Feb. 17, 2014
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Making its longest road trip of the season, the Western Washington University women's basketball team is at University of Alaska Fairbanks on Thursday (6:15 p.m. PT) and University of Alaska Anchorage on Saturday (5:15 p.m. PT) for a pair of Great Northwest Athletic Conference contests.
Live stats and video streams of both games can be found at www.wwuvikings.com.
The Vikings are 15-8 overall and tied for second in the conference standings at 11-4 with Simon Fraser (16-6). Montana State Billings (20-5) is the GNAC leader at 12-2. The conference's top two finishers earn first-round byes at the GNAC Tournament on March 5, 7-8 at Lacey.
WWU leads the GNAC in field-goal percentage (45.7) and 3-point percentage (35.3). The field-goal figure ranks 17th nationally among NCAA Division II schools.
The Vikings, who rank 18th 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.
COLARD 3-POINT SHARP SHOOTER: Junior point guard Katie Colard tops the GNAC in made threes with 63, an average of 2.7 per game which ranks 23rd nationally. She is scoring at a team-leading 13.5 clip on 38.4 percent (63-of-164) 3-point accuracy.
Colard tied a school record with eight treys and had a career-high 26 points at Northwest Nazarene on Feb. 6. She hit six threes against NNU at Carver Gym on Jan. 11, and has made five treys in two other games this season.
Colard also leads the team in double-figure scoring games with 17 and is second in free-throw shooting at 84.7 percent (50-of-59).
Colard has hit a trey in every game this season and is working on a 28-game streak overall. She has not make a three in 10 of 80 games during her three-year career.
DONALDSON: A TALE OF TWO HALVES: Over the last 12 games, junior forward Sydney Donaldson has averaged 12.5 points on 55.0 percent (61-of-111) floor accuracy and 7.9 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 8.9 points and is second on the team in rebounds (6.3) and blocks (32).
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 this season.
HILL DOUBLES AND NEAR DOUBLES: Senior center Sarah Hill has had three double-doubles this season and has been within one point or one rebound on five other occasions. She is averaging 9.9 points and leads the team in rebounds at 8.1 and in blocked shots with 45.
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.
In last week's two victories, Hill had 24 points and 20 rebounds.
WHITE SOLID AT THE POINT: Junior point guard Jenni White is averaging 10.0 points. She paces the Vikings in assists (4.7, 108) and steals (2.0, 46), and leads the team in 3-point accuracy at 39.7 percent (27-of-68).
Peacocke is averaging 10.9 points, hitting a team-best 85.1 percent (63-of-74) of her free throws.
Briggs is averaging 9.8 points on team-leading 54.7 percent (94-of-172) floor accuracy. She has scored double figures in six of the last eight games.
ALASKA FAIRBANKS: The Nanooks are 9-13 overall and 3-11 in GNAC action. They have won only three of their last 15 games after a 6-1 start. Leading the way for coach Cody Bench (4th year, 21-80) is 5-11 freshman forward Jordan Wilson (16.0 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 54.8 FG Pct.- 28th nationally). As a high school senior, she ranked third among Colorado Class 5A scoring leaders with a 20.3 average. Three other freshmen with significant playing time are 5-5 guard Victoria Milton (9.0 ppg), 5-9 guard Autumn Childers (5.5 ppg) and 5-11 center Kaillee Skjold (6.0ppg, 4.1 rpg). Two returning starters are 5-6 junior guard Benissa Bulaya (7.2 ppg) and 5-9 junior guard Kelly Logue (7.2 ppg). UAF ranks sixth nationally in 3-point percentage defense at 24.9. WWU has won 41 of 46 series meetings, with an 11-game winning streak following a 92-80 victory at Bellingham on Jan. 25.
ALASKA ANCHORAGE: The Seawolves are 16-6 overall (Feb. 20 host Simon Fraser) and fourth in the GNAC standings at 9-5. They have won four of their last five games and rank sixth nationally in scoring offense at 82.4 points per game and second in steals at 15.1. Two returning starters are 5-9 senior forward Kylie Burns (11.8 ppg, 7.1 rpg) and 5-8 sophomore guard Jessica Madison (10.6 ppg), who was the GNAC Freshman of the Year. Another top returnee for coach Ryan McCarthy (2nd year, 33-16) is 5-8 junior guard Alli Madison (14.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg). Three impressive newcomers are 5-7 freshman guard Kiki Robertson (11.1 ppg, 4.6 rpg), who ranks third nationally in steals per game at 3.6 and 14th in assists at 5.1; 6-0 junior forward KeKe Wright (8.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg), an NJCCAA All-American at Gillette JC, and 6-2 junior center Emily Craft (7.4 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.1 bpg), a transfer from Central Wyoming. WWU holds a 28-14 series advantage, winning 76-70 at Bellingham on Jan. 23.
