March 6, 2014
BELLINGHAM, Wash. -
Aiming to defend its title, Western Washington University enters this week's fourth annual Great Northwest Athletic Conference Women's Basketball Tournament with a first-round bye as the No.2 seed.
The Vikings, who have reached the championship game all three of the previous years, meet host Saint Martin's in a Friday semifinal at 5:15 p.m. The winner advances to the championship game on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
The GNAC tournament champion earns an automatic berth at the NCAA Division II West Regional on March 14-15, 17, at a site to be determined.
All contests involving WWU can be heard on KBAI Radio (930 AM - kbai930.com) with Doug Lange handling the play-by-play and Mark Scholten providing the color commentary. Video streams and live stats are also available at wwuvikings.com.
WWU, 17-9 overall, placed second in the final GNAC standings at 13-5 behind regular-season champion and tourney No.1-seed Montana State Billings, which meets Simon Fraser in the other semifinal Friday at 7:30 p.m.
In Wednesday's opening-round games, Saint Martin's upset Alaska Anchorage, 58-48, and Simon Fraser defeated Seattle Pacific, 87-79.
The Vikings got a first-round bye with a 72-63 win over Simon Fraser last Saturday coupled with an Alaska Anchorage loss at Montana State Billings.
WWU has won 14 of its last 18 games following a 3-5 start. The Vikings, who have been victorious in six of their last seven contests, have beaten Saint Martin's in both meetings this season and split with Alaska Anchorage, each winning at home.
Besides taking the GNAC tourney title last year, WWU also won the GNAC regular-season and West Regional championships and reached the national semifinals.
WWU finished 9-2 at Carver Gym this season, having a 26-game home court victory string, tied for the second longest in school history, snapped on Jan. 30 by Montana State Billings.
WWU leads the GNAC in field-goal percentage at 46.2, 3-point percentage at 36.6 and blocked shots per game at 5.1. The blocked shots figure ranks 11th nationally in NCAA Division II and the field-goal percentage is 12th.
WWU ranked No.9 in the third NCAA II West Region rating released Wednesday. Montana State Billings was No.1, followed by Cal Poly Pomona No.2, Simon Fraser No.3, Chico State No.4, Alaska Anchorage No.5, Seattle Pacific No.6, Cal State Dominguez Hills No.7, UC San Diego No.8 and Academy of Art No.10.
COLARD 13TH NATIONALLY IN 3-POINTERS: Junior point guard Katie Colard, a first-team GNAC all-star, ranks 13th nationally and tops the GNAC in 3-point makes per game at 2.8. She is scoring at a team-leading 13.9 clip on 40.4 percent (74-of-183) 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 19 and in free-throw shooting at 83.8 percent (57-of-68), and is second in assists at 2.5. She has made a 3-pointer in every game this season and is working on a 31-game streak overall.
HILL DOUBLE-DOUBLES: Senior center Sarah Hill, a second-team GNAC all-star, has had four double-doubles in the last five games and six overall this season. She also has been within one point or one rebound of a double-double on five other occasions.
Hill is averaging 10.4 points and leads the team in rebounds at 9.0 per game and in blocked shots with 50. She grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds against Simon Fraser on March 1.
Hill had a career-best 18 points and 16 rebounds at Western Oregon on Jan. 16 when she earned GNAC Player of the Week honors for Jan. 12-18.
DONALDSON ENJOYING GREAT SECOND HALF: Over the last 15 games, junior forward Sydney Donaldson has averaged 12.1 points on 55.1 percent (75-of-136) floor accuracy and 7.7 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, Donaldson is averaging 9.1 points and is second on the team in rebounds at 6.3 and blocks with 39.
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.
WHITE MAKES THE POINT: Junior point guard Jenni White, who received GNAC all-star honorable mention, is averaging 10.2 points. She paces the Vikings in assists (4.6, 119) and steals (2.1, 55), and is second in 3-point accuracy at 39.0 percent (30-of-77).
White has scored double-figures 16 times this season.
T-N-T STANDOUT FROSH: Two freshmen, forward Tia Briggs and guard Taylor Peacocke, have made major contributions this season for WWU.
