WWU closes home stand versus Western Oregon

WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM Sarah Hill
WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM
Sarah Hill
WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM

Feb. 14, 2014

BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Working on a three-game winning streak, the Western Washington University women's basketball team entertains Western Oregon University on Saturday at 7 p.m. in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference contest at Sam Carver Gymnasium on the WWU campus.

Live stats and a video stream can be found at wwuvikings.com. It will be Women's Basketball Coaches Association Pink Zone Night as WWU supports breast cancer research and awareness.

THE LAST MEETING
Western Washington78
Western Oregon58
January 16, 2014
Monmouth, OR
WWU has big second half in 78-58 win at Western Oregon
Center Sarah Hill posted her first double-double with career highs of 18 points and 16 rebounds, leading Western Washington University to a 78-58 victory over Western Oregon University in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference women's basketball game Thursday at the New P.E. Building on the WOU campus.

The Vikings are 14-8 overall and tied for second in the conference standings at 10-4 with Simon Fraser (15-6). Montana State Billings (19-5) is the GNAC leader at 11-2.

On Thursday, WWU defeated Saint Martin's, 69-52, at Carver Gym. That followed road wins lastweek over Northwest Nazarene, 94-81, and Central Washington, 82-61.

WWU leads the GNAC in field-goal percentage (46.0) and 3-point percentage (36.6). The field-goal figure ranks 19th nationally among NCAA Division II schools and the 3-point figure is 26th.

The Vikings, who also rank 16th nationally in blocked shots per game at 4.7, are the defending GNAC regular-season and tournament champions. They went on to win the 2013 West Regional title and reach the national semifinals.

KATIE FOR THREE: Junior point guard Katie Colard tops the GNAC in made threes with 62, an average of 2.8 per game which ranks 16th nationally. She is scoring at a team-leading 13.7 clip on 39.2 percent (62-of-158) 3-point accuracy.

Colard tied a school record with eight treys and had a career-high 26 points in the win at Northwest Nazarene on Feb. 6. She hit six threes in an 81-68 victory over NNU at Carver Gym on Jan. 11, and has made five treys in two other games this season.

Colard also leads the team in free-throw shooting at 87.3 percent (48-of-55) and in double-figure scoring games with 17.

DONALDSON A DYNAMO: Over the last 11 games, junior forward Sydney Donaldson has averaged 12.6 points on 54.9 percent (56-of-102) floor accuracy and 7.4 rebounds. In the first 11 games this season, she averaged 5.0 points on 30.1 percent (22-of-73) shooting and 4.5 rebounds. Overall, she is averaging 8.8 points and is second on the team in rebounds (6.4) and blocks (31).

Donaldson, who was the GNAC Player of the Week for Jan. 5-11, scored a career-high 22 points versus Alaska Fairbanks on Jan. 25 and grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds against Northwest Nazarene on Jan. 11. She has had three double-doubles efforts this season.

HILL'S ALMOST DOUBLES: Senior center Sarah Hill has had three double-doubles this season and has been within one point or one rebound on four other occasions. She is averaging 9.7 points and leads the team in rebounds at 8.0 and in blocked shots with 42.

Hill had 18 points and 16 rebounds, both career highs, at Western Oregon on Jan. 16, as she earned GNAC Player of the Week honors for Jan. 12-18.

WHITE AT THE POINT: Junior point guard Jenni White is averaging 10.1 points. She paces the Vikings in assists (4.6, 102) and steals (2.0, 43), and leads the team in 3-point accuracy at 40.6 percent (26-of-64).

FRESHMEN STANDOUTS: Two freshmen, forward Tia Briggs and guard Taylor Peacocke, have made huge contributions for WWU this season.

Peacocke is averaging 11.2 points, hitting 85.1 percent (63-of-74) of her free throws. Briggs is averaging 9.7 points on team-best 54.3 percent (89-of-164) floor accuracy.

UPCOMING GAMES:

Feb. 15 (Sat.) WESTERN OREGON* (CARVER GYM - 7 p.m.)
Feb. 20 (Thu.) at Alaska Fairbanks* (Fairbanks, AK - 5:15 p.m.)
Feb. 22 (Sat.) at Alaska Anchorage* (Anchorage, AK - 5:15 p.m.)
March 1 (Sat.) SIMON FRASER*#@ (CARVER GYM - 3 p.m.)

*Great Northwest Athletic Conference contest #broadcast on KBAI Radio (930 AM) and on internet at wwuvikings.com %broadcast on KPUG Radio (1170 AM) and on internet at wwuvikings.com @televised on ROOT Sports (Comcast Channel 30, DirecTV: Channel 687, Dish Network Channel 426)

WESTERN OREGON: The Wolves are 6-15 overall and 3-10 in GNAC play, losing seven of their last eight games. First-year head coach Holli Howard-Carpenter, who was an associate head coach at Cal State East Bay the last three years and an assistant at Chico State the previous four seasons, has two standout returnees in 6-0 junior forward Dana Goularte (18.1 ppg, 8.9 rpg) and 5-7 senior guard Chantel Divilbiss (11.3 ppg). WWU holds a 43-9 series advantage, winning the last 22 meetings following a 78-59 win at Monmouth, Ore., on Jan. 16.