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.) March 5, 7, 8 at Great Northwest Athletic Conference Tournament (Lacey, WA)
*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)
THREE-DOT NOTES: Earlier this season, 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 529 points and 519 rebounds during her three-year career. Colard has 738 points and Donaldson 586 points and 393 rebounds ... Donaldson and Hill were both named to the GNAC preseason all-conference team ... Two of WWU's losses have been in overtime and six have been by less than 10 points ... 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 446-74 (85.8 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 490-181 (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 922 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 490.
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. 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.
Feb. 15 - WWU 63, Western Oregon 55 at Bellingham, WA
Hill led a balanced attack with 13 points, nine rebounds, five assists and three blocks, lifting WWU to a 63-55 triumph over Western Oregon in a GNAC contest at Carver Gym. Briggs came off the bench to score 12 points and Donaldson added 11 for the Vikings, who improved to 15-8 overall and 11-4 in the GNAC with their fourth straight victory. Melissa Fowler had a game-high 16 points on 8-of-12 field-goal shooting for Western Oregon, which fell to 6-16 overall and 3-11 in the GNAC with its eighth loss in nine games. Dana Goularte and Chantel Divilbiss each had 12 points for the Wolves, with Divilbiss scoring all of her points in the last 11 minutes. The Vikings led all but the first 13 seconds of the contest, jumping to a 10-4 lead after five minutes with Donaldson scoring eight of the points. WWU led by as much as 12 in the opening half and held a 29-20 lead at halftime. WWU then opened the second half with a 9-2 charge in the first three minutes to open up a 38-22 advantage, and led by as much as 22 in the second half. The Wolves, who shot 56.0 percent (14-of-25) from the field in the second half, rallied, using a run of eight straight points to close the margin to 11, 59-48, with 4:43 to go, and eventually pulled within eight, 63-55, on a Divilbiss 3-pointer with 37.3 seconds left, but got no closer. It was WWU's 23rd consecutive victory over WOU, and the Vikings hold a 44-9 all-time advantage in the series.
Great Northwest Athletic Conference
MSUB Women Crack Top-25 in WBCA Poll
PORTLAND, Ore. - Having won 10-straight games, the Montana State Billings women's basketball team broke into the latest Women's Basketball Coaches Association top-25 poll, checking in at No. 25.
The first NCAA Divison II West Region poll will be released on Wednesday, ranking the top-10 teams in the region. The poll will eventually determine the NCAA postseason field, with the top-8 teams in the final selections on March 9 advancing to the playoffs.
The Yellowjackets (20-5, 12-2 GNAC) currently hold a 1.5-game lead over second-place Simon Fraser and Western Washington in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference standings, with two weeks left on the regular season schedule.
SFU (16-6, 11-4) and WWU (15-8, 11-4) have each won four straight contests, while Alaska Anchorage (16-6, 9-5) has won two in a row and is currently in fourth place. Seattle Pacific (15-7, 8-6) and Saint Martin's (14-9, 8-6) are tied for the fifth position in the conference standings, and Northwest Nazarene (13-10, 6-9) is still alive in the postseason hunt in seventh place.
This week, SFU and WWU will battle for positioning with a pair of tough road games each in Alaska. UAA hosts SFU on Thursday at 5:15 Alaska time, while Alaska Fairbanks (9-13, 3-11) welcomes WWU at the same start time in the first game of the week.
MSUB looks to clinch the regular season title with a pair of wins this week, as the `Jackets travel to Monmouth, Ore., on Thursday to face Western Oregon (6-16, 3-11), before heading north to Lacey, Wash., to take on SMU on Saturday.
NNU will look to make one final postseason push, as its final three games are at home in Nampa beginning this Saturday against Central Washington (6-17, 1-14) at the Johnson Sports Center.
