WWU opens West Regional with fourth meeting against Simon Fraser

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March 11, 2014

NCAA II WEST REGIONAL WEBSITE LIVE STATS AND VIDEO STREAM

BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Making its sixth straight appearance and 15th overall, the Western Washington University women's basketball team is the No.6 seed and will face No.3 seed Simon Fraser University for the fourth time this season in an opening-round game at the West Regional of the NCAA Division II National Tournament on Friday (12 noon) at Pomona, Calif.

All regional contests involving WWU can be heard on KBAI Radio (930 AM - kbai930.com)or KPUG Radio (1170 AM - 1170kpug.com. Video streams and live stats are also available at wwuvikings.com. The defending champion Vikings received an automatic berth by virtue of their second straight Great Northwest Athletic Conference Tournament title. They overcame a 16-point first-half deficit to defeat Simon Fraser, 78-74, in Saturday's final following an 81-71 semifinal victory over host Saint Martin's on Friday.

In its two regular-season meetings with Simon Fraser, WWU lost 62-58 at Burnaby, B.C., on Dec. 7, and was victorious, 72-63, at Bellingham on March 1.

The Vikings also played the Clan four times last season, WWU winning three of those games.

"To say that we kind of know each other is an understatement," said WWU coach Carmen Dolfo (23rd year, 494-182). "We know them and know what to expect and we'll see what adjustments we need to make. We're just really excited to be in it and have this opportunity."

WWU enters the regional with a 19-9 record. The Vikings have won 16 of their last 20 games following a 3-5 start. They placed second in the GNAC regular-season standings at 13-5 to gain a first-round bye at the conference tourney.

With just two starters back from last year's 29-4 team that reached the national semifinals, WWU has gotten hot at the right time, winning eight of its last nine contests. The only loss during that stretch was by four points at Alaska Anchorage.

"It's been pretty incredible and so much fun to see this team develop," Dolfo said. "There were many times during the season where we could have backed off and stopped fighting, but this group didn't. The (GNAC championship) game Saturday was indicative of our whole season. It started out bad and we just didn't say die."

The winner of Friday's WWU vs. Simon Fraser contest faces the winner of the No.2 Montana State Billings (23-7) vs. No.7 Academy of Art (23-7) game played at 2:30p.m. Friday, in a semifinal Saturday at 5 p.m. The championship game is Monday at 7 p.m.

On the other side of the bracket Friday, No.1 Cal Poly Pomona (22-6) faces No.8 Alaska Anchorage (19-8) at 7:30 p.m., and No.4 Cal State Dominguez Hills (20-9) meets No.5 Chico State (18-9) at 5 p.m.. Those two winners play in a semifinal Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

The Vikings are led by shooting guard Katie Colard (Jr., McCleary/Elma), center Sarah Hill (Sr., Richmond, VA/Lloyd C. Bird) and point guard Jenni White (Jr., Spokane/East Valley).

Colard was a first-team GNAC all-star and Hill received second-team honors. White earned honorable mention and was named the GNAC Tournament MVP.

Colard leads WWU at 14.5 points per game, ranking 14th nationally and leading the conference in 3-point shooting at 40.0 percent (78-of-195). She has scored double figures in a team-best 21 games and has made a trey in her last 33 contests.

White is averaging 10.6 points and leads the team in both assists at 4.7 and steals at 2.2. She tied her career high with nine assists in the conference tourney semifinal win over Saint Martin's.

Colard scored 44 points in the two GNAC tourney wins and White had 32, hitting 13-of-21 field goals (61.9 percent).

"I was just so excited for Jenni (White)," said Dolfo. "To see that determination come out of her and to realize that she can take over a game was really neat. And Katie (Colard) totally stepped up.

Hill is averaging 10.1 points and a team-leading 8.9 rebounds and 51 blocked shots. She has had six double-doubles this season in points and rebounds and had near misses in five other games.