Peacocke is averaging 10.9 points, hitting 83.3 percent 67-of-80) of her free throws. She has had 16 double-figure point performances.
Briggs is averaging 9.8 points on team-leading 54.1 percent (105-of-194) floor accuracy. She has scored double figures in eight of the last 11 games and 15 times overall this season.
DOLFO COUNTING DOWN TO 500: WWU head coach Carmen Dolfo, who has a 492-182 record (73.0 percent) in 23 years directing the Vikings, needs just eight more wins to become the first four-year collegiate coach in the state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest (Idaho, Oregon and Washington) to record 500 victories at an institution or universities in those states.
Dolfo Milestone Victories:
No.100 12/01/95, 80-57 vs. Whitworth, Carver Gym
No.200 02/03/00, 76-59 vs. Alaska Anchorage, Carver Gym
No.300 02/24/05, 93-60 at Central Washington, Ellensburg
No.400 11/20/10, 58-24 vs. San Francisco State, Seattle
WWU AT GNAC TOURNAMENT:
Defeated Montana State Billings, 76-49
Lost to Alaska Anchorage, 68-67
Defeated Northwest Nazarene, 66-54
Lost to Alaska Anchorage, 67-52
Defeated Northwest Nazarene, 60-49
Defeated Simon Fraser, 60-40
GNAC Tournament - Marcus Pavilion - Lacey, WA(host Saint Martin's University)
Wednesday, March 5
#3 Alaska Anchorage (19-8) 48 vs. #6 Saint Martin's 58
#4 Simon Fraser 87 vs. #5 Seattle Pacific (18-9) 79
Friday, March 7
#2 Western Washington (17-9) vs. Saint Martin's - 5:15 p.m.#
#1 Montana State Billings (23-5) vs. Simon Fraser - 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 8
Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4 - 7:30 p.m.
NCAA Division II West Regional - (Site to be determined), March 14-15, 17
*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
SAINT MARTIN'S: The Saints, who upset Alaska Anchorage, 58-48, in first-round action Wednesday, are 18-10 overall, They tied for fifth in the GNAC standings at 11-7 and have won their last four games. SMU leads the conference in scoring defense (60.0 avg.) and field-goal percentage defense (36.1). Pacing SMU is 6-1 senior center Chelsea Haskey (12.8 ppg, 6.9 rpg), a second-team GNAC all-star for the second straight year. Three more top returnees are 5-6 junior guard Angela Gelhar (11.0 ppg), who scored 36 points in an 85-78 win at Alaska Anchorage on Jan. 14; 5-10 junior forward Brooke Paulson (7.6 ppg), and 5-10 sophomore forward Mackenzie Taylor (3.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg). A top addition for coach Tim Healy (18th year, 233-245) was 5-11 junior forward Liz Mills (5.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg), a transfer from NCAA I Sacramento State. WWU holds a 61-10 series advantage, winning the last 13 meetings. The Vikings have won both regular-season meetings, 79-73 at Lacey on Jan. 18 and 69-62 at Bellingham on Feb. 13.
MONTANA STATE BILLINGS: The Yellowjackets, who have won 13 of their last 14 games, are 23-6 overall and took the GNAC regular-season title at 15-3. Leading MSUB is 2013-14 GNAC Player of the Year 5-8 senior guard Bobbi Knudsen (17.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 5.9 apg-leads GNAC, 5th nationally), a three-time, first-team conference all-star. A top addition for GNAC Coach of the Year Kevin Woodin (10th year, 173-109) was GNAC Newcomer of the Year 6-4 senior center Chelsea Banis (10.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 56.1 FG Pct.), a transfer from NCAA I Montana. Four more talented returnees, besides Knudsen, were 6-1 junior forward Kayleen Goggins (10.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg), GNAC Defensive Player of the Year 5-10 junior forward Janiel Olson (8.5 ppg, 10.5 rpg-leads GNAC), 5-11 junior forward Quinn Peoples (9.3 ppg) and 5-8 junior guard Annie DePuydt (8.1 ppg). MSUB leads the GNAC in made 3-pointers, averaging 7.8 per game. WWU leads the series, 18-11, but had a nine-game series winning streak snapped with two losses this season, 82-69 at Billings, Mont., on Jan. 4 as Knudsen scored a career-high 37 points, and 71-63 at Bellingham on Jan. 30 as the Vikings' 26-game home court winning streak was snapped.