In the latest NCAA statistical rankings, NNU remained in the top-5 in free-throw percentage, checking in at No. 4 with a mark of 78.9. MSUB ranked in the top-10 in several categories, including fewest fouls per game (14.7, 3rd), fewest turnovers per game (12.0, 3rd), and rebounding margin (8.5, 9th).
UAA continued its pace as one of the top-scoring teams in the NCAA, checking in at No. 6 in points per game with 82.4. The Seawolves also rank second in steals per game (15.1) and third in turnover margin (7.32).
SFU checked in at No. 3 across Division II in 3-point field goal percentage defense, allowing opponents to shoot just 23.4 percent from downtown.
Individually, MSUB's Bobbi Knudsen continued to pace the GNAC and rank among NCAA leaders in assists per game with 5.7 (7th), while NNU's Chelsie Luke is the conference's top free-throw shooter at 90.2 percent (10th in the NCAA).
GNAC-leading scorer Erin Chambers of SFU checked in at No. 6 in the NCAA in points per game with 22.7, and UAA freshman Kiki Robertson (3.64) and NNU sophomore Taylor Simmons (3.43) rank No. 3 and No. 5, respectively, in steals per game.
MSUB took care of business last week, riding seven 3-pointers by Quinn Peoples on Thursday to a 90-72 victory over visiting NNU. Peoples' 23 points off the bench were a career-high, and Janiel Olson came through with a 12-point, 10-rebound double-double. On Saturday, the `Jackets kept rolling as Knudsen led all scorers with 18 points in a 60-39 triumph over Central Washington. The victories pushed the Yellowjackets' spotless home record to 13-0 this season.
Playing with its back against the wall after the loss to MSUB, NNU responded on Saturday with a crucial 75-67 win over Seattle Pacific, marking the first time in program history that the Crusaders have defeated the Falcons inside Brougham Pavilion. Senior Megan Hingston was instrumental in the win, scoring 20 points and adding four rebounds and an assist en route to earning Red Lion Player of the Week honors. Luke also had a big game against SPU, with 16 points and seven rebounds in 35 minutes on the floor, and Simmons played all 40 while scoring nine and adding four assists, three steals and three rebounds.
SPU senior Katie Benson scored 25 points in the loss, coming two days after her 20-point, eight-rebound performance in a 68-47 win over CWU on Thursday. The split on the week for SPU helped the Falcons stay tied for fifth with SMU as the race to lock up the final postseason berth begins to heat up.
While Chambers scored 23 points for SFU against WOU on Thursday, it was a 24-point, 12-rebound double-double by Rebecca Langmead that pushed the Clan to the 70-50 win over the Wolves. SFU totaled 70 points again two nights later, as Chambers notched 16, Kia Van Laare contributed 15 and Meg Wilson had 13 off the bench in the 70-59 win over Saint Martin's.
WWU kept pace with SFU and MSUB, winning both of its games to extend its streak to four and make it 10 wins in its last 12 games overall. Senior Sarah Hill was dominant in both games, scoring 11 points and grabbing 11 boards with three blocks, two steals and an assist in a 69-52 win over SMU on Thursday. Hill followed with a near double-double on Saturday, scoring 13 points and adding nine rebounds and five assists in the 63-55 win over WOU. Jenni White led all scorers with 17 points in the win over SMU, and also dished out nine assists.
The Saints snapped a three-game winning streak last week, losing some ground in the conference standings. Chelsea Haskey scored 14 points against WWU on Thursday but no other SMU player reached double figures in the defeat. On Saturday, Brooke Paulson came alive from the 3-point line, sinking four shots to pace the squad with a dozen points. Megan Wiedeman came off the bench with an impressive 11-point 16-rebound double-double in the loss.
Courtney Johnson went 3-of-5 from long range en route to a team-high 12 points for CWU in the loss to SPU on Thursday. On Saturday, Jasmine Parker had 11 points and seven rebounds for the Wildcats, while Amber Moser added 10 points, five rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block in the loss to MSUB.
Jenna Buchanan cut loose for 19 points, five rebounds, five assists and a steal to propel UAA to a resounding 88-68 win over in-state rival UAF on Saturday. Buchanan, the current GNAC leader in 3-point shooting (.475) was 3-for-3 from downtown in the win. Alli Madison added 12 points and six assists, and Jessica Madison (11) and KeKe Wright (10) were UAA's other double figure scorers.