Completing the Vikings' starting lineup are forward Sydney Donaldson (Jr., Edmonds/Edmonds-Woodway), who is averaging 9.3 points and 6.5 rebounds, and forward Marcel Pounds (Jr., Bonney Lake), who has been playing stalwart defense and has hit 8-of-10 shots from the floor over the last five games.

WWU has gotten outstanding performances off the bench from two freshmen. Guard Taylor Peacocke (Kenmore/Inglemoor) is averaging 11.0 points, having her first career double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds in Saturday's win over Simon Fraser. Forward Tia Briggs (Tacoma/Wilson) is averaging 9.6 points on team-best 52.9 percent (110-of-208) field-goal accuracy.

"This team ranks very high on my list for what it has accomplished," Dolfo said. "Just to know how far we've come, having only nine players all year and how they've hung in there and never quit."

Simon Fraser, 19-9, has split its last six games, two of the losses being to WWU. The Clan is led by junior forward Erin Chambers, one of the top 10 scorers in the nation at 22.6.

Simon Fraser ranks 10th nationally in 3-point percentage defense at 25.4. WWU holds a 43-33 series advantage over the Clan, winning 10 of the last 12 meetings.

A win over Simon Fraser would give the Vikings a fifth straight 20-win season at regionals. It would be the 18th in Dolfo's 23 seasons as head coach, and the 32nd in the 43-year history of the program.

COLARD FOR THREE!: Junior point guard Katie Colard, a first-team GNAC all-star, ranks 16th nationally and tops the GNAC in 3-point makes per game at 2.8. She is scoring at a team-leading 14.5 clip on 40.0 percent (78-of-195) 3-point accuracy.

Colard, who scored 44 points in WWU's two GNAC tourney victories, 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. In all, Colard has connected on three or more 3-pointers 16 times.

Colard leads the team in double-figure scoring games with 21, scoring 20 or more in four of the last five contests, and is second in assists at 2.4 and in free-throw shooting at 81.7 percent (67-of-82), She has made a 3-pointer in every game this season and is working on a 33-game streak overall.

HILL DOUBLES: Senior center Sarah Hill, a second-team GNAC all-star, has had six double-doubles this season. She also has been within one point or one rebound of a double-double on five other occasions.

Hill is averaging 10.1 points and leads the team in rebounds at 8.9 per game and in blocked shots with 51. 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 17 games, junior forward Sydney Donaldson has averaged 12.1 points on 53.8 percent (84-of-156) 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, Donaldson is averaging 9.3 points and is second on the team in rebounds at 6.5 and blocks with 43.

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 Tournament MVP honors and league all-star honorable mention, is averaging 10.6 points. She paces the Vikings in assists (4.7, 132) and steals (2.2, 61), and is second in 3-point accuracy at 39.5 percent (32-of-81).

White has scored double-figure points 18 times this season and is working on a string of five straight. She tied her career high with nine assists versus Saint Martin's on March 7.

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 11.0 points, hitting 82.1 percent (78-of-95) of her free throws. She has had 18 double-figure point performances. In the GNAC tourney title game against Simon Fraser, Peacocke had her first collegiate double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Briggs is averaging 9.6 points on team-leading 52.9 percent (110-of-208) floor accuracy. She has scored double figures in eight of the last 13 games and 15 times overall this season.

NATIONAL STATS: WWU ranks 10th nationally among NCAA II statistics leaders in blocked shots at 5.1, 12th in field-goal percentage at 46.3 and 19th in in 3-point percentage at 36.8.

DOLFO COUNTING DOWN TO 500: WWU head coach Carmen Dolfo, who has a 494-182 record (73.1 percent) in 23 years directing the Vikings, needs just six 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
No.500

