Vikings meet PLU and NW Missouri State at 10th Annual WWU Lynda Goodrich Classic
Nov. 20, 2006
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Following a season-opening split of two road games, the Western Washington University women's basketball team makes its home debut this weekend at the 10th annual WWU Lynda Goodrich Classic, meeting Pacific Lutheran University on Friday (5 p.m.) and Northwest Missouri State University on Saturday (5 p.m.).
The Vikings, ranked No.16 in the USA Today/Women's Basketball Coaches Association Preseason Coaches top 25, defeated Chadron State NE, 92-69, on Nov. 18 in the consolation game of the Western State College Invitational Tournament. They lost 77-62 to Mesa State CO in their season opener on Nov. 17, just the second time that had happened in 12 years.
Western has an 18-game regular-season home court winning streak on Haggen Court at Sam Carver Gymnasium that dates back to the middle of the 2004-05 campaign. The Vikings are 17-1 at the Goodrich Classic, their only loss coming in the final game of the 2002 tourney.
Guard Mollie Stelmack scored a career-high 26 points in Western's win over Chadron State, making 9-of-15 field goals. She is averaging a team-leading 23.5 points per game on 61.5 percent field goal accuracy (16-of-26).
Junior guard Liz McCarrell is averaging 12.0 points and 5.0 rebounds. Sophomore center Claire Pallansch is averaging 8.0 points and a team-leading 6.5 rebounds, forward Krystal Robinson 8.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and a team-best 3.5 blocks, and 6-0 sophomore center Sarah Schramm 7.5 points and 5.0 rebounds.
The Vikings graduated four starters from last year's 27-2 squad that won the Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship with a perfect 18-0 record and reached the semifinals of the NCAA Division II West Regional. They have made nine straight national appearances and are working on a similar string of 20-win seasons.
The Goodrich classic is named for former Western women's basketball coach and current Viking director of athletics Lynda Goodrich. Goodrich headed the Vikings' hoop program from 1971 to 1990. During that time, she compiled a 411-125 record while directing Western to five national tournament appearances. The Vikings never had a losing season and had 13 20-win campaigns during her 19-year tenure. She was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1986 and was named WWU Sports Impact Person of the Century and inducted into the WWU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999.
Nov. 24 (Fri.) - WWU LYNDA GOODRICH CLASSIC (BELLINGHAM) Game 1 - Saint Martin's University vs. Northwest Missouri State University, 1 p.m. Game 2 - WESTERN vs. Pacific Lutheran University, 5 p.m. Nov. 25 (Sat.) - WWU LYNDA GOODRICH CLASSIC (BELLINGHAM) Game 3 - Saint Martin's vs. Pacific Lutheran, 1 p.m. Game 4 - WESTERN vs. Northwest Missouri State, 5 p.m.# Dec. 5 - NORTHWEST UNIVERSITY, 7 p.m. (BELLINGHAM)Home games (all caps) on Haggen Court at Sam Carver Gymnasium #broadcast on KBAI Radio (930 AM) and via the internet at wwuvikings.com *Great Northwest Athletic Conference contest
THREE-DOT NOTES: Western has posted a 17-1 record at the WWU/Lynda Goodrich tourney, its only loss coming in the final game of the 2002 classic ... The Vikings have won their last 19 GNAC contests ... The season-opening loss to Mesa State CO was just the second in the last 12 years for Western.
HOME COURT DOMINANCE: The Vikings are 360-59 (85.9 percent) in this their 35th year at Carver Gym. Western has reached double-digit victories at home in each of the last nine seasons. Western was 14-1 in 2005-06, 12-1 in 2004-05, 11-2 in 2003-04, 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 DOLFO: Carmen Dolfo is in her 16th year as head coach at Western. She has a 330-113 (74.6 percent) record. Entering this season, Dolfo ranked 14th among active NCAA II coaches in winning percentage and 37th in victories. Dolfo's teams have reached post-season play 15 times and have won 20 or more games 13 times. She was named GNAC Coach of the Year in 2004 and 2006, Northwest small college Coach of the Year in 2000 and Pacific Northwest Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 1995 and 1996. Dolfo was the top Viking assistant for four seasons (95-28, 77.2) and earned All-America honors as a player at Western.
