Vikings host Central on Thursday, travel to NNU on Saturday
Feb. 23, 2010
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Having fallen out of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference lead for the first time this season, the nationally ranked Western Washington University women's basketball team entertains arch-rival Central Washington University on Thursday (7 p.m.) on Haggen Court at Sam Carver Gymnasium, and is at Northwest Nazarene University on Saturday (5:15 p.m.). Both games are conference counters.
The Vikings' contest with Central will be broadcast live on KBAI (930 AM) Radio and both games will be video streamed at http://www.greatnorthwest.tv.
Western, ranked No.21 in this week's USA Today/ESPN/NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll and No.2 in the latest West Region Poll, is 20-4 overall and second in the GNAC standings at 11-2 after losing 70-67 last week at No.17-rated Seattle Pacific, now leading the conference at 11-1. The Vikings are 11-0 at home this season.
Western junior guard Amanda Dunbar leads the GNAC in points at 18.1 per game after scoring 31 in the loss at Seattle Pacific. She ranks No.4 nationally in treys per game (3.5), which also tops the league, and is No.5 in 3-point accuracy at a school-record pace of 48.5 percent (83-of-171).
Dunbar has scored 81 points in the Vikings' last three games (27.0 average), hitting five or more 3-pointers in each contest. She has made five or more treys in a game nine times this season.
Senior forward Jessica Summers is averaging 15.5 points, fourth in the GNAC, and is grabbing rebounds at a team-best 8.6 clip, second in the conference. She had 15 rebounds, her second-highest total of the season, at Seattle Pacific.
Another double-figure scorer for Western is senior forward Willow Cabe, who is averaging 14.1 points, seventh in the conference, and 6.0 rebounds. She ranks among the GNAC's top six in five categories, including scoring, all three shooting percentages, and blocked shots (1.1).
Senior point guard Ashley Fenimore tops the GNAC in assists at 4.0 per game and is averaging 6.7 points. She is second in the conference in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.9.
Completing the first five is junior center Lauren Hefflin, who has averaged 4.8 points and 4.6 rebounds after missing the first five games of the season because of a fractured finger suffered in an exhibition contest.
Junior guard Megan Pinske, Western's first player off the bench, is averaging 7.2 points, 3.0 assists and 3.3 rebounds. She leads the GNAC in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.0.
Other top reserves for the Vikings are senior center Krystal Robinson (3.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg), who is second among GNAC leaders in blocks with 36 (1.5); sophomore guard Kristin Schramm (2.7 ppg, 1.9 rpg), freshman forward Erika Ramstead (2.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg), and freshman guard Corinn Waltrip (2.0 ppg).
Robinson ranks second in school history in career blocks with 226. She has had 12 games this season with two or blocks while averaging 12.6 minutes per contest.
Western ranks among the top 10 nationally in all three shooting categories, being No.2 in 3-point accuracy (41.7, 181-of-434), No.4 in field-goal percentage (48.4, 680-of-1404) and No.7 in free-throw percentage (.775, 289-of-373). The Vikings are also No.11 in scoring margin (19.4).
Cabe, Dunbar and Summers rank 3-4-5 among GNAC leaders in field-goal shooting, and Dunbar, Fenimore and Cabe are 4-6-8 in 3-point accuracy.
Western leads the GNAC in scoring offense (76.2), field-goal percentage, 3-point percentage, assists (17.9, No.16 nationally), blocks (4.5), 3-point makes (7.5, No. 20 nationally) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.0). They are second in free-throw percentage, field-goal percentage defense (36.1, 469-of-1299), scoring margin and 3-point field-goal percentage defense (30.3, 95-of-314).
Carmen Dolfo, who is in her 19th year as head coach at Western, has a 395-156 (71.7 percent) record and entered the season ranked No.14 among active NCAA II coaches in winning percentage and No.23 in victories. She has directed the Vikings to 14 20-win seasons.
Central Washington, 6-16 overall and 3-9 in GNAC play, has lost its last five games. The Wildcats, who are 2-10 on the road, are led by two returnees, 5-10 sophomore forward Sophie Russell, who is averaging 13.5 points and 4.4 rebounds, and 5-10 senior guard Sara Bergner, who has an 11.2 scoring average for coach Jeff Whitney (13th year, 192-150).