FAMILY TIES: Two members of this year's team have fathers who played men's basketball at WWU. They are Tia Briggs (Ed - WWU's career leader in blocked shots with 183) and Kiana Gandy (Joe). Sarah Hill's sister, Celeste, was an All-America hoop player for the Vikings, being inducted into the WWU Athletic Hall of Fame last year, and Katie Colard, had a sister, Kelly, who played basketball at WWU, and a brother, Kevin, who competed in football for the Vikings.
THREE-DOT NOTES: Forward Marcel Pounds, who made her fifth start of the campaign against Simon Fraser, has made 7-of-8 field goals over the last three games ... 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 559 points and 549 rebounds during her three-year career. Colard has 781 points and Donaldson 605 points and 406 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.
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, who were 9-2 at home this season, are 447-74 (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 492-182 (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 924 victories (317 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 492.
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 was televised live on ROOT Sports (Comcast Channel 30). 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 Marcel Pounds, 5-8, **Jr.., Bonney Lake, WA/Bonney Lake
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 Taylor Peacocke, 5-9, Fr., Kenmore, WA/Inglemoor/Sacramento State
F Kiana Gandy,5-10, R-Fr., Des Moines, WA/Mount Rainier
F Rachel Albert, 5-10, Fr., Bellingham, WA/Sehome
MOST RECENT GAME SUMMARY:
March 1 - WWU 72, Simon Fraser 63 at Bellingham, WA
Hill celebrated Senior Day with 13 points and a career-high 18 rebounds as WWU concluded its regular season with a 72-63 victory over Simon Fraser in a regionally televised GNAC game at Carver Gym. White scored a team-high 14 points for WWU, which improved to 17-9 overall and 13-5 in the GNAC. The Vikings, who have won six of their last seven games, clinched at least a tie for second in the conference standings. WWU's seed in the GNAC tournament, which begins Wednesday at Lacey, will be determined tonight. If Montana State Billings defeats Alaska Anchorage, the Vikings get a No.2 seed and a first-round bye. SFU fell to 17-8 overall and 12-6 in the GNAC, and will enter the conference tourney as the No.4 seed. The Clan, No.3 in this week's NCAA Division II West Region ranking, was led by the 23 points of Erin Chambers, the GNAC's leading scorer who was 8-of-22 from the field. The score was tied at 62-62 after Chambers fed Rebecca Langmead for a layin with 2:27 left. But Hill got a 3-point play off a putback, then found Donaldson for a layin, putting WWU up by five, 67-62, with 1:22 to go. Chambers then fouled out on a charging call, and the Vikings iced the victory by making 5-of-6 free throws in the final minute. Briggs had 13 points and seven rebounds off the bench for WWU, and Donaldson added 12 points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots as the Vikings notched 12 blocks as a team, just three off the school record. Hill, the lone Viking senior, had her fourth double-double in the last five contests, grabbing 10 of her rebounds at the offensive end. WWU hit five of its first six shots to jump to a 10-0 lead a little over three minutes into the game, and held a 16-6 advantage with 11:50 left in the first half, but SFU used a run of 12 straight points to grab an 18-16 lead with 6:56 remaining. The Vikings held a 32-28 advantage at halftime. WWU finished 9-2 at home this season.
Great Northwest Athletic Conference
LACEY, Wash. - With the 2013-14 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Women's Basketball Championships set to begin Wednesday evening, the stage is set inside Marcus Pavilion on the host campus of Saint Martin's University. Following is a team-by-team preview of this season's women's field.