UAF freshman Victoria Milton paced the Nanooks with 15 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals, and Benissa Bulaya (13) and Autumn Childers (11) also reached double-digits in the loss.
Great Northwest Athletic Conference
2013-14 Women's Basketball Report 15 Week 14 (Feb. 18, 2014)
Conf. Overall W L W L H A N MSU Billings 12 2 20 5 13-0 5-2 2-3 Simon Fraser 11 4 16 6 11-2 5-3 0-1 Western Washington 11 4 15 8 8-2 6-4 1-2 Alaska Anchorage 9 5 16 6 10-2 6-4 0-0 Seattle Pacific 8 6 15 7 7-3 5-4 3-0 Saint Martin's 8 6 14 9 9-1 4-5 1-3 Northwest Nazarene 6 9 13 10 9-4 4-6 0-0 Alaska Fairbanks 3 11 9 13 5-6 4-7 0-0 Western Oregon 3 11 6 16 5-8 1-6 0-2 Central Washington 1 14 6 17 3-8 1-7 2-2
LAST WEEK: Monday - Alaska Anchorage 73 at Western Oregon 47 Thursday - Central Washington 47 at Seattle Pacific 68; Northwest Nazarene 72 at MSU Billings 90; Saint Martin's 52 at Western Washington 69; Western Oregon 50 at Simon Fraser 70 Saturday - Alaska Fairbanks 68 at Alaska Anchorage 88; Central Washington 39 at MSU Billings 60; Northwest Nazarene 75 at Seattle Pacific 67; Saint Martin's 59 at Simon Fraser 70; Western Oregon 55 at Western Washington 63.
THIS WEEK: Thursday - Simon Fraser at Alaska Anchorage, 5:15 p.m.; Western Washington at Alaska Fairbanks, 5:15 p.m.; MSU Billings at Western Oregon 7 p.m.; Seattle Pacific at Saint Martin's, 7 p.m. Saturday - Western Washington at Alaska Anchorage, 5:15 p.m.; Simon Fraser at Alaska Fairbanks, 5:15 p.m.; Central Washington at Northwest Nazarene 7 p.m.; MSU Billings at Saint Martin's 7 p.m.; Seattle Pacific at Western Oregon, 2 p.m.
POLLS: WBCA (Feb. 18) - 25. Montana State Billings.
NCAA STATISTICS (Through Feb. 16)
TEAM (Top 30): Ast./T.O. Ratio - 11. MSU Billings (1.18) Ast./Gm. - 12. Alaska Anchorage (17.6) Blk./Gm. - 15. Seattle Pacific (4.8) 18. Western Washington (4.7) 24. Simon Fraser (4.5) F.G. Pct. - 17. Western Washington (45.7) F.T. Pct. - 4. Northwest Nazarene (78.9) 19. Seattle Pacific (76.3) Fls./Gm. - 3. Montana State Billings (14.7) Reb. Margin - 9. Montana State Billings (8.5) Scoring Margin - 18. Alaska Anchorage (13.4) 27. Montana State Billings (11.3) Scoring Offense - 6. Alaska Anchorage (82.4) Stls./Gm. - 2. Alaska Anchorage (15.1) 3-Pt. F.G. Def. - 3. Simon Fraser (23.4) 6. Alaska Fairbanks (24.9) 3-Pt. F.G./Gm. - 20. Montana State Billings (7.6) T.O. Margin - 3. Alaska Anchorage (7.32) T.O./Gm. - 3. Montana State Billings (12.0) W-L-T Pct. - 24. Montana State Billings (.800).
INDIVIDUAL (Top 30): Ast./T.O. Ratio - 16. Bobbi Knudsen, MSUB (2.07) Ast./Gm. - 7. Bobbi Knudsen, MSUB (5.7) 14. Kiki Robertson, UAA (5.1) 27. Ally Schmitt, CWU (4.9) Blks./Gm. - 21. Rebecca Langmead, SFU (2.41) 28. Dana Goularte, WOU (2.14) F.G. Pct. - 28. Jordan Wilson, UAF (54.8) F.T. Pct. - 10. Chelsie Luke, NNU (90.2) 14. Suzanna Ohlsen, SPU (89.9) Pts./Gm. - 6. Erin Chambers, SFU (22.7) 22. Katie Benson, SPU (20.0) Rbnd./Gm. - 22. Janiel Olson, MSUB (10.4) Stls./Gm. - 3. Kiki Robertson, UAA (3.64) 5. Taylor Simmons, NNU (3.43) 3-Pt. F.G./Gm. - 23. Katie Colard, WWU (2.74).