THREE-DOT NOTES: Two weeks ago, the Vikings had a 26-game home court winning streak snapped with a pair of losses at Carver Gym. The string was the second longest in school history and just three shy of the WWU record ... Hill has 516 points and 510 rebounds during her three-year career. Colard has 729 points and Donaldson 575 points and 389 rebounds ... Donaldson and Hill were both named to the GNAC preseason all-conference team ... Two of WWU's losses have been 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 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 445-74 (85.7 percent) in 42 seasons at Carver Gym. Their longest home court win streak was 29 from 1983 to 1986.

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 489-181 (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 921 victories (316 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 489.

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) or KPUG (1170 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: WWU's home game with Simon Fraser on Sat., 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 Taylor Peacocke, 5-9, Fr., Kenmore, WA/Inglemoor/Sacramento State 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 Tia Briggs, 6-1, Fr., Tacoma, WA/Wilson F Marcel Pounds, 5-8, **Jr.., Bonney Lake, WA/Bonney Lake F Kiana Gandy,5-10, R-Fr., Des Moines, WA/Mount Rainier F Rachel Albert, 5-10, Fr., Bellingham, WA/Sehome *letters won

MOST RECENT GAME SUMMARIES:

Feb. 6 - WWU 94, Northwest Nazarene 81 at Nampa, ID

Colard tied a school record by hitting eight 3-pointers while scoring a career-high 26 points as WWU rolled past Northwest Nazarene, 94-81, in a GNAC game at Johnson Sports Center. The 94 points were a season-high for the Vikings, who improved to 12-8 overall and remained tied for second in the GNAC standings at 8-4. NNU fell to 12-8 overall and 5-7 in conference action. The loss was just the third in 11 home games this season for the Crusaders. Megan Hingston had 20 points and 11 rebounds for NNU, and Chelsie Luke added 19 points. WWU was 13-of-28 from beyond the arc for a season-best 46.4 percent. That was two shy of the school record for made threes. Four Vikings, besides Colard, reached double-figure scoring. Donaldson and Tia Briggs each had 12, and Peacocke and Gandy had 10 apiece. Gandy made all five of her field goals. Hill contributed nine points and 11 rebounds for WWU and White had a game-high eight assists. The Vikings, who never trailed in the game, made five of their first seven 3-point attempts for a 19-11 lead seven minutes into the contest. NNU got back to within one, 21-20, midway through the first half. But WWU scored 14 straight points to begin a 22-5 run over a six-minute span for an 18-point advantage, 43-25, with four minutes left in the period. The Vikings led 45-32 at halftime. The Crusaders never got closer than eight in the second half and WWU's biggest lead was 19, 92-73, with 3:28 remaining. The Vikings have now won 12 of their last 13 meetings with NNU.

Feb. 8 - WWU 82, Central Washington 61 at Ellensburg, WA

Briggs came off the bench to score a career and game-high 19 points, lifting WWU to an 82-61 victory over Central Washington in a GNAC game at Nicholson Pavilion. The Vikings improved to 13-8 overall and remained tied for second in the GNAC standings at 9-4. Briggs, who had 14 points in the first half, was one of four Vikings to score double figures. White had 17, and Donaldson and Colard each contributed 16. Central, which lost its seventh straight, dropped to 6-15 overall and 1-11 in conference play. Amber Moser had 13 points to lead the Wildcats, who have lost 11 of their last 12 games, and Daisy Burke had 12 points. Leading 45-41 at halftime, WWU scored 12 straight points during an 18-5 run to open the second half for a 17-point advantage, 63-46, with 12:21 remaining. Central cut the lead to 10 points, 71-61, on a 3-pointer by Burke with 4:23 to go, but WWU scored the last 11 points of the game. Briggs, who was 9-of-12 from the field, also had six rebounds and two steals. Donaldson was 8-of-13 from the floor and grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds, and Colard made 3-of-5 3-pointers. The win was the 13th straight for WWU over Central. The Vikings have won 21 of the last 22 meetings for an 86-10 series advantage.

Feb. 13 - WWU 69, Saint Martin's 52 at Bellingham, WA

White had game-highs of 17 points and nine assists as WWU defeated Saint Martin's, 69-52, in a GNAC game at Carver Gym. Peacocke added 14 points for the Vikings, who improved to 14-8 overall and 10-4 in the GNAC with their third consecutive victory. Saint Martin's fell to 14-8 overall and 8-5 in conference play. Center Chelsea Haskey had 14 points and five rebounds for the Saints, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. The Vikings trailed just once, at 8-7, but led by just one, 13-12, a little less than nine minutes into the game. WWU then took over, hitting 13 of its next 17 shots from the field to outscore the Saints, 33-10, the rest of the period for a 46-22 halftime lead. WWU shot 55.9 percent (19-of-34) in the opening half. The Vikings opened the second half by going more than six minutes without a field goal. They still held a 53-32 lead with over 12 minutes to play, but the Saints ran off nine straight points to close the gap to 12, 53-41, with 10:03 to go. WWU's lead was still 12 at 57-45 with 7:48 to play, but White hit a 3-pointer and Briggs scored on a post-up, enabling the Vikings to regain control. Colard had 13 points for WWU, and Hill had 11 points and a game-high 11 rebounds as the Vikings had a 45-27 advantage on the boards. Donaldson finished with nine points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots for WWU.