SIMON FRASER: The Clan, 19-9 overall, tied for third place in the GNAC standings at 12-6. Three returning starters for coach Bruce Langford (12th year, 324-79) from last year's 25-6 team are GNAC first-team all-star 6-1 junior forward Erin Chambers (22.6 ppg-ranks 7th nat., 4.3 rpg), 5-6 junior guard Katie Lowen (11.3 ppg) and 6-2 senior forward Chelsea Reist (7.1 ppg). Three other talented returnees are 5-6 senior guard Marie-Line Petit (8.2 ppg), 6-1 sophomore forward Meg Wilson (7.1 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 62.2 FG Pct.) and 6-5 senior forward Rebecca Langmead (6.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg). SFU is 10th nationally in 3-point percentage defense at 25.4. WWU holds a 43-33 series advantage, winning 10 of the last 12 meetings. The Vikings split the two regular-season meetings, losing 62-58 at Burnaby, B.C., on Dec. 7, and winning 72-63 at Bellingham on March 1. The Vikings won 78-74 over SFU in the GNAC tourney final. WWU and the Clan also met four times last season, the Vikings winning three of those.

BORDER BATTLE: WWU has won 10 of 12 meetings with Simon Fraser since the Clan joined the NCAA II ranks following a 62-58 loss at Burnaby, B.C., on Dec. 7. The two schools had not met the previous 11 seasons after the Vikings posted a slight advantage, 33-30, in the first 27 years of the series which began in 1971. During that stretch, SFU had an 8-7 edge over WWU in regional/district/ conference championships

MONTANA STATE BILLINGS: The 23-7 Yellowjackets, who had won 13 of their last 14 games, lost 85-74 to Simon Fraser in a GNAC tourney semifinal last Friday. They 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 (17.2 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, 173-110) was GNAC Newcomer of the Year 6-4 senior center Chelsea Banis (10.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 56.1 FG Pct.), a transfer from NCAA I Montana. Four more talented returnees, besides Knudsen, are 6-1 junior forward Kayleen Goggins (10.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg), GNAC Defensive Player of the Year 5-10 junior forward Janiel Olson (8.5 ppg, 10.4 rpg-leads GNAC), 5-11 junior forward Quinn Peoples (9.2 ppg) and 5-8 junior guard Annie DePuydt (8.1 ppg). Olson recently suffered a serious knee injury. MSUB ranks 12th nationally in rebound margin (7.9) and 15th in 3-point field goals per game (7.8). 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.

ACADEMY OF ART: The Urban Knights, 23-7, won the Pacific West Conference Tournament championship for the second straight year after taking the regular-season title with an 18-2 record. Leading AAU, which has won 21 of 24 games following a 2-4 start, are PacWest Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year 6-4 sophomore Krystal Forthan (19.5 ppg, 12.4 rpg, 47 blocks), a transfer from Louisiana State University where she started as a freshman. Forthan, who has had 16 double-doubles this season, also was the PacWest tourney MVP. Four other PWC all-stars for PacWest Coach of the Year LaNay Larson (3rd year, 62-26) are PacWest Defensive Player of the Year and third-team choice 5-6 sophomore guard Jasmin Guinn (8.8 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 2.2 spg), second-team all-league 5-6 sophomore guard Zoie Sheng (10.7 ppg), third-team all-league 5-6 sophomore guard Regina Camera (11.5 ppg), third-team all-league Sha`Nice Storey (10.6 ppg), 5-9 junior guard Molly O'Brien (10.1 ppg) and 6-0 senior forward Alisa Griggs (8.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg). AAU ranks 13th nationally in scoring average at 79.8 and 20th in steals per game at 11.1. WWU's only meeting with AAU was when it won 70-50 in the first round of last year's regional at Bellingham.

UPCOMING GAMES:

2014 NCAA DIVISION II WEST REGIONAL (host Cal Poly Pomona - Pomona, Calif.)

March 14 (Fri.)
Game #1 - No.3 seed Simon Fraser (19-9) vs. No.6 seed Western Washington (19-9) - 12 noon%
Game #2 - No.2 seed Montana State Billings (23-7) vs. No.7 seed Academy of Art (23-7) - 2:30 p.m.
Game #3 - No.4 seed Cal State Dominguez Hills (20-9) vs. No.5 seed Chico State (18-9) - 5 p.m.
Game #4 - No.1 Cal Poly Pomona (22-6) vs. No.8 seed Alaska Anchorage (19-8) - 7:30 p.m.