No. 1 Montana State Billings - Yellowjackets
Head Coach: Kevin Woodin, 10th season (173-109)
Record: 23-6, 15-3 GNAC (1st)
Current Streak: W2
After a first-place season, Montana State Billings reeled in the accolades with four of the five major all-conference awards. Unanimous GNAC Player of the Year Bobbi Knudsen leads the Yellowjackets into the 2013-14 Championships as one of the most dynamic players in the NCAA. Knudsen averages 17.0 points per game and her 5.9 assists per game are fifth-best across Division II. GNAC Defensive Player of the Year Janiel Olson leads the GNAC with 10.4 rebounds per game and is the only player in the conference to average in double figures in that category. The junior suffered an injury during the final stretch of the regular season and will likely miss the 2013-14 Championships.
In her first season in the GNAC, senior Montana State University transfer Chelsea Banis was a unanimous pick for Newcomer of the Year as her 6' 4" frame made her a prolific figure under the hoop for the Yellowjackets. Banis is averaging 10.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per contest this season. MSUB head coach Kevin Woodin was picked as the GNAC Coach of the Year for leading MSUB to the No. 1 overall seed and a first-round bye in the tournament.
Montana State Billings completed a perfect 15-0 regular season at home, and was 6-3 on the road. The Yellowjackets' most recent loss came on the floor of Marcus Pavilion in Lacey, when Saint Martin's snapped MSUB's season-high 11-game winning streak with a 69-59 win on Feb. 22. Overall, the `Jackets have won 13 of their last 14 and 15 of 17 in 2014.
Earning a bye in the first round, MSUB will face the winner of No. 5 seed Seattle Pacific and No. 4 seed Simon Fraser on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Pacific time. MSUB lost in Seattle 63-57 on Jan. 11 in the debut ROOT SPORTS Game of the Week. The `Jackets were held to 26 first-half points in the loss, and MSUB received just 17 points from its bench on the game. MSUB turned the tables nearly a month later, downing SPU 74-59 in Billings thanks to a game-high 21 points from Knudsen and a 16-point nine-rebound performance by Banis.
Against Simon Fraser, the `Jackets took care of business both times with an 81-63 win over the Clan on Jan. 2 in Billings and a more recent 76-61 triumph in Burnaby on Feb. 1.
*Bobbi Knudsen (G, 5-8, Sr., Malta, MT - Malta)
*Chelsea Banis (C, 6-4, Sr., Fairfield, MT - Montana State)
*Kayleen Goggins (F, 6-1, Jr., Shepherd, MT - Shepherd)
*Austin Hanser (G, 5-7, Sr., Billings, MT - Rocky Mountain)
*Alisha Breen (F, 5-10, Fr., Choteau, MT - Choteau)
1st Team - Bobbi Knudsen, Janiel Olson
Honorable Mention - Chelsea Banis, Kayleen Goggins
Red Lion Players of the Week
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. 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 got 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. 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."
No. 2 Western Washington - Vikings
Head Coach: Carmen Dolfo, 23rd season (492-182)
Record: 17-9, 13-5 GNAC (2nd)
Current Streak: W1
Western Washington closed its regular season with wins in six of its final seven contests, and put together a season-long winning streak of six games from Jan. 9-25. On their home court of Sam Carver Gym, the Vikings were 9-2 and extended their lengthy home-court winning streak to 26 games with six straight wins in Bellingham to start the season. On the road, the Vikings put together a solid 7-4 mark.
Katie Colard, a first-team all-GNAC pick is one of the premier 3-point shooters in the conference and leads the Vikings with 13.9 points per game. Her mark of 40.4 percent from long range is third-best in the conference, and she is shooting a GNAC fourth-best 83.8 percent from the foul line.
One of the most prominent post players in the GNAC this season has been Sarah Hill, who is third in the GNAC with 9.0 rebounds per game and is averaging 10.4 points per game for the Vikings. The senior also has a team-high 50 blocks, and her average of 1.9 per game is fourth-best in the conference. Hills six double-doubles this season are fourth-most in the GNAC.
Taylor Peacocke (10.4 ppg), and junior Jenni White (10.2 ppg) are WWU's other players averaging in double-figures in the scoring department, and White leads the team with 119 assists and has a GNAC fourth-best 4.6 per game. As a team, the Vikings score the second-most points in the conference with 74.5 per contest, thanks to a GNAC-best field goal percentage of 46.2.
