Vikings end regular season on the road

WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM Jodi Gerald
WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM
Jodi Gerald
WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM

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Feb. 29, 2004

BELLINGHAM, Wash. -

UPDATE: Virtually assured of its school-record seventh straight national tournament appearance, the Western Washington University women's basketball team closes out its regular season on the road, traveling to Saint Martin's on Thu., Mar. 4 at 5 p.m. and Northwest Nazarene ID on Sat., Mar. 6 at 7 p.m. MT, for a pair of Great Northwest Athletic Conference contests.

The Vikings, No.4 in last week's NCAA Division II West Region rating, are 19-6 overall and second in the GNAC standings at 12-4 after posting home wins last week over Western Oregon, 71-64, on Feb. 26 and Humboldt State, 71-49, on Feb. 28. The win over Western Oregon clinched a seventh consecutive season of double-digit home wins for Western, which finished 11-2 at Carver Gym.

The Vikings, who need one more victory to secure a school-record seventh straight 20-win campaign, are hoping to get a top 4 seed at the eight-team West Regional, which begins on Fri., Mar. 12.

Saint Martin's (13-12 overall, 9-7 league) and Northwest Nazarene (13-12 overall, 8-8 league) both lost to Western in early December at Bellingham by 30 (91-61) and 14 (76-62) points, respectively. Since then, all three teams have lost a starter with a season-ending injury. Saint Martin's has lost two straight and six of its last nine games, and Northwest Nazarene has dropped two in a row after winning 11 of 16.

Two Viking seniors, who have combined for nearly 2,500 points (2,460) and 1,200 rebounds (1,187) during their four-year careers, are playing in their final regular-season games. Center Jenn McGillivray enters the week with 1,394 points, sixth among the school's career scoring leaders, and 587 rebounds; and DeBoer has 1,066 points and 600 rebounds. They are also each shooting over 52 percent from the field and 73 percent at the free throw line.

DeBoer leads Western in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage, averaging 15.2 points and 6.8 rebounds and shooting 55.3 percent (135-of-244). She is second in the league in floor accuracy, sixth in scoring and 10th in rebounding. DeBoer became the 18th Viking player to reach the 1,000-milestone in points two weeks ago, and currently ranks 16th (needs seven more to move into 15th).

Senior center Jenn McGillivray is averaging 13.6 points and 5.6 rebounds, and is hitting 79.2 percent (95-of-120) on free throws. She ranks 10th in field goal shooting (48.4, 122-of-252), 11th in free throw accuracy, and 12th in scoring.

Junior forward Jodi Gerald, who has started the last nine games, is averaging 11.0 points and 4.9 rebounds. She has averaged 16.3 points over the last 11 games, reaching double figures in 10 of them, after scoring at a 6.3 clip in the first 14 contests.

Two sophomores, forward Tina Donahue and guard Samantha Hubbard, complete the starting lineup. Donahue is averaging 9.3 points and 4.5 rebounds. Hubbard is averaging 3.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists.

Off the bench, freshman guard Devin Dykstra is scoring at a 6.2 clip.

The Vikings are second in the GNAC in scoring margin (8.1), field-goal percentage (43.7), rebound margin (6.7), field-goal defense (38.2) and scoring defense (64.3).

Western lost both starting junior guard Kelly Colard and reserve freshman post-player Krystal Robinson with season-ending knee injuries (torn ACLs) on Jan. 22 in an 81-57 win over Alaska Fairbanks.

UPCOMING GAMES:

Mar. 4 (Thu.)at Saint Martin's*@ (Lacey, 5 p.m.)
Mar. 6 (Sat.)at Northwest Nazarene* (Nampa, ID, 7 p.m. MT)
NCAA II WEST REGIONAL (Site to be determined)
March 12 (Fri.)
Game #1 - No.3 vs. No.6, 12:30 p.m.
Game #2 - No.2 vs. No.7, 2:30 p.m.
Game #3 - No.4 vs. No.5, 5:30 p.m.
Game #4 - No.1 vs. No.8, 7:30 p.m.
March 13 (Sat.)
Game #5 - Winner Game #1 vs. Winner Game #2 - 5 p.m.
Game #6 - Winner Game #3 vs. Winner Game #4 - 7 p.m.
March 15 (Mon.)
Game #5 - Winner Game #5 vs. Winner Game #6 - 7 p.m.
NCAA II ELITE EIGHT
March 24-25, 27 at St. Joseph, Missouri
*Great Northwest Athletic Conference contest
@broadcast on KBAI Radio (930 AM-Bellingham) and webcast on wwuvikings.com