DOUBLE-DOUBLES (Through Feb. 18): 7 - Katie Benson, SPU; Dana Goularte, WOU; Megan Hingston, NNU 4 - Jordan Wilson, UAF; Jasmine Parker, CWU; Chelsea Haskey, SMU; Janiel Olson, MSUB; Rebecca Langmead, SFU 3 - Jessica VanDyke, CWU; Sydney Donaldson, WWU; Meg Wilson, SFU; Sarah Hill, WWU 2 - four with 1 - 10 with.
RED LION PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Megan Hingston, Northwest Nazarene (G, 5-9, Sr., Keizer, OR - McNary) scored 20 points in the Crusaders' first-ever win at Seattle Pacific on Saturday, and also logged four rebounds and an assist in the critical victory to help keep NNU's hopes for a GNAC tournament berth alive. The instrumental performance came two nights after a 14-point 7-rebound effort against conference-leading MSUB. Hingston currently leads the Crusaders in scoring average (16.0) and rebounding (7.7), and ranks fifth in the GNAC in both categories.
Honorable Mention - Sarah Hill, Western Washington (F, 6-3, Sr., Richmond, VA - Lloyd C. Bird/Maryland-Baltimore County); Megan Wiedeman, Saint Martin's (F, 6-0, So., Sammamish, WA - Skyline); Jenna Buchanan, Alaska Anchorage (G, 5-8, So., Galena, AK - Galena); Quinn Peoples, Montana State Billings (F, 5-11, Jr., Butte, MT - Butte Central Catholic).
`JACKETS EXTEND STREAK TO 10: With two more victories last week, MSUB extended its winning streak to a GNAC-high 10 games and moved one step closer to capturing the regular season title. Quinn Peoples produced a career weekend for MSUB, coming off the bench on Thursday with a game-high 23 points on 7-of-14 from beyond the arc. Peoples' effort, along with 18 points from Bobbi Knudsen and double-digits from three other Yellowjackets, propelled MSUB to a resonating 90-72 win over Northwest Nazarene. Janiel Olson logged a double-double with a dozen points and 10 rebounds, and also had five assists in MSUB's first game of the week. On Saturday, the `Jackets welcomed Central Washington to Alterowitz Gym and held the Wildcats to just 39 points as MSUB moved to a perfect 13-0 at home this season. Knudsen had 18 more points and six more assists, and Chelsea Banis (12) and Olson (11) each recorded double-digit rebound totals. Peoples contributed 10 more points, earning the start after Thursday's breakout performance.
MSUB maintained its grip on first place in the GNAC standings, but Simon Fraser and Western Washington remain just 1.5 games behind in a tie for second place. The Yellowjackets hit the road for the final time this regular season, taking on Western Oregon on Thursday in Monmouth and Saint Martin's on Saturday in Lacey.
HILL SHINES, VIKINGS WIN A PAIR: Sarah Hill continued her all-GNAC caliber senior campaign last weekend, helping the Vikings to a pair of victories to keep pace with MSUB and Simon Fraser in the GNAC standings. On Thursday, Hill notched a double-double with 11 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, while Jenni White led the scoring with 17 points and Sydney Donaldson just missed a double-double with nine points and 10 boards in a 69-52 win over Saint Martin's. Hill was again stellar against Western Oregon on Saturday, logging 13 points with nine rebounds, five assists, three blocks and a steal in the 63-55 win. Tia Briggs contributed 12 points off the bench on Saturday, and Donaldson poured in 11 to push the Vikings' win streak up to four games.
WWU faces a challenging trip to Alaska this week to face Alaska Fairbanks on Thursday and Alaska Anchorage on Saturday.
SFU STAYS IN SECOND: Simon Fraser captured a pair of victories last week to push its winning streak to four and make it eight wins in the last nine games for the Clan. SFU got ahead of Western Oregon early on Thursday and never looked back, leading the Wolves 35-14 at the half and wrapping up a 70-50 win. Rebecca Langmead led all scorers with 24 points and completed a double-double with a dozen rebounds. GNAC leading scorer Erin Chambers was close behind with 23 points, and also had four rebounds, four assists and a block for SFU. Kia Van Laare came up with 11 big points off the bench for Bruce Langford's club. On Saturday, the Clan took care of business against Saint Martin's, again jumping to a significant halftime lead at 39-18. Chambers went on to top the bill with 16 points, while Van Laare had 15 and Meg Wilson 13 off the bench on Senior Night for SFU.