Western leads 76-10 in the series and has taken 12 of the last 13 meetings. The Vikings have won the last four straight with an 80-46 win at Central on Jan. 21.
Northwest Nazarene is 17-6 overall (Feb. 25 host Western Oregon), winning its last three games, and 7-5 in GNAC action. The Crusaders, who have gotten to the post-season in each of the last two years, are 11-2 at home this season. NNU ranks second in the GNAC in scoring offense at 74.7 and in free-throw shooting at 76.8 percent, and is third in 3-point accuracy at 40.9 percent.
Coach Kelli Lindley (10th year, 163-111) returns four starters from last year's 18-10 squad, including three honorable mention GNAC all-stars. They are 5-8 senior guard Lindsay Brady (12.4 ppg), 5-11 senior forward Kristin Hein (10.9 ppg, 7.3 rpg) and 5-11 senior forward Brittney Roggenkamp (9.0 ppg).
Another top returnee for the Crusaders is 5-8 senior guard Janee Olds (10.3 ppg), and a key addition is 5-7 freshman guard Heather Adams (5.5 ppg, 2.3 apg).
Western holds a 14-8 series advantage, winning the last two meetings, 76-63 at Bellingham on Feb. 4 and 64-61 last season, after losing four straight.
DUNBAR POINTS OF INTEREST: Dunbar's three-year career point total of 1,209 ranks 10th among school leaders (needs 89 points to tie for ninth) and she is on pace to finish among Western's top three in that category. During her three-year career, Dunbar has made 187-of-463 3-pointers, 40.4 percent. The school career record for threes is 210 by Jodie Kaczor from 1998-2002. Earlier this season, Dunbar hit a school and GNAC record 10 straight treys.
THREE-DOT NOTES: Summers suffered a partial tear of the plantar fasciitis in her right foot in mid-January ... In their 104-54 victory at Alaska Fairbanks on Feb. 13, the Vikings reached the century mark for the first time since early in the 2006-07 season and just the second in seven years ... Western has played six top 25 teams this season, defeating No.18 Seattle Pacific, 54-40, on Jan. 23 and No.8 Alaska Anchorage, 78-58, on Jan. 9. Its only losses this season have been at No.14 UC San Diego, 89-82, on Jan. 29; No.8 Washburn, 72-70 in overtime, on Dec. 16; at No.17 Alaska Anchorage, 71-69, on Feb. 11; and 70-67 at No.18 Seattle Pacific on Feb. 20 ... During their 10-game winning streak, the Vikings won every game by double figures ... Dunbar, Cabe, Pinske and Summers have all earned GNAC Player of the Week honors this season ... Dunbar and Summers are tied for the Western lead in double-figure point games with 20 each, followed by Cabe at 18.
The Vikings' victory over Alaska Anchorage on Jan. 9 was their first against a top 10 team since they knocked off No.10 Cal Poly Pomona in the West Regional championship game of the NCAA II National Tournament on March 10, 2000 ... Summer's career-high 37-point performance against Washburn on Dec. 16, and Dunbar's 32-point effort versus Western Oregon on Jan. 14 and 31 points at Seattle Pacific on Feb. 20 are the three highest in the GNAC this season. Dunbar has had three career 30-point games, putting up 37 last season in an 88-79 loss at Northwest Nazarene ... Summers has been named to four tournament all-star teams this season, being MVP of three. Dunbar has been picked to three all-tourney teams and Cabe is a two-time all-tourney honoree.
Summers was named GNAC Player of the Week when she scored 65 points in back-to-back games at the Great Western Shootout on Dec. 16-17, the most in school history. Western's previous two-game best was 60 points by Jo Metzger early in the 1980-81 campaign when she scored 28 against Washington and 32 versus Idaho State ... Pinske saw action on the Canadian National Team in September, competing in an Olympic-qualifying tournament in Brazil ... Dunbar was the 2007-08 GNAC Freshman of the Year and a second-team league all-star in 2008-09 ... Summers was the GNAC co-Newcomer of the Year and a second-team all-league choice in 2008-09 ... Western won GNAC titles in 2002 and 2006.