WWU awaits the winner of No. 6 seed Saint Martin's and No. 3 seed Alaska Anchorage on Friday at 5:15 p.m. Pacific time. Against the Saints this season, WWU is 2-0, winning the first game 79-73 on Jan. 18 in Lacey and repeating the feat with a 69-52 win in Bellingham on Feb. 13.
The Vikings took care of UAA the first time the teams met in Bellingham with a 76-70 win on Jan. 23. In Anchorage, the Seawolves topped WWU with a 79-75 result on Feb. 22. Colard scored a game-high 23 points on 4-of-7 shooting and Hill had a big game with 12 points, 16 rebounds and three blocks in the loss.
*Sarah Hill (F, 6-3, Sr., Richmond, VA - Maryland-Baltimore County)
*Katie Colard (G, 5-9, Jr., McCleary, WA - Elma)
*Jenni White (G, 5-5, Jr., Spokane, WA - East Valley)
*Taylor Peacocke (G, 5-9, Fr., Kenmore, WA - Sacramento State)
*Sydney Donaldson (F, 6-0, Jr., Edmonds, WA - Edmonds-Woodway)
First Team - Katie Colard.
Second Team - Sarah Hill
Honorable Mention - Jenni White
Red Lion Players of the Week
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 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.
No. 3 Alaska Anchorage - Seawolves
Head Coach: Ryan McCarthy, 2nd season (36-17)
Record: 19-7, 12-6 GNAC (3rd)
Current Streak: L1
Finishing the season winning five of its final six games, Alaska Anchorage earned the No. 3 seed and will face No. 6 Saint Martin's in the first round of the Championships. UAA opened up the season by winning nine of its first 10 games and finished the regular season at 12-2 at home and 7-5 away from the Wells Fargo Complex.
Leading the Seawolves in the scoring department is Alli Madison, who is averaging 13.2 points and adds 4.0 rebounds per game. Kylie Burns averages 12.2 points per game and a team-high 6.8 rebounds, and freshman Kiki Robertson has burst onto the collegiate scene with 10.8 points, a team-high 132 assists, and an NCAA fourth-best 3.31 steals per game. Jessica Madison is another top player with 11.2 points per game, and Jenna Buchanan is third in the GNAC in 3-point shooting at 42.3 percent.
UAA faces host Saint Martin's in the Quarterfinals on Wednesday, and will seek to defeat the only GNAC team that it lost to twice this season. On Jan. 11 in Anchorage, the Saints got the better of UAA in an 85-78 win as Burns led the way with 17 points and Robertson added 14 points, four assists and a pair of steals. In the teams' most recent meeting, the Saints held UAA to its lowest point total of the season, as SMU won by 10 56-46 on Feb. 6 in Lacey.
*Jenna Buchanan (G, 5-8, So., Galena, AK - Galena)
*Alysha Devine (F, 6-0, Fr., Wasilla, AK - Wasilla)
*Kiki Robertson (G, 5-7, Fr., Honolulu, HI - Mid-Pacific Institute)
*Jessica Madison (G, 5-8, So., Port Angeles, WA - Port Angeles)
*Kylie Burns (F, 5-9, Sr., Kansas City, KS - Bishop Ward)
Second Team - Kylie Burns, Kiki Robertson
Red Lion Players of the Week
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.
No. 4 Simon Fraser - Clan
Head Coach: Bruce Langford, 13th season (322-78)
Record: 17-8, 12-6 (4th in GNAC)
Current Streak: L1
Following the play of GNAC-leading scorer Erin Chambers all season long, Simon Fraser won six games in a row after losing its season-opener and went 11-2 at home. SFU maintained a 6-5 record on the road, and won eight games in a nine-game stretch during January and February. SFU fell to Western Washington 72-63 on the final day of the regular season, settling for the No. 4 seed heading into the tournament.