March 15 (Sat.) Game #5 - Winner Game #1 vs. Winner Game #2 - 5 p.m.# Game #6 - Winner Game #3 vs. Winner Game #4 - 7:30 p.m.

March 17 (Mon.) Game #7 - Winner Game #5 vs. Winner Game #6 - 7 p.m.

%KBAI Radio (930 AM) #KPUG Radio (1170 AM)

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: 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 585 points and 582 rebounds during her three-year career. Colard has 832 points and Donaldson 641 points and 431 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 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 494-182 (73.1 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 926 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 42 post-season appearances, including one stretch of 28 straight, with two national semifinal and three quarterfinal finishes ... They have made 15 West Regional appearances in their 16 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 494.

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 *letters won

WWU - West Regional and National Tournament Results

1999
West Regional at Davis, Calif. (host UC Davis)
Defeated Seattle Pacific, 77-69 OT, in first round
Lost to Montana State Billings, 70-48, in semifinals

2000 West Regional at Pomona, Calif. (host Cal Poly Pomona) Defeated Alaska Anchorage, 78-59, in semifinals Defeated Cal Poly Pomona, 84-66, in final Elite Eight at Pine Bluff, Ark. (host Arkansas-Pine Bluff) Defeated Slippery Rock PA, 84-67, in quarterfinals Lost to Northern Kentucky, 80-74, in semifinals

2001 West Regional at Pomona, Calif. (host Cal Poly Pomona) Lost to Cal Poly Pomona, 91-85, in semifinals

2002 West Regional at Pomona, Calif. (host Cal Poly Pomona) Defeated Sonoma State, 71-60, in semifinals Lost to Cal Poly Pomona, 71-70, in final

2003 West Regional at Seattle, Wash. (host Seattle Pacific) Lost to Northwest Nazarene, 83-79, in first round

2004 West Regional at Seattle, Wash. (host Seattle Pacific) Defeated Sonoma State, 85-71, in first round Lost to Seattle Pacific, 80-66, in semifinals

2005 West Regional at Seattle, Wash. (host Seattle Pacific) Defeated Cal State Dominguez Hills, 82-74, in first round Lost to Chico State, 85-75, in semifinals

2006 West Regional at Bellingham, Wash. (host WWU) Defeated Northwest Nazarene, 66-54, in first round Lost to Seattle Pacific, 70-50, in semifinals

2007 West Regional at San Diego, Calif. (host UC San Diego) Lost to UC San Diego, 78-45, in first round

2008 - Did not receive berth

2009 West Regional at Seattle, Wash. (host Seattle Pacific) Lost to Humboldt State, 74-64, in first round

2010 West Regional at Seattle, Wash. (host Seattle Pacific) Lost to Chico State, 79-68, in first round

2011 West Regional at Pomona, Calif. (host Cal Poly Pomona) Lost to Alaska Anchorage, 55-48, in first round

2012 West Regional at San Diego, Calif. (host UC San Diego) Defeated Cal State Monterey Bay, 65-58, in first round Lost to UC San Diego, 81-66, in semifinal

2013 West Regional at Bellingham, Wash. (host WWU) Defeated Academy of Art, 70-50, in first round Defeated Cal State Monterey Bay, 71-63, in semifinal Defeated Simon Fraser, 75-58, in final Elite Eight at San Antonio, Texas (host Saint Mary's) Defeated Nova Southeastern FL, 80-76 OT, in quarterfinals Lost to Ashland OH, 66-54, in semifinals

2014 West Regional at Pomona, Calif. (host Cal Poly Pomona)

2014 GNAC Tournament - Marcus Pavilion - Lacey, WA (host Saint Martin's University)

Wednesday, March 5
Game 1
#3 Alaska Anchorage (19-8) 48 vs. #6 Saint Martin's 58
Game 2
#4 Simon Fraser 87 vs. #5 Seattle Pacific (18-9) 79

Friday, March 7 Game 3 #2 Western Washington 81 vs. Saint Martin's (18-11) 71 Game 4 #1 Montana State Billings (23-7) 74 vs. Simon Fraser 85

