WWU makes final home stand, hosts Northwest Nazarene and Central Washington

WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM Head Coach Carmen Dolfo
WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM
Head Coach Carmen Dolfo
WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM

Feb. 13, 2012

BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Making its final home stand of the season, the Western Washington University women's basketball team hosts Northwest Nazarene University on Thursday (7 p.m.) and Central Washington University on Saturday (7 p.m.) in a pair of Great Northwest Athletic Conference contests at Sam Carver Gymnasium on the WWU campus.

The Northwest Nazarene game can be heard live on KBAI Radio (930 AM - www.930kbai.com) with Doug Lange handling the play-by-play and Mark Scholten providing the color commentary. Both contests can be viewed on the internet at http://wwu.nmtvsports.com and live stats are available at http://www.wwuvikings.com/multimedia/livestats.html.

Thursday will be the Women's Basketball Coaches Association Pink Zone contest with fans asked to wear pink to increase breast cancer awareness. Saturday is the final home game for forward Kristin Schramm, a four-year letter winner and the lone senior on the WWU roster.

The Vikings are 16-6 overall, sixth in the first West Region rating, and second in the GNAC standings at 10-4. Last week, they split a pair of league games in Alaska, rebounding to defeat Alaska Fairbanks, 91-62, after falling to nationally No.12-ranked and league-leading Alaska Anchorage, 72-50.

WWU already has secured a berth in the GNAC Tournament on March 1-3 at Lacey (host Saint Martin's). Last year, the Vikings were the GNAC regular-season champions and reached the championship game of the inaugural conference post-season tournament.

WWU, 7-2 at home this season and 420-72 (85.4 percent) in 40 seasons overall at Carver Gym, ranks ninth nationally in NCAA Division II in three-point percentage at 36.4 (155-of-426), 13th in field-goal accuracy at 45.7 percent (599-of-1312), 15th in assists (16.8), and 16th in rebound margin (8.5). The Vikings lead the league in three-point shooting and blocked shots (4.6) and are second in field-goal shooting and field-goal percentage defense (37.2).

Schramm leads WWU in points per game at 12.4. She has been the team's top scorer in four of its last five games.

Schramm, who also averages 4.8 rebounds, ranks fourth in the GNAC in three-point percentage at 39.8 (41-of-103), fifth in three-point makes (1.9), and ninth in steals (1.7).

During her career, Schramm has scored 706 points and grabbed 320 rebounds.

Junior point guard Corinn Waltrip is scoring at a 12.2 clip. She tops the GNAC in free-throw percentage at 87.0 (40-of-46) and is fourth in assists (3.9), fifth in minutes played (32.2), and seventh in three-point makes (1.6).

Junior forward Trishi Williams is averaging 9.4 points and 4.5 rebounds. She is seventh among GNAC leaders in field-goal percentage (54.9, 79-of-144) and eighth in assists (3.2).

Junior center Britt Harris leads the team in rebounds with a 6.2 average, while averaging 8.3 points. She ranks third in the league in field-goal shooting at 56.0 percent (70-of-125) and 10th in offensive rebounds (2.4).

Completing the starting lineup is junior Erika Ramstead, who is averaging 3.9 points and 4.3 rebounds.

Freshman center Kayla Bernsen is averaging 6.2 points and 4.8 rebounds. She has scored at a 9.1 clip over the last nine games while averaging 15 minutes per outing and has shot 60.5 percent (26-of-43) from the floor in the last seven contests.

Another freshman, forward Sydney Donaldson, is averaging 6.9 points and 4.0 rebounds. She is shooting 55.7 percent (68-of-122) from the field, fifth in the league.

Bernsen has blocked 27 shots and Donaldson 26. They rank third (1.2) and fourth among GNAC leaders.

Redshirt freshman guard Katie Colard is sixth in the conference in three-point makes (1.8). Averaging 6.6 points, she has made one or more treys in all but three contests this season, three times having a high of four.

Sophomore forward Sarah Hill is averaging 3.3 points and 4.1 rebounds, and redshirt freshman guard Erin Feeney has a 3.5 point average and is sixth in the GNAC in three-point percentage (38.6, 22-of-57).

NORTHWEST NAZARENE: The Crusaders, who are battling for the sixth and final berth in the GNAC Tournament, are 14-8 overall and 8-6 in league play. NNU returns virtually intact from last season for coach Kelli Lindley (179-121), who is back for her 11th season after taking a one-year sabbatical. The Crusaders have a standout one-two punch in 5-9 sophomore forward Megan Hingston (15.1 ppg, 7.4 rpg), who is seventh in the GNAC in scoring and ninth in rebounds, and 6-0 senior center Briaunna King (16.4 ppg, 9.1 rpg), who ranks third among league leaders in points and fourth in rebounds. Also back are 5-6 senior guard Alla Dzhidzhiyeshvili (9.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg), who leads the GNAC in steals (3.1); 5-9 sophomore guard Chelsie Luke (10.1 ppg, 5.5 rpg) and 5-7 junior guard Heather Adams (7.5 ppg, 2.9 apg), who received honorable mention GNAC all-star honors last year. NNU is second in the GNAC in both free throw shooting (76.2 percent) and steals (10.6). WWU holds a 17-10 series advantage, having a six-game series winning streak snapped on Jan. 21, 75-62, at Nampa, Id.