Chambers was a unanimous first-team all-GNAC pick after averaging 22.7 points and ranking eighth across Division II in that category. Chambers also averages 4.2 rebounds and is shooting 83.2 percent from the foul line. Senior Rebecca Langmead leads the GNAC in blocks per game with 2.2, as she has totaled 56 this season. Katie Lowen is the other Clan player to average in double figures with 11.0 points per game and Meg Wilson leads the team with seven rebounds per contest.
Simon Fraser ranks seventh in the GNAC in scoring margin at plus-3.3, and the Clan shoot 42.5 percent from the field. SFU is one of the best teams in Division II at defending against the 3-point shot, holding opponents to 25.1 percent from beyond the arc (8th in NCAA). SFU also ranks second in the GNAC in assists per game with 15.8.
The Clan take on Seattle Pacific in the Quarterfinals of the GNAC Championships and will look for a repeat of their most recent 77-68 win over the Falcons on Jan. 30. In that contest, Lowen had a game-high 23 points and Chambers added 20 to pace the Clan. SFU also got the best of SPU when the teams met on Jan. 4 in Seattle, as the Clan escaped with a narrow 63-60 result. Chambers (15) and Lowen (14) were also the top-two scorers in that game for SFU.
*Erin Chambers (G/F, 6-1, Jr., Mission, BC - Heritage Park)
*Chelsea Reist (F, 6-2, Sr., Mission, BC - Mission)
*Rebecca Langmead (F, 6-5, Sr., Torbay, NL - Gonzaga)
*Kia Van Laare (G, 5-7, Sr., New Westminster, BC - New Westminster)
*Marie-Line Petit (G, 5-6, Sr., Bergeronnes, QC - Ste. Foy CEGEP)
First Team - Erin Chambers.
Honorable Mention - Katie Lowen.
Red Lion Players of the Week
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.
No. 5 Seattle Pacific - Falcons
Head Coach: Julie Heisey, 7th season (161-42)
Record: 18-8, 11-7 GNAC (T-5th)
Current Streak: W1
Entering the season picked to finish second in the GNAC preseason coaches' poll, SPU lost three of its first four GNAC games before responding with a five-game winning streak during January. The Falcons were 8-5 at home and even better at 8-3 away from Brougham Pavilion. SPU won 3-of-4 to close the season, as its only loss down the stretch was a 76-65 setback to Alaska Anchorage on Feb. 27.
SPU is led by GNAC second-leading scorer and rebounder Katie Benson, who averages 19.4 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. The senior was a unanimous first-team all-GNAC pick, and also led the team in blocks (38) and was second in steals (48). Suzanna Ohlsen is averaging 13.9 points per game and is shooting and NCAA fifth-best 91.1 percent from the foul line. Betsy Kingma has been another asset for the Falcons, averaging 9.6 points and shooting 35 percent from 3-point range.
As a team, SPU has the fourth-best scoring margin in the GNAC at plus-5.5, and is second from the foul line at 75.3 percent. The Falcons are also second in rebounding margin at plus-3.2 and blocks per game with 4.7.
Against Quarterfinal opponent Simon Fraser this season, SPU has lost a pair of close games, with the first contest of the year in Seattle on Jan. 4 being a tough three-point setback. Benson excelled with 25 points, six rebounds, two steals a block and an assist in the contest, and Ohlsen added 14 points in the loss. In SPU's latest loss to the Clan, Benson again had a big game with 23 points, eight rebounds, two blocks and two assists, and Ohlsen shot 6-for-12 from the field for 16 points.
*Hannah Rodrigues (F/G, 5-10, Fr., Eugene, OR - Sheldon)
*Katie Benson (F, 6-2, Sr., Snohomish, WA - Snohomish)
*Maddey Pflaumer (F, 5-11, So., Issaquah, WA - Issaquah)
*Suzanna Ohlsen (G, 5-7, Jr., Monroe, WA - Monroe)
*Betsy Kingma (G, 5-11, Jr., Bellevue, WA - Newport)
First Team - Katie Benson.
Second Team - Suzanna Ohlsen.