HOME COURT DOMINANCE: The Vikings are 398-69 (85.2 percent) in their 38 seasons at Carver Gym.
COACH DOLFO: Carmen Dolfo is in her 19th year as head coach at Western. She has a 395-156 (71.7 percent) record and ranks No.14 among active NCAA II coaches in winning percentage and No.23 in victories. Dolfo's teams have reached post-season play 16 times and have won 20 or more games 14 times. She was named GNAC Coach of the Year in 2004 and 2006, Northwest small college Coach of the Year in 2000 and Pacific Northwest Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 1995 and 1996. Dolfo was the top Viking assistant for four seasons (95-28, 77.2) and earned All-America honors as a player at Western.
TRADITION OF SUCCESS: With 827 victories (291 losses) in its 39-year history, Western is one of just 10 colleges in all divisions of the NCAA to reach the 800-plateau... The Vikings have made 36 post-season appearances, including one stretch of 28 straight, with one national semifinal and three quarterfinal finishes ... They have made 10 West Regional appearances in their first 11 seasons as a NCAA II member, and also have had 28 20-win seasons ... Western has had 20 winning streaks of 10 or more games with its longest being 20 ... The Vikings have had 13 first, second or third-team All-Americans.
ON THE WEB: All Viking home games are being video streamed live and are available free at http://www.greatnorthwest.tv. For up-to-date statistics, box scores of every game, records, stories, etc., see the Western 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 Western games are being broadcast this season on KBAI Radio (930 AM) with Doug Lange handling the play-by-play and Mark Scholten providing the color commentary. They also can be heard on the internet at www.wwuvikings.com.
PROBABLE WESTERN STARTERS & TOP RESERVES:
F Willow Cabe, 5-9, ***Sr., McCleary, WA/Elma F Jessica Summers, 6-1, *Sr., Blaine, WA/Blaine/Idaho C Lauren Hefflin, 6-2, **Jr., Ridgefield, WA/Ridgefield G Amanda Dunbar, 5-9, **Jr., Marysville, WA/Marysville-Pilchuck G Ashley Fenimore, 5-8, Sr.-TR, Lynnwood, WA/Meadowdale/CWULAST WEEK'S GAME SUMMARY:
Feb. 20 - Seattle Pacific 70, WESTERN 67 at Seattle, Wash.
A game-high 31 points by Dunbar were not enough as Western fell 70-67 to Seattle Pacific in a GNAC contest between two nationally ranked teams at Royal Brougham Pavilion on the SPU campus. The Vikings fell out of the GNAC lead for the first time this season. Seattle Pacific, ranked No.18 nationally and No.3 in the region, improved to 20-3 overall and took over the conference lead at 11-1. The Falcons, who are unbeaten in 11 home games this season, got 19 points from guard Daesha Henderson and forward Megan Hoisington added 14. Henderson also had seven rebounds, six assists and four steals. It was the sixth straight victory for Seattle Pacific, which has won 12 of its last 13 games, the lone loss being 54-40 at Western on Jan. 23. Dunbar got all of her points in the final 31 minutes, 19 in the second half including 12 straight during a stretch where Western took its first lead of the game, 55-54, with 9:05 left. Western was still in front by one, 61-60, at 2:31, following two free throws by Cabe, but Seattle Pacific scored the next six points, four by Henderson, to lead 66-61 with 1:03 remaining. The Vikings closed to within 70-67 on a lay-in by Cabe with 1.4 seconds remaining. They then tied up the ensuing inbounds pass for a jump ball, and had the possession arrow in their favor with three-tenths of a second on the clock. But Dunbar's 3-point attempt from the right corner bounced off the rim at the buzzer. Dunbar was 10-of-23 from the field, making 5-of-14 3-pointers. The Falcons went out to a 20-8 lead in the first 7:23 before an 11-2 run by Western cut the margin to three, 22-19 with 8:23 left in the first half. Again Seattle Pacific extended its advantage to 12, 37-25, with 3:43 to go before the Vikings scored seven of the last nine points to trail by seven, 39-32, at halftime. Western got 14 points from Cabe and Summers had eight points and grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds. The Vikings, who were ranked fourth nationally in field-goal percentage at 48.8 percent, shot a season-low 39.3 percent (24-of-61) from the floor.
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