With first place in its sights, Simon Fraser embarks on the journey north to Alaska this weekend, facing Alaska Anchorage Thursday and Alaska Fairbanks on Saturday. The Clan will monitor the play of their travel partner WWU closely, as seeding for the conference championships and perhaps even the regular season title could come down to the season-ending Border Battle in Bellingham on March 1.
HINGSTON HELPS CRUSADERS HANG ON: After falling to MSU Billings 90-72 on Thursday, NNU senior Megan Hingston stepped up with 20 points against Seattle Pacific as the Crusaders defeated the Falcons inside Brougham Pavilion for the first time in program history. Hingston also had four rebounds and an assist in 31 minutes of action, and Chelsie Luke contributed a 16-point 7-rebound performance in the historic victory. On Thursday, Luke had 16 points and Hingston had 14, but the Crusaders could not overcome a 10-point halftime deficit in the loss to the Yellowjackets. Cierra White (11), Leslie Warwick (11) and Taylor Simmons (10), ensured that all five of NNU's starters scored in double figures, but the Crusader bench scored just 10 points combined in the loss.
With three games to play, NNU sits 2.5 games out of the sixth and final playoff spot in the conference standings. The good news for NNU is that its final three games are at home, one of which comes against a team it is jockeying for position with in Saint Martin's. This week, NNU hosts travel partner Central Washington on Saturday, before next Thursday's pivotal matchup against the Saints in Nampa.
FALCONS SPLIT WITH CWU, NNU: Katie Benson logged 20 points while adding eight rebounds, three steals, two assists and a block in a 68-47 win over Central Washington on Thursday. Sophomore Brianne Lasconia came up with 14 points off the bench for SPU, and Suzanna Ohlsen totaled 13 points, two rebounds, three assists and a game-high five steals in the win. Benson was even better on Saturday against NNU with 25 points, eight rebounds, four blocks, two assists and a steal, but the Falcons got just nine points from their bench in the 75-67 loss. Maddey Pflaumer played a key role for SPU, grabbing 10 rebounds against CWU on Thursday and adding seven more with five points and two assists in the home loss on Saturday.
SPU is now 2-3 in its last five games, after having won five in a row dating back to Jan. 11. The Falcons take on Saint Martin's and Western Oregon this week before welcoming the Alaska schools on the final weekend of the regular season Feb. 27 - March 1. SPU could punch its ticket to the GNAC tournament with a pair of victories this week.
UAA WINS BATTLE OF ALASKA: Outscoring Alaska Fairbanks by 10 points in each half, Alaska Anchorage notched a victory over its in-state rival in the teams' lone game of the week. Jenna Buchanan was outstanding in the 88-68 triumph, leading all scorers with 19 points and turning in five rebounds, five assists and a steal for UAA. Alli Madison added a dozen points and six assists for UAA, while Jessica Madison (11) and KeKe Wright (10) each scored in double figures off the bench for Ryan McCarthy.
UAA sits in sole possession of fourth place in the conference standings, and will battle the two teams directly above it this week in Simon Fraser on Thursday and Western Washington on Saturday.
WILDCATS LOSE A PAIR: Courtney Johnson defended her reputation as a threat from long distance against Seattle Pacific on Thursday, converting 3-of-5 shots from beyond the arc to lead the Wildcats with 12 points in the loss. Amber Moser paced CWU on the boards with seven points and seven rebounds. On Saturday, Jasmine Parker carried CWU's offense with 11 points and seven rebounds, while Moser contributed 10 points with five rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block.
Central Washington faces NNU in the teams' lone game this week, before wrapping up its 2013-14 slate at home against Western Oregon and Saint Martin's on Feb. 27 - March 1.