Red Lion Players of the Week
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. 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 Feb. 17-23 - Suzanna Ohlsen, Seattle Pacific (G, 5-7, Jr., Monroe, WA - Monroe) pumped in a career-high 25 points - accounting for nearly half of the Falcons' total of 54 - and also grabbed a career-high eight rebounds on Thursday night, leading them to a 54-44 victory at Saint Martin's. Ohlsen hit 10-of-12 from the floor, including 3-of-4 from downtown, handed out three assists, and had four steals - converting all four into coast-to-coast lay-ups, and scored seven points during a decisive 10-0 run that snapped a 28-28 tie and put SPU in front for good at 38-28. She followed that with 12 points, six rebounds, five assists, and one steal on Saturday as the Falcons won at Western Oregon, 76-64. Ohlsen also hit all four of her free throws for the week, extending her streak to 31 in a row and pushing her GNAC-leading average above 90 percent to .904.
No. 6 Saint Martin's - Saints
Head Coach: Tim Healy, 18th season (232-245)
Record: 17-10, 11-7 GNAC (T-5th)
Current Streak: W3
Saint Martin's enters the GNAC tournament as the hottest team, having won three games in a row heading into Wednesday's Quarterfinal game against No. 3 Alaska Anchorage. The Saints got off to a quick start in GNAC play, winning their first three conference games and five of their first six. Head coach Tim Healy earned GNAC Coach of the Month honors for February as he piloted SMU to five wins including an upset of No. 1 Montana State Billings that clinched the Saints' first-ever GNAC tournament berth.
Senior Chelsea Haskey leads the Saints in scoring with 13.0 points per game and rebounding with 6.8 boards. Haskey is also tied for the team lead in blocks with 32 and leads in assists with 40. Megan Wiedeman has blossomed into a key player for the Saints as of late, as she is averaging 6.7 rebounds and six points, and is tied with Haskey for the team lead in blocks with 32.
AnAngela Gelhar is SMU's other double-figure scorer with 10.6 points per game, and her 36 steals are the second most on the team. Jordyn Richardson has been a key for the Saints from 3-point range, shooting a GNAC-high 43.4 percent (33-for-76) from downtown this season.
As a team, the Saints have built their game around their defense, as SMU allows a GNAC-low 60.4 points per game. Those numbers elevate at home, as SMU is even stingier at 54.1 points allowed when inside Marcus Pavilion.
The last time the Saints and Seawolves met was on Feb. 6 in Lacey when SMU held a top-10 NCAA team in scoring to its season low in a 56-46 win over UAA. Haskey had 13 points, five rebounds, three steals, two blocks and two assists in the victory, and Gelhar added a dozen more points. The first time the teams met in Anchorage on Jan. 11, Gelhar erupted for a career-high 36 points on 6-of-9 from 3-point range as the Saints ramped up their scoring in the 85-78 win.
*Brooke Paulson (F, 5-10, Jr., Buckley, WA - White River)
*Megan Wiedeman (F, 6-0, So., Sammamish, WA - Skyline)
*Chelsea Haskey (F, 6-1, Sr., Olympia, WA - Black Hills)
*Jori Skorpik (G, 5-2, Jr., Kennewick, WA - Kamiakin)
*Angela Gelhar (G, 5-6, Jr., Vancouver, WA - Prairie)
Second Team - Chelsea Haskey.
Red Lion Players of the Week
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 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.
Great Northwest Athletic Conference
2013-14 Women's Basketball Report 17 Week 16 (March 4, 2014)
W L W L H A N
xy-MSU Billings 15 3 23 6 15-0 6-3 2-3
x-Western Washington 13 5 17 9 9-2 7-5 1-2
x-Alaska Anchorage 12 6 19 7 12-2 7-5 0-0
x-Simon Fraser 12 6 17 8 11-2 6-5 0-1
x-Seattle Pacific 11 7 18 8 8-4 7-4 3-0
x-Saint Martin's 11 7 17 10 10-2 6-5 1-3
Northwest Nazarene 8 10 15 11 11-5 4-6 0-0
Alaska Fairbanks 3 15 9 17 5-8 4-9 0-0
Western Oregon 3 15 6 20 5-10 1-8 0-2
Central Washington 2 16 7 19 4-9 1-8 2-2
x-clinched postseason berth y-clinched regular season title
LAST WEEK: Thursday - Saint Martin's 59 at Northwest Nazarene 50; Western Oregon 58 at Central Washington 74; Alaska Fairbanks 77 at Montana State Billings 104; Alaska Anchorage 76 at Seattle Pacific 65 Saturday - Simon Fraser 63 at Western Washington 72; Western Oregon 57 at Northwest Nazarene 74; Saint Martin's 59 at Central Washington 52; Alaska Anchorage 72 at Montana State Billings 75; Alaska Fairbanks 56 at Seattle Pacific 69.