Saturday, March 8 Game 5 Western Washington (19-9) 78 vs. Simon Fraser (19-9) 74

#broadcast on KBAI Radio (930 AM) and on internet at wwuvikings.com %broadcast on KPUG Radio (1170 AM) and on internet at wwuvikings.com

WWU AT GNAC TOURNAMENT:

2011 Defeated Montana State Billings, 76-49 Lost to Alaska Anchorage, 68-67 2012 Defeated Northwest Nazarene, 66-54 Lost to Alaska Anchorage, 67-52 2013 Defeated Northwest Nazarene, 60-49 Defeated Simon Fraser, 60-40 2014 Defeated Saint Martin's, 81-71 Defeated Simon Fraser, 78-74

MOST RECENT GAME SUMMARIES

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. 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.

March 7 - WWU 81, Saint Martin's 71 at Lacey, Wash. (GNAC semifinal

Colard scored a game-high 23 points and White added 15 points and tied a career high with nine assists as WWU held off host Saint Martin's for an 81-71 semifinal victory at the GNAC Tournament being held at Marcus Pavilion. Donaldson had 17 points and Peacocke came off the bench with 10 for the defending champion Vikings, the No.2 seed who improved to 18-9. Saint Martin's, the No.6 seed, ended its season at 18-11. Megan Wiedeman had 17 points and a game-high 15 rebounds for the Saints, who also got 17 points from Chelsea Haskey. WWU, which never trailed in the contest, built an 18-point lead, 42-24, with two minutes left in the opening half and led by 15, 44-29, at halftime. But Saint Martin's outscored the Vikings, 17-4, in the first 5:44 of the second half to close the margin to two, 48-46. WWU used an 11-5 run with Colard scoring five points for a 59-51 advantage with 8:19 to go and led by 12, 68-56, with 4:41 remaining. The closest the Saints got after that was five on two occasions, the last at 72-67 with 1:20 left before the Vikings made seven of their last eight free throws. WWU shot 58.1 percent (18-of-31) from the field in the first half, including 4-of-7 from 3-point range. The Vikings made 23-of-30 free throws (76.7 percent) in the game, hitting 19-of-24 in the second half. White had eight of her assists in the first half.

March 8 - WWU 78, Simon Fraser 74 at Lacey, WA (GNAC Final)

Colard and White combined for 38 points, lifting WWU to a 78-74 victory over Simon Fraser in the championship game of the fourth annual GNAC Tournament at Marcus Pavilion. It was the second straight GNAC tourney title for the Vikings, who improved to 19-9 despite trailing throughout the first 33 minutes. They earn an automatic berth at the NCAA Division II West Regional on March 14-15 and 17. Colard had 21 points and White, the tournament MVP, added 17 points, four assists and five steals as the Vikings won for the 16th time in the last 20 games. Simon Fraser fell to 19-9 despite a game-high 28 points from forward Erin Chambers. The Clan jumped to a 10-0 lead and never trailed in an opening half where they shot 59.3 percent (16-of-27) from the field. SFU led by as much as 16 in the period and held a 42-32 lead at halftime. Trailing 51-41 with 14 minutes left, the Vikings used an 8-1 run to pull within three, 52-49, with 10:27 left. They eventually took their first lead of the contest, 61-60, on two Briggs free throws with 5:54 to play. The teams then exchanged one-point leads until White put WWU up by three, 71-68, on a driving layin with 2:29 left. Peacocke, who finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds, then extended the gap to five on a spinning 7-foot bank shot. Those baskets were part of a 9-0 run that gave the Vikings a 76-68 lead with 1:09 remaining. SFU pulled within three, 75-72, on a Chambers trey with 48 seconds left, and had a chance to tie after a turnover with 20 seconds remaining, but another turnover ended their possession, and Colard hit one of two free throws with seven seconds left to effectively seal the victory. WWU had a 47-30 rebound advantage. WWU has played in every GNAC tourney final since the event began in 2011.