CENTRAL WASHINGTON: The Wildcats are 8-14 overall (Feb. 16 at Simon Fraser) and 4-10 in league play under first-year coach Shawn Nelson, who posted a 201-70 record in eight seasons at NAIA Carroll College MT. Last Saturday, CWU overcame a 13-point first half deficit to defeat Seattle Pacific, 80-75. The Wildcats are led by two transfers from Carroll, 5-7 senior guard Alex Dunn (11.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 4.7 apg) and 5-9 sophomore guard Jessica Van Dyke (13.7 ppg, 6.9 rpg). Another talented newcomer is 5-11 freshman forward Courtney Johnson (8.2 ppg). Two solid returnees are 5-10 senior forward Sophie Russell (14.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg) and 6-2 junior center Stacy Albrecht (6.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg). CWU leads the GNAC in offensive rebounds (16.5) and 3-point makes (8.5). WWU leads the series, 81-10, winning the last eight meetings and 16 of the last 17 after an 85-71 victory at Ellensburg on Jan. 19.

WWU NOTES: WWU has held opponents under 40 percent field-goal shooting in 15 of its 16 wins and has been outrebounded in just one of its victories ... The Vikings have shot under 40 percent in four of their six losses and have had 18 or more turnovers in five of their setbacks ... WWU has made eight or more treys in 11 games with a season-high 13 against Alaska Fairbanks on Jan. 12 ... Schramm has been named to three all-tournament teams this season, earning MVP honors at both the Great Western Shootout and WWU Lynda Goodrich Classic. Waltrip also was named to three all-tourney teams and Williams was picked to two ... Schramm was named GNAC Player of the Week for her MVP performance at the Great Western Shootout ... Williams is a transfer from Columbia Basin CC where she earned NWAACC East Region MVP honors ... The Vikings' 108 points against Simpson marked just the third time that they had reached triple digits in the last eight years and it was the first time they had gotten 100 points at home since a 100-48 victory over Northwest during the 2006-07 season.

TOURNEY SUCCESS: The Vikings have competed in four tournaments this season, winning their own Great Western Shootout on Dec. 15-16 and tying for first at the WWU Lynda Goodrich Classic held Thanksgiving weekend. They also split a pair of games at both the CCAA/GNAC Crossover Classic to begin the season in early November and at the GNAC/CCAA Challenge Classic held during the second week of December.

VIKINGS FOURTH IN GNAC COACHES POLL: WWU was voted fourth in the GNAC coaches' preseason poll. Alaska Anchorage, looking for its third title in four seasons, received nine of 10 first-place votes in being selected No.1. Seattle Pacific, which has won eight league crowns, was picked second, followed by Northwest Nazarene.

POST-SEASON: This year, the GNAC championship will be decided with a six-team tournament at Saint Martin's University (Marcus Pavilion) beginning Thursday, March 1. The No.1 and No.2 regular-season finishers will earn first round byes and play Thursday's winners in semifinal action Friday, March 2. The championship game will be Saturday, March 3. Alaska Anchorage won the first GNAC tourney last year, when it consisted of eight teams and games were played at the highest seed.

SISTER ACT II: Three members of this year's WWU squad have sisters who were former Viking standouts. They are Katie Colard (Kelly), Sarah Hill (Celeste) and Kristin Schramm (Sarah). Celeste Hill was a first-team NCAA II All-American in 2000 and a WWU Athletics Hall of Fame inductee in 2012. Kelly (Colard) Dykstra was a second-team GNAC all-star as a senior in 2005-06, averaging 12.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists. Sarah Schramm averaged 5.5 points and 3.9 rebounds for WWU in 2007-08, and 4.5 points and 3.8 rebounds in 2006-07 after transferring from NCAA I Gonzaga.

HOME COURT DOMINANCE: The Vikings are 420-72 (85.4 percent) in 40 seasons at Carver Gym. Their longest home court win streak was 29 from 1983 to 1986.

COACH DOLFO: Carmen Dolfo is in her 21st year as head coach at WWU. She has a 440-167 (72.5 percent) record and prior to the season ranked No.12 among active NCAA II coaches in winning percentage and No.18 in victories. Dolfo's teams have reached post-season play 19 times and have won 20 or more games 15 times. She has been named GNAC Coach of the Year in 2004, 2006 and 2011; 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 WWU.

TRADITION OF SUCCESS: With 872 victories (302 losses, 74.3 percent) in its 40-year history, WWU is one of just 15 colleges in all divisions of the NCAA to reach the 850-plateau... The Vikings have made 39 post-season appearances, including one stretch of 28 straight, with one national semifinal and three quarterfinal finishes ... They have made 12 West Regional appearances in their 13 seasons as a NCAA II member, and also have had 29 20-win seasons ... WWU has had 21 winning streaks of 10 or more games with its longest being 21 ... Former WWU coach Lynda Goodrich, now the Vikings' director of athletics, 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.

