WWU is No.2 seed at GNAC Tournament
Feb. 28, 2012
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Continuing to exceed expectations, the Western Washington University women's basketball team is the No.2 seed in this week's Great Northwest Athletic Conference Tournament and No.3 seed Northwest Nazarene University on Friday (5:15 p.m.), March 2, at Marcus Pavilion on the campus of Saint Martin's University.
A semifinal win would put the Vikings in the championship game on Saturday (7:30 p.m.), March 3, which will be televised live on ROOT Sports.
All the WWU action will be broadcast live on KBAI Radio (930 AM - www.930kbai.com) with Doug Lange handling play-by-play. It also can be viewed on the internet at http://wwu.nmtvsports.com and live stats are available at http://www.gnacsports.com/livestats.htm.
The No.1 seed is defending champion University of Alaska Anchorage, which is looking for its third crown in four years. The Seawolves face No.5 seed Simon Fraser on Friday (7:30 p.m.).
The quarterfinal games were Thursday, March 1, with Northwest Nazarene defeating Montana State Billings, 77-56, and Simon Fraser beating Seattle Pacific, 69-60.
WWU, fifth in the second West Region rating released last week, is 20-6 overall and finished second in the regular-season GNAC standings at 14-4. It has won five straight games and eight of their last nine.
Virtually assured of a berth at the NCAA Division II West Regional on March 9-10 and 12, the Vikings would earn an automatic berth by winning the championship at the second annual GNAC Tournament.
WWU, which had a seven-game winning streak earlier this season, was the GNAC regular-season champion last year and reached the championship game of the inaugural conference post-season tournament.
Losing four starters from that team, the Vikings were picked fourth in the pre-season GNAC coaches poll.
WWU ranks fifth nationally among NCAA II schools in three-point shooting at 37.7 percent (186-of-494), 11th in field-goal accuracy at 45.5 percent (706-of-1552), and 17th in assists (16.8). The Vikings lead the league in three-point shooting and blocked shots (4.5) and are second in scoring offense (73.3), field-goal shooting and field-goal percentage defense (36.8).
The 20-win season is the third straight for WWU and its 16th in Carmen Dolfo's 21 seasons as head coach and the 30th in the 41-year history of the program.
SCHRAMM: Forward Kristin Schramm, WWU's lone senior and a first-team GNAC all-star, is averaging a team-leading 12.8 points per game and is second in rebounds at 4.7. She ranks third in the GNAC in three-point percentage at 41.0 (50-of-122), fifth in three-point makes (1.9), and is 10th in steals (1.6).
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. She also is a two-time GNAC Player of the Week.
During her four-year career, Schramm has totals of 768 points, 336 rebounds, 111 steals and 105 assists.
WALTRIP: Junior point guard Corinn Waltrip is averaging 12.2 points. She is among the GNAC top 10 in five categories, leading in free-throw percentage at 88.9 (48-of-54). Waltrip is fourth in both assists (3.8) and minutes played (32.6), sixth in three-point makes (1.8) and eighth in three-point percentage (38.3, 46-of-120).
A second-team conference all-star, Waltrip is a three-time all-tourney pick this season and earned GNAC Player of the Week honors. She also is a two-time GNAC Academic all-star.
REST OF STARTERS: Junior guard Trishi Williams is averaging 9.9 points and 4.4 rebounds. She is sixth among GNAC leaders in field-goal percentage (55.3, 99-of-179) and eighth in assists (3.4).
Junior center Britt Harris paces the Vikings in rebounds with a 6.2 average, while scoring at a 9.0 clip. She is fifth among league leaders in field-goal shooting (56.0 percent, 93-of-166) and ninth in offensive rebounds (2.4).
Junior Erika Ramstead, who is averaging 4.1 points and 4.2 rebounds, completes the first five.
TOP RESERVES: Freshman center Kayla Bernsen is averaging 5.5 points and 4.3 rebounds off the bench. Another freshman, forward Sydney Donaldson, is averaging 6.3 points and 3.7 rebounds. She is shooting 54.0 percent (74-of-137) from the field, which is eighth in the league. Donaldson has 29 blocked shots and Bernsen 27, those totals ranking third (1.1) and fifth (1.0), respectively, among GNAC leaders.