THREE-DOT NOTES: Western is 16-0 when holding opponents to 69 or fewer points and 17-2 when outrebounding the opposition ... The Vikings had an 85-57 advantage in rebounds in their two games last week ... Gerald has averaged 8.3 rebounds per contest in the last four games ... Three of the Vikings' six losses have been to Top 10-ranked teams ... Western, which is eighth in the GNAC in 3-point accuracy at 30.1 percent (115-of-382), was among the NCAA II top 10 nationally in that category the last three seasons, being No.9 in 2002-03 (38.3), No.2 in 2001-02 (39.9) and No.3 in 2000-01 (40.9) ... DeBoer has scored double figures in a team-high 21 games this season and McGillivray 20.

The Vikings have turned the ball over 20 or more times in 15 games this season, but just once in their last five contests. They have forced 20 or more turnovers in 18 contests, including 10 of the last 12 ... Western picked up win No.700 in its storied 33-year history on Jan. 17 with a 76-73 overtime victory at Seattle U, becoming only the 15th school in all divisions of the NCAA to achieve the milestone, and just the fourth in Division II ...

Colard was named GNAC Player of the Week for Dec. 14-20 and Gerald for Jan. 25-31 ... McGillivray, who has led Viking scorers in two of the last three seasons, was named MVP at the WWU/Lynda Goodrich Classic, DeBoer earned all-tourney honors at both the Western and North Dakota State tournaments, and Colard received all-tourney recognition at the CCAA/GNAC Challenge Classic ... Western is 18-4 in regular-season home tournament action (includes seven Lynda Goodrich Classics, one WWU Invitational and three GNAC/CCAA Challenge Classics) ... The Vikings have won their last nine season openers and 19 of their last 20.

THE TRADITION CONTINUES: With 708 all-time victories (33rd season), Western ranks among the Top 15 nationally on a list that includes all NCAA divisions, and is one of just four Division II schools ... The Vikings have made 24 straight post-season appearances and 31 overall, reaching nationals 13 times. They also have had 24 20-win seasons ... Western has had 18 winning streaks of 10 or more games with its longest being 19, and its longest losing streak is just four games ... Former Western coach Lynda Goodrich, now the Vikings' director of athletics, is a member of the NAIA National Hall of Fame. She coached Western for 19 seasons, winning more than 400 games (411-124, 76.7 percent). Carmen Dolfo, who is taking a one-year leave of absence, followed Goodrich and posted a 278-105 (.726) record in 13 seasons ... Another Viking NAIA Hall of Famer is forward Jo Metzger (1977-81), who earned first-team All-American honors in 1980 and 1981 ... Western has had 13 first, second or third-team All-Americans.

GNAC PRESEASON COACHES POLL: Western was picked third in the GNAC Preseason Coaches Poll. Defending champion Seattle Pacific was the overwhelming choice for first with nine first-place votes, followed by Central Washington with one first-place vote. Saint Martin's was fourth, followed by Northwest Nazarene, Seattle, Alaska Anchorage, Western Oregon, Humboldt State and Alaska Fairbanks.

CAREER NUMBERS: McGillivray has career totals of 1,394 points (sixth among Western career leaders), 587 rebounds, 217 assists and 97 steals, and DeBoer has 1,066 points (16th among career leaders), 600 rebounds, 158 assists and 75 steals. McGillivray is shooting 52.0 percent (484-of-931) from the floor and 73.4 percent (423-of-576) at the free throw line, setting school career records for free throw makes and attempts. DeBoer is hitting 52.5 percent (378-of-720) from the field and 72.9 percent (310-of-425) at the line.

HOME COURT DOMINANCE: The Vikings are 334-57 (85.4 percent) in their 32nd year at Carver Gym (11-2 this season), winning 74 of their last 82 home games (90.2 percent). They have reached double-digit victories at home seven straight years. They were 12-2 in 2002-03, 13-1 in 2001-02, 13-1 in 2000-01, 12-0 in 1999-2000, 13-2 in 1998-99, and 10-4 in 1997-98.

COACH NICHOLS: Sara Nichols (19-6, .760) has spent close to a third of her life as an integral part of Western basketball, and now she takes on the role of interim head coach, replacing Carmen Dolfo, who is on a leave of absence for 2003-04. As a senior, Nichols was one of the captains on a team that reached the 2000 NCAA II semifinals, and led the Vikings in assists at 5.1 a game. Following her playing career, Sara became an assistant coach for the 2000-01 season, then became the top assistant the next year, a position she held the last two seasons. Western had an 89-28 record during Nichols' time as a player, and the Vikings are 86-25 in her four years as part of the coaching staff. The 25-year-old Nichols is a graduate of Bothell High School.