CARVER GYM CELEBRATES 50TH ANNIVERSARY: Dedicated on March 30, 1962, WWU's Sam Carver Gymnasium is celebrating its 50th anniversary this season. It is named for Sanford E. Carver, a NAIA Hall of Famer who was WWU's first director of athletics and the chairman of the physical education department from 1914-55. Carver Gym was an addition to the existing physical education facility. It added 54,233 square feet of floor space at a cost of $1.04 million. The most significant addition was the present main gymnasium. The facility opened in time for the 1961-62 basketball season, although it wasn't named for Carver until the dedication ceremony the following spring. Dr. James L. Jarrett, then Western's president, and Dr. E.V. Pullias, a professor at the University of Southern California, were the main speakers at the gathering. Basketball has been one of the primary activities at Carver Gym. The Seattle Pacific men were Western's opponent in the first game played on the new floor on Dec. 6, 1961. The Viking women have racked up an impressive record during their time in the building, going 420-72 (85.4 percent) in 40 years.

COLLEGIATE FIRST FOR WWU: Last season, WWU became the first college in the country to boast two 400-win women's basketball coaches. Lynda Goodrich, now in her 25th year as the Vikings' director of athletics, posted 411 victories from 1971 to 1990, and current coach Carmen Dolfo is in her 21st season with 440.

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 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.

PROBABLE WESTERN STARTERS & TOP RESERVES:

F Erika Ramstead, 6-0, **Jr., Everson, WA/Nooksack Valley
F Trishi Williams, 5-9, JC-Jr., Mabton, WA/Mabton/Columbia Basin CC
C Britt Harris, 6-2, **Jr., Marysville, WA/Marysville-Pilchuck
G Corinn Waltrip, 5-6, **Jr., Tigard, OR/Tigard
G Kristin Schramm, 5-9, ***Sr., Chelan, WA/Chelan

F Sydney Donaldson, 6-0, Fr., Edmonds, WA/Edmonds-Woodway C Sarah Hill, 6-3, So., TR, Richmond, VA/Lloyd C. Bird/ Maryland-Baltimore County G Katie Colard, 5-9, R-Fr., McCleary, WA/Elma C Kayla Bernsen, 6-3, Fr., Moses Lake, WA/Moses Lake G Jenni White, 5-5, R-Fr., Spokane, WA/East Valley G Erin Feeney, 5-8, R-Fr., Bothell, WA/Jackson *letters won

RECENT GAME SUMMARIES:

Feb. 9 - Alaska Anchorage 72, WWU 50 at Anchorage, AK WWU got off to a slow start and never recovered, falling to nationally ranked Alaska Anchorage, 72-50, in a GNAC contest at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex. Kayla Bernsen led WWU with nine points and Corinn Waltrip had eight. UAA, ranked No.12 in the WBCA/NCAA II Top 25 Poll, improved to 21-4 overall and remained first in the GNAC at 12-2. Alysa Horn came off the bench to lead the Seawolves with game highs of 15 points and nine rebounds. Center Hanna Johansson had 14 points and Haley Holmstead and Sasha King each contributed 12. King also handed out a game-high eight assists. UAA, now 13-2 at home this season, scored the first six points of the contest as the Vikings opened the game with four straight turnovers. UAA, which hit eight of its first nine shots, led 17-2 with 13:20 left in the first half, and expanded the margin to 37-18 at halftime. The closest WWU got in the second half was 16 points, 49-33 with 10:29 remaining and 55-39 with six minutes left before UAA extended its lead as high as 68-42 with 2:07 to play. The Vikings shot just 36.5 percent (19-of-52) and had 26 turnovers. They entered the game ranked eighth nationally in field-goal accuracy at 45.4 percent.

Feb. 11 - WWU 91, Alaska Fairbanks 62 at Fairbanks, AK

Kristin Schramm had game-highs of 16 points and seven rebounds as WWU rebounded with a 91-62 win over Alaska Fairbanks in a GNAC contest at Patty Center. The Vikings, who lost 72-50 at No.12-ranked Alaska Anchorage on Thursday, improved to 16-6 overall and 10-4 in conference play. Schramm, who scored all of her points in the first half, was 7-of-10 from the field for WWU, which shot 56.7 percent (38-of-67) from the floor and had a 48-24 rebound advantage. Kayla Bernsen came off the bench with 15 points for the Vikings. Corinn Waltrip contributed 13 points and five assists and Britt Harris added 12 points. UAF, which lost for the sixth straight time, fell to 6-19 overall and 2-13 in GNAC contests. The Nanooks were led by Nicole Bozek with 15 points. Nicole Hartzog had 14 and Benissa Bulaya 10 for UAF. WWU used an 18-6 run to take a 35-18 lead with 7:12 left in the first half and led 50-29 at halftime. The Vikings increased their lead to 66-33 with 12:01 to play and UAF never got closer than 27 after that. It was the eighth straight series win for WWU.