Redshirt freshman guard Katie Colard is seventh in the conference in three-point makes (1.6). She is averaging 6.0 points.
GREAT NORTHWEST ATHLETIC CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT
Lacey, Wash. (Marcus Pavilion) - host Saint Martin's University
March 1 - Thursday #6 Montana State Billings (18-11) 56 vs. #3 Northwest Nazarene (17-9) 77 #5 Simon Fraser (16-10) 69 vs. #4 Seattle Pacific (17-9) 60
MONTANA STATE BILLINGS: The Yellowjackets are 18-11 overall and placed sixth in the GNAC at 10-8 despite losing their last three games. MSUB has a trio of talented veterans led by 5-8 sophomore guard Bobbi Knutsen (17.7 ppg-2nd in GNAC, 4.2 rpg, 3.8 apg, 2.0 spg), who scored 32 points in a 69-60 win at Northwest Nazarene. Also back for coach Kevin Woodin (4th year, 133-92) are 5-7 junior guard Brooke Tolman (7.0 ppg) and 5-6 senior guard Kalli Stanhope (6.3 ppg). Three standout freshmen are 6-1 center Kayleen Goggins (7.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg), 5-10 forward Janiel Olson (6.1 ppg, 8.3 rpg) and 5-11 forward Quinn Peoples (10.0 ppg, 3.7 rpg). MSUB leads the GNAC in three-point percentage defense (27.0), and is second in scoring defense (58.8), assist-to-turnover ration (1.0) and three-point makes (7.6). WWU holds a 16-9 series advantage, winning the last five meetings, including two this season, 80-72 decision at Bellingham on Dec. 1 and 74-68 at Billings on Feb. 25.
NORTHWEST NAZARENE: The Crusaders are 17-9 overall and tied for third in the GNAC at 11-7, winning their last three games. NNU returns virtually intact from last season for coach Kelli Lindley (182-122), 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 (14.8 ppg, 7.4 rpg), who is eighth in the GNAC in scoring and ninth in rebounds, and 6-0 senior center Briaunna King (15.7 ppg, 9.6 rpg), who ranks fourth among league leaders in points and third in rebounds. Also back are 5-6 senior guard Alla Dzhidzhiyeshvili (9.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg), who leads the GNAC in steals (3.2); 5-9 sophomore guard Chelsie Luke (10.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg) and 5-7 junior guard Heather Adams (7.3 ppg, 3.0 apg), who received honorable mention GNAC all-star honors last year. NNU is second in the GNAC in both free throw shooting (76.3 percent), offensive rebounds (16.3) and steals (10.5). WWU holds an 18-10 series advantage, winning seven of the last eight meetings. The Vikings lost 75-62 at Nampa, Id., but won 75-68 at Bellingham on Feb. 16.
ALASKA ANCHORAGE: The Seawolves, ranked No.8 nationally and riding a six-game winning streak, are 25-4 overall and placed first in the regular-season GNAC standings at 16-2. They lost 67-62 at Seattle Pacific on Feb. 2 and had a 10-game winning streak snapped in a 77-69 setback at Simon Fraser on Jan. 12. Their only other losses were to NCAA I schools - Miami FL (72-55) and Central Michigan (90-84 OT). UAA is led by returning honorable mention All-American and first-team GNAC all-star 6-2 senior center Hanna Johansson (14.1 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 56.5 FG Pct., 1,300 career points). Also back for coach Tim Moser (6th year, 160-31), whose 83.8 winning percentage ranks seventh among all NCAA divisions, are 6-0 junior forward Alysa Horn (9.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg) and 6-0 senior forward Kaylie Robison (9.2 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 59.0 FG Pct.). Heading the newcomers is 5-8 junior guard Haley Holmstead (15.1 ppg), a transfer from Salt Lake CC where she became just the 16th player to earn back-to-back NJCAA All-America recognition and the first to be a two-time Scenic West Athletic Conference Player of the Year. Another talented new face is 5-9 junior guard Bruna Deichmann (6.4 ppg), a junior college transfer from Eastern Utah. UAA leads the GNAC in scoring offense (78.0), scoring defense (53.6), scoring margin (25.3), field-goal percentage (46.1), field-goal percentage defense (32.3), rebound margin (12.0), assists (19.2), steals (12.0) and offensive rebounds (16.5). Last year, WWU won both regular-season meetings. UAA then beat the Vikings 68-67 in the GNAC tournament final at Carver Gym, snapping their 26-game home court winning streak, and the Seawolves defeated WWU, 55-48, in the opening-round of the 2011 NCAA II West Regional. The Vikings hold a 25-13 series advantage, losing both meetings this season, 75-55 at Bellingham on Jan. 14 and 72-50 at Anchorage on Feb. 9.