THIS WEEK: GNAC Championships (Saint Martin's University, Lacey, Wash.): Wednesday - #6 Saint Martin's vs #3 Alaska Anchorage, 5:15 p.m.; #5 Seattle Pacific vs #4 Simon Fraser, 7:30 p.m. Friday - #6/#3 Winner vs. #2 Western Washington, 5:15 p.m.; #5/#4 Winnver vs #1 Montana State Billings, 7:30 p.m. Saturday - GNAC Championship Game, 7:30 p.m.
POLLS: WBCA (March 4) - None ranked.
NCAA STATISTICS (Through March 2)
TEAM (Top 30): Scoring Offense - 9. Alaska Anchorage (81.8) Scoring Defense - 26. Saint Martin's (60.4) Scoring Margin - 21. Alaska Anchorage (12.4) 27. Montana State Billings (10.8) F.G. Pct. - 12. Western Washington (46.2) F.T. Pct. - 4. Northwest Nazarene (79.0) Rbnd. Margin - 13. Montana State Billings (8.2) 3-Pt. F.G./Gm. - 17. Montana State Billings (7.8) 3-Pt. F.G. Pct. - 22. Western Washington (36.6) W-L-T Pct. - 29. Montana State Billings (.793) Ast./Gm. - 12. Alaska Anchorage (17.4) Blks./Gm. - 11. Western Washington (5.1) 21. Seattle Pacific (4.7) 24. Simon Fraser (4.7) Stls./Gm. - 2. Alaska Anchorage (14.7) 29. Northwest Nazarene (10.6) T.O./Gm. - 4. Montana State Billings (12.3) Fls./Gm. - 3. Montana State Billings (14.4) Ast.-T.O. Ratio - 13. Montana State Billings (1.17) T.O. Margin - 4. Alaska Anchorage (7.42) 30. Northwest Nazarene (3.5) 3-Pt. F.G. Def. - 8. Simon Fraser (25.1) 29. Saint Martin's (27.3).
INDIVIDUAL (Top 30): Pts./Gm. - Erin Chambers, SFU (22.7) Rbnd./Gm. - 23. Janiel Olson, MSUB (10.4) Ast./Gm. - 5. Bobbi Knudsen, MSUB (5.9) 16. Kiki Robertson, UAA (5.1) 19. Ally Schmitt, CWU (5.0) Blks./Gm. - 25. Rebecca Langmead, SFU (2.24) Stls./Gm. - 4. Kiki Robertson, UAA (3.31) 6. Taylor Simmons, NNU (3.27) F.G. Pct. - 25. Jordan Wilson, UAF (55.2) F.T. Pct. - 5. Suzanna Ohlsen, SPU (91.1) 9. Chelsie Luke, NNU (89.7) 3-Pt. F.G./Gm. - 13. Katie Colard, WWU (2.85) Ast.-T.O. Ratio - 20. Bobbi Knudsen, MSUB (2.04).
DOUBLE-DOUBLES (Through March 4): 8 - Katie Benson, SPU 7 - Dana Goularte, WOU; Megan Hingston, NNU 6 - Sarah Hill, WWU 4 - Chelsea Haskey, SMU; Rebecca Langmead, SFU; Janiel Olson, MSUB; Jasmine Parker, CWU; Jordan Wilson, UAF 3 - Sydney Donaldson, WWU; Bobbi Knudsen, MSUB; Jessica VanDyke, CWU; Meg Wilson, SFU 2 - five with 1 - nine with.