LAST SEASON: The Vikings finished 22-6, winning 20 games and reaching the national tournament, both for a school-record sixth straight time. They placed second in the GNAC at 15-3 and suffered an 83-79 loss to Northwest Nazarene ID in the opening round of the NCAA II West Regional, Western's earliest exit since joining NCAA II for the 1997-98 season.

RADIO BROADCASTS: Twelve Western regular-season games as well as post-season contests are being broadcast this season on KBAI Radio (930 AM) with Doug Lange handling the play-by-play, and Mark Scholten, Jason Stiles or Ervin Kuehbler providing the color commentary. They also can be heard on the internet at www.wwuvikings.com.

ON THE WEB: For up-to-date statistics, box scores of every game, records, stories, etc., see the Western Athletic web page at http://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.

PROBABLE WESTERN STARTERS & TOP RESERVES:

F Tessa DeBoer***, 5-11, Sr., Lynden, WA/Lynden Christian(15.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg) F Jodi Gerald**, 5-10, Jr., Puyallup, WA/Cascade Christian (11.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg) C Jenn McGillivray***, 5-11, Sr., Salem, OR/South Salem (13.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg) G Samantha Hubbard*, 5-6, So., Carbonado, WA/White River (3.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.3 apg) G Tina Donahue*, 6-0, So., Stanwood, WA/Stanwood (9.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg)

G Devin Dykstra, 5-6, Fr., Sumas, WA/Nooksack Valley (6.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg) F Stephanie Dressel*, 6-2, So., Gig Harbor, WA/Gig Harbor (2.4 ppg, 1.9rpg) F Piper Nims, 6-0, T-Jr., Seattle, WA/Roosevelt/Whatcom CC (2.3 ppg, 2.0 rpg) G Dachelle Davis, 5-6, So., Yakima/West Valley (2.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg) INJ G Kelly Colard, 5-10, Jr., Elma, WA/Elma./Whatcom CC (11.4 ppg,4.3 apg, 4.1 rpg) INJ C Krystal Robinson, 6-1, Fr., Kent, WA/Kentridge (3.6 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.7 bpg) *letters

OPPONENT SKETCHES:

SAINT MARTIN'S COLLEGE: The Saints (13-12, 9-7 GNAC, 8-3 home, 5-9 road), who have lost two straight and dropped six of nine games following a seven-game winning streak, return three starters from last year's 13-14 team. One of those was honorable mention GNAC all-star 6-0 junior forward Martina Kartikova (14.2 ppg, 8.5 rpg), who played in 20 games before a knee injury ended her season. The other two returning first-stringers are 5-9 junior forward Julia Eisentrout (14.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg) and 6-2 senior center Brandi Riel (7.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg). Another returnee is 5-9 sophomore guard Stephanie Colbo (12.4 ppg). Coach Tim Healy (8th year, 92-122) picked up a standout transfer in 5-6 sophomore guard Beth Layton (14.4 ppg, 4.4 apg) from Texas-San Antonio. Western holds a 41-9 series advantage, winning 91-61 at Bellingham on Dec. 6.

NORTHWEST NAZARENE UNIVERSITY: The Crusaders (13-12, 8-8 GNAC, 9-2 home, 4-10 road, March 4 host Seattle U.), who have dropped two straight after winning 11 of 16 games, were 20-9 last season and reached the West Region semifinals as they upset Western, 83-79, in the first round. Leading the way for coach Kelly Lindley (formerly Kronberger, 4th year, 65-46) are two returning starters - honorable mention GNAC all-star 5-7 senior guard Heidi Buehler (18.5 ppg, 6.9 apg, 34.5 3-pt. pct., 50-145) and 5-9 senior guard Jenny Binford (17.6 ppg, 36.7 3-pt. pct., 55-150). Another returning starter, 6-0 junior center Whitney Van Brocklin (11.2 ppg, 7.0 rpg, Mount Baker HS graduate), suffered a season-ending back injury five games into the campaign. A top newcomer is 6-0 freshman forward Danielle Pridgen (12.7 ppg, 9.6 rpg), who has a league-best 12 double-doubles (points & rebounds) this season. Northwest Nazarene is shooting 78.2 percent at the free throw line. Western leads the series, 6-3, winning 76-62 at Bellingham on Dec. 4.