WWU NOTES: WWU has held opponents under 40 percent field-goal shooting in 19 of its 20 wins and has been outrebounded in just three 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 13 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 ... 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 422-72 (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 444-167 (72.7 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 20 times and have won 20 or more games 16 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 876 victories (302 losses, 74.4 percent) in its 41-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 30 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 422-72 (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 444.
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
RECENT GAME SUMMARIES:
Feb. 23 - WWU 72, Seattle Pacific 62 at Seattle
Trishi Williams had a game-high 20 points on 8-of-10 field-goal shooting, leading WWU to a 72-62 victory over Seattle Pacific in a GNAC contest at Royal Brougham Pavilion. SPU fell to 16-9 overall and 10-7 in GNAC play. Jordan Harazin led the Falcons with 16 points and Suzanna Ohlsen added 14. The score was tied at 54-54 with under six minutes left, but WWU got back-to-back layups from Kayla Bernsen and Corinn Waltrip to take a 58-54 lead with 5:18 to play. The Falcons pulled within two points on four occasions after that, but WWU scored on the following possession each time, the final one on a basket by Erika Ramstead with 1:09 left to make the score 66-62. The Vikings then converted six consecutive free throws to ice the victory. WWU shot 42.9 percent (24-of-56) from the field, and held the Falcons to just 29.6 percent (16-of-54). The Vikings were 7-of-11 (63.6 percent) on three-pointers, with Williams going 3-of-3. Seattle Pacific jumped to a 13-4 lead, but WWU then held the Falcons scoreless for more than five minutes to take a 14-13 lead with 7:38 left in the first half. The gap was never more than four points the rest of the period, and SPU held a 28-27 edge at halftime. It was WWU's first victory at Seattle Pacific in the last seven seasons.
Feb. 25 - WWU 74, Montana State Billings 68 at Billings, Mont.
Kristin Schramm scored 13 of her game-high 26 points in the final eight minutes, leading WWU to a 74-68 victory over Montana State Billings in a GNAC contest at Alterowitz Gymnasium. MSUB fell to 18-11 overall and 10-8 in the GNAC. Bobbi Knudsen had 20 points for the Yellowjackets and Brooke Tolman added 16. MSUB was within three, 58-55, with eight minutes left, but then Schramm took over, scoring nine of WWU's next 11 points, capped by two free throws that put the Vikings up, 69-62, with 3:08 remaining. That score held until the final moments. Tolman hit two free throws with 1:15 left, then Knudsen converted a layup with 35 seconds to go, cutting the margin to three, 69-66. But Schramm hit two free throws on each of the next two WWU possessions to keep the Yellowjackets from getting any closer. Britt Harris had 13 points on 6-of-8 field goal shooting for WWU, and guard Corinn Waltrip added 10 points. Guard Trishi Williams had nine points and team-highs of seven assists and seven rebounds for the Vikings. WWU shot 47.2 percent (25-of-53) from the field, and 80.0 percent (16-of-20) on free throws. Schramm was 7-of-11 from the floor, and hit 9-of-10 foul shots. WWU used a 12-3 run to take a 21-11 lead with 12:42 left in the first half, and held a 36-29 lead at halftime.
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