcats. Four blocks from Parker helped her hold her post as second-leading blocker in the conference with 2.3 per contest.
CWU gets set to host Northwest Nazarene in the teams' lone GNAC game of the week on Saturday at 5:15 inside Johnson Sports Center in Ellensburg.
2013-14 RED LION PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Week of Jan. 6-12: Sydney Donaldson, WWU (F, 6-0, Jr., Edmonds, WA - Edmonds-Woodway) averaged a double-double with 18.0 points and 12.0 rebounds in a pair of WWU victories last week that extended the Vikings' home win streak to 24 straight and pushed them over .500 on the season at 7-6 overall and 3-2 in GNAC play. Donaldson powered WWU in a 71-64 victory over Central Washington on Thursday, leading all scorers with 21 points while grabbing nine rebounds, blocking five shots and dishing out five assists. The junior shot 8-for-10 from the field and 4-for-6 from beyond the 3-point line. On Saturday, Donaldson turned in 15 points while collecting 15 rebounds and posting four blocks and four assists in a 81-68 win over Northwest Nazarene. In all, Donaldson shot .583 from the field (14-for-24) and totaled nine assists and nine blocks against just three turnovers in 68 minutes on the floor last 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."
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
2013-14 GNAC TEAM OF THE WEEK: Sept. 2-8 - Simon Fraser (Football) Sept. 9-15 - Northwest Nazarene (Volleyball) Sept. 16-22 - MSU Billings (Men's XC) and Simon Fraser (Women's XC) Sept. 23-29 - Western Oregon (Football) Sept. 30 - Oct. 6 - Seattle Pacific (Men's Soccer) Oct. 7-13 - Central Washington (Women's Soccer) Oct. 14-20 - Western Oregon (Women's Soccer) Oct. 21-27 - Alaska Anchorage (Cross Country) Oct. 28 - Nov. 3 - Simon Fraser (Men's Soccer) Nov. 4-10 - Seattle Pacific (Women's Soccer) & Alaska Anchorage (Women's Cross Country) Nov. 11-17 - Western Washington (Volleyball) Nov. 18-24 - Simon Fraser (Men's Soccer) & Western Washington (Women's Soccer) Nov. 25 - Dec. 1 - Western Washington (Men's Basketball) Dec. 2-8 - Saint Martin's (Women's Basketball) Dec. 16-22 - Alaska Anchorage (Women's Basketball) Dec. 30 - Jan. 5 - Western Oregon (Men's Basketball) Jan. 6-12 - Central Washington (Men's Basketball) Jan. 13-19 - Seattle Pacific (Men's Basketball).
Comeback Falls Just Short in 79-77 Loss at SFU
Anna Schwecke scores career-high 28 points on 13-for-17 shooting in the tough loss
WWU Travels to Simon Fraser, Hosts MSU Billings
Vikings enter final week of regular season vying for GNAC Championships berth
WWU Edged 78-76 by NNU in Overtime Thriller
Vikings force overtime with late 3-pointer, NNU pulls ahead in final minute of overtime
WWU and Bellingham Selected as Host for 2019 GNAC Basketball Championships
WECU Court at Carver Gym will host the 2019 GNAC Basketball Championships March 7-9, 2019
Vikings Take Down Central Washington 67-59
Hannah Stipanovich scores game-high 19 points, WWU win for fifth time over last six games
Trio of Vikings Named to GNAC All-Academic Team
Hannah Stipanovich, Amanda Lance and Lexie Bland honored by conference
Vikings to Host Central Washington and Northwest Nazarene
WWU faces CWU on Thursday, NNU on Saturday in GNAC matchups
Late Comeback Falls Short in Women's Hoops 80-62 Loss at SPU
Gracie Castaneda scores career-high 21 points as Vikings have four-game winning streak snapped
Vikings Roll To 79-51 Win at Saint Martin's
WWU wins fourth consecutive game, Vikings shoot 50.0% (28-of-56) from the field
Women's Basketball On the Road to Face SMU and SPU
Vikings face the Saints Thursday night (7 pm) and the Falcons Saturday night (7 pm)
Viking Spotlight | Lexie Bland & Dani Iwami
Hear from WWU women's basketball sophomore guards Lexie Bland and Dani Iwami
WWU Tops Concordia 84-68 for Third Straight Win
Vikings outscore Cavaliers 25-7 in third quarter to pull away from two-point halftime lead
WWU Pulls Away from Western Oregon for 66-46 Victory
Vikings outscore Wolves 38-19 in third and fourth quarters in commanding victory
WWU Returns Home to Host Western Oregon and Concordia
The Vikings face WOU on Thursday (7 pm) and Concordia on Saturday (7 pm)
Women's Hoops Picks Up 46-38 Road Victory Over Alaska
Vikings pull away late in low-scoring road game with Anna Schwecke scoring a game-high 10 points