GAME SUMMARIES:

Feb. 26 - WESTERN 71, Western Oregon 64 at Bellingham, WA

DeBoer scored 16 points, 14 in the second half, while missing just one shot from the field and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds as Western defeated Western Oregon, 71-64, in a GNAC contest at Carver Gym. Gerald had a game-high 17 points and grabbed six rebounds for the Vikings, who had a 42-20 edge on the boards. Western Oregon fell to 7-16 overall and 5-10 league with its fifth straight loss. The Wolves were led by the 16 points of guard Darcey Hodges, who hit five 3-pointers. The Vikings took the lead for good just four minutes into the contest, but never led by more than 14 points. They held a 37-27 edge at halftime as Gerald scored 13 points in the opening half. Western Oregon pulled to within six, 57-51, on a layin and free throw by center Serenity Ragone with 8:14 to play. But the Vikings ran off the next six points to extend the lead to 12, 63-51, with 5:27 to go, and maintained a double-digit advantage until the final second. Ragone had 11 points and six rebounds for the Wolves, and forward Shannon Talbott, who missed most of the first half after getting hit on the nose, had 12 points, all after halftime. McGillivray had 14 points for the Vikings, who shot 51.1 percent (24-of-47) from the field, their best percentage in the last nine games.

Feb. 28 - WESTERN 71, Humboldt State 49 at Bellingham, WA

Gerald scored a game-high 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds as Western defeated Humboldt State, 71-49, in a GNAC game at Carver Gym. Humboldt State fell to 4-21 overall and 2-14 league with its fifth straight loss and 20th setback in its last 21 games. The Lumberjacks were led by the 11 points of center Nicole Lynch. It was the last home game for two Western seniors - DeBoer and McGillivray, who have combined for nearly 2,500 points and 1,200 rebounds during their four-year careers. DeBoer had only six points, 10 below her average, but grabbed a season-high 14 rebounds, and McGillivray had 13 points. Humboldt State hit five of its first seven shots from the field to take a 10-5 lead, but went just 3-of-21 the rest of the half, enabling the Vikings to take a 42-19 lead at halftime. Gerald had 13 points and six rebounds in the first half and McGillivray had 11 points. Western, which improved to 16-0 in games it has held opponents under 70 points, never led by less than 16 in the second half. Donahue had 15 points for the Vikings, and Nims added off the bench. Guard Kyla Wytko had 10 points for Humboldt State.

VIKINGS BY THE NUMBERS

Leading at the half, 14-2
Trailing at the half, 4-3
Tied at the half, 1-1

In Overtime, 2-0

Shooting 50% or better, 4-0 Shooting 40-49.9%, 13-4 Shooting less than 40%, 2-2

Opponent shoots 50% or better, 0-1 Opponent shoots 40-49.9%, 4-4 Opponent shoots less than 40%, 15-1

WWU outrebounds opponent, 17-2 Opponent outrebounds WWU, 2-4 Teams are tied in rebounds, 0-0

Makes 0-4 three-pointers, 10-0 Makes 5-7 three-pointers, 8-5 Makes 8 or more three-pointers, 1-1

WWU shoots more FTs, 12-1 Opponent shoots more FTs, 6-5 Teams shoot same number of FTs, 1-0

WWU bench outscores opponent bench, 13-1 Opponent bench outscores WWU bench, 5-6 Benches score same number of points, 0-0

WWU commits fewer TOs than Opp., 12-3 Opp. commit fewer TOs than WWU, 7-2 Teams commit same amount of TOs, 0-1

WWU commits 20 or fewer TOs, 7-3 WWU commits more than 20 TOs, 12-3

Opponent ranked in NCAA II Top 25, 0-3

Scoring less than 50 points, 0-0 Scoring 50-59 points, 1-1 Scoring 60-69 points, 4-2 Scoring 70-79 points, 8-3 Scoring 80-89 points, 5-0 Scoring 90-99 points, 1-0 Scoring 100 points or more, 0-0

Allowing 50 points or less, 3-0 Allowing 50-59 points, 4-0 Allowing 60-69 points, 9-0 Allowing 70-79 points, 3-4 Allowing 80-89 points, 0-2 Allowing 90-99 points, 0-0 Allowing 100 points or more, 0-0

Game is decided by 1-4 points, 1-1 Game is decided by 5-10 points, 5-2 Game is decided by 11 or more points, 13-3

Playing a day game, 1-2 Playing a night game, 18-4

In November, 3-1 In December, 6-1 In January, 5-2 In February, 5-2 In March, 0-0

On Sunday, 0-0 On Monday, 1-0 On Tuesday, 1-0 On Wednesday, 1-0 On Thursday, 6-1 On Friday, 2-2 On Saturday, 8-3