SAINTS SNAP 3-GAME STREAK: Saint Martin's lost momentum in the GNAC standings last week with a pair of tough road losses to Western Washington and Simon Fraser. On Thursday, Chelsea Haskey had another strong performance, netting 14 points with five rebounds, three steals and a pair of blocks. No other Saint scored in double figures on the night however, as SMU was held to 22 first-half points and 52 on the night overall. On Saturday, Brooke Paulson led SMU with 12 points, while Haskey had eight with five more rebounds and three more steals. Krista Stabler and Megan Wiedeman each had 11 points off the bench, while the latter turned in an impressive double-double with 16 rebounds to go along with her scoring total.
Despite the setback, SMU remains in strong position to receive a GNAC tournament berth, currently sitting in a tie for fifth place with SPU in the GNAC standings at 8-6 in conference action. The Saints welcome tough competition in Seattle Pacific and MSU Billings this weekend, in a pair of games that should have a significant impact on the conference standings.
FOWLER NOTCHES SEASON-HIGH FOR WOU: Western Oregon senior Melissa Fowler logged a season-high 16 points for Western Oregon on Saturday as the Wolves fell 63-55 against Western Washington in Bellingham. Fowler also had five rebounds and three assists in the loss, following a solid 11-point 4-rebound effort on Thursday. Dana Goularte led the Wolves in a 70-50 loss to Simon Fraser, with 13 points, seven rebounds, three steals, two assists and a pair of blocks. Kelsey Henry turned in 11 points off the bench on Thursday, and 10 more when she earned the start on Saturday. Chantel Divilbiss was WOU's other player in double figures against the Vikings, notching 12 points with five rebounds, three steals and an assist.
Western Oregon hosts conference-leading MSU Billings on Thursday, and Seattle Pacific on Saturday in its final home contests of the 2013-14 season.
NANOOKS FALL TO ALASKA RIVAL: Freshman Victoria Milton led Alaska Fairbanks with 15 points on Saturday, but the Nanooks could not overcome a 10-point halftime deficit in an 88-68 loss to in-state rival Alaska Anchorage at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex. Milton also had five rebounds, four assists and two steals for UAF, while Benissa Bulaya turned in 13 points and led the team with five assists and three steals. Autumn Childers was UAF's other double-digit scorer with 11 off the bench, and Brianna Kirk had a team-high eight rebounds for the Nanooks.
UAF hosts Western Washington and Simon Fraser this weekend, in the Nanooks' final home stand of the 2013-14 season.
2013-14 RED LION PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Week of Feb. 3-9: Chelsea Haskey, SMU (F, 6-1, Sr., Olympia, WA - Black Hills) scored 28 points and also had 12 rebounds, four steals and a pair of blocks leading the Saints to home wins over Alaska Anchorage and Alaska Fairbanks. She had 13 points, five rebounds, two assists, two blocks and three steals in Thursday's 56-46 win over UAA. On Saturday, she netted 15 points and also had seven rebounds to key a 67-66 win over UAF.
Week of Jan. 27 - Feb. 2 - Taylor Simmons, NNU (G, 5-8, So., Middleton, ID - Middleton) scored 36 points and grabbed 10 rebounds last week as the Crusaders defeated Alaska Fairbanks 86-81 and lost by just two to Alaska Anchorage on the road. Simmons was instrumental in both victories, dishing out 13 assists and providing a conference-high 12 steals on the weekend. The sophomore point guard also shot .476 (10-for-21) from the field and .789 (15-for-19) from the foul line in the victories. Simmons also played a team-high 68 minutes in the two games.
Week of Jan. 20-26: Erin Chambers, SFU (G/F, 6-1, Jr., Mission, BC - Heritage Park) led Simon Fraser to a pair of victories as she scored 64 points while shooting .629 (22-for-35) from the floor and .412 (7-for-17) from 3-point range. Chambers also converted 13-of-14 free throws and grabbed 10 rebounds while playing all 80 minutes for the Clan last week. On Thursday, the junior helped SFU edge Alaska Fairbanks by two points as she scored 30 points and hauled in five rebounds. Chambers was even better in a four-point victory over Alaska Anchorage on Saturday, notching 34 points, five more rebounds and three assists. Chambers maintained her spot atop the GNAC scoring leaders, boosting her average to 22.8 points per game as she has scored a conference-high 387 points so far in 2013-14.
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.
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). Jan. 20-26 - Montana State Billings (Women's Basketball) Jan. 27 - Feb. 2 - Western Washington (Men's Basketball) Feb. 3-9 - Central Washington (Softball) Feb. 10-16 - Montana State Billings (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