THE TRADITION CONTINUES: With 762 victories in its 36-year history, Western is one of just four NCAA Division II schools that has reached that milestone and 15 nationally in all NCAA divisions ... The Vikings have made 27 straight post-season appearances and 33 overall, reaching nationals 16 times, including one semifinal and three quarterfinal finishes ... They also have had 27 20-win seasons and are working on a string of nine straight ... Western has had 20 winning streaks of 10 or more games with its longest being 20, 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). 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.
RADIO BROADCASTS: Selected Western games are being broadcast this season on KBAI Radio (930 AM) with Doug Lange handling the play-by-play, and either 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 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:
G Mollie Stelmack,5-11,*Sr.,New Westminster.,BC/FranklinPierceNH G India Soo, 5-6, So.-TR, Kamuela, HI/Kamehameha/Idaho State G Liz McCarrell, 5-11, **Jr., Ferndale, WA/Ferndale F Krystal Robinson, 6-2, **Jr., Kent, WA/Kentridge C Claire Pallansch, 6-1, *So., Redmond, WA/Redmond/Oregon StateOPPONENT SKETCHES:
PACIFIC LUTHERAN UNIVERSITY: The Lutes (2-0) return three starters from a 24-4 team that reached the NCAA Division III Sweet 16 and won the Northwest Conference championship with a 14-2 record. Leading the way for coach Gil Rigell (10th year, 183-58) is NWC Player of the Year 5-10 senior forward Nikki Johnson (18.5 ppg, 14.0 rpg) and honorable mention all-league 6-0 junior center Kezia Long (17.0 ppg, 13.0 rpg). Another first-stringer back is 5-9 junior guard Trish Buckingham (5.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg). A big addition is 5-6 junior guard Megan Clarno (14.5 ppg, 5.5 apg), who received a medical redshirt last year. Two graduation losses were first-team all-league guard Kelly Turner (14.8 ppg) and second-team all-league point guard Mallory Mann (6.8 ppg, 6.6 apg). Western has never lost in 22 series meetings.
NORTHWEST MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY: The Bearcats (3-0) are picked to tie for fifth in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association preseason coaches poll after finishing 15-13 last year. Three starters return for coach Gene Steinmeyer (8th year, 98-101; 24th overall, 458-242). They are 6-0 junior center Mandi Schumacher (11.3 ppg, 6.7 rpg), 5-5 junior guard Kelli Nelson (7.7 ppg, 3.1 apg, 2.1 spg) and 5-10 senior guard Katie O'Grady (8.3 ppg). Two more top returnees are a pair of 5-10 sophomore guards - Meghan Brue (13.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg) and Jessica Burton (13.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg). A major graduation loss was Laura Friederich (14.7 ppg). First meeting.
NORTHWEST UNIVERSITY: The NAIA Division II Eagles (4-3, Nov. 21 at Puget Sound, Dec. 1 at Warner Pacific and Dec. 2 at Cascade College) have three starters back from last year's 11-20 team for coach Lori Napier (4th year, 46-57; 5th overall, 53-74). They are 5-10 senior guard Kim Sandberg (12.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg), 5-10 sophomore center Sam McCracken (7.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg) and 6-1 sophomore forward Brittany Bowsher (16.3 ppg). Another top returnee is 5-8 senior forward Rebekah Johnson (14.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg). A major graduation loss was first-team all-Cascade Collegiate Conference center Emilee Eisinger (17.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg). Western has won all five previous meetings.
Nov. 17 - Mesa State 77, WESTERN 62 at Gunnison, CO (Western State Invitational)
Western lost a season opener for just the second time in the last 12 years as it fell 77-62 to Mesa State CO in an opening-round contest at the Western State Invitational Tournament at Paul Wright Gym. The Vikings, who shot just 40.7 percent (22-of-54) from the floor and were outrebounded 41-30, got a game-high 21 points from Stelmack. Scoring 10 points each for Western were Pallansch and Schramm. The game also was the season opener for Mesa State, which had four players score in double figures. Leading that group was guard Lindsay Kame with 17 points and five assists. Forward Allison Piekarski had 16 points and center Cassie Hutto 14 for the Mavericks, and reserve Stephanie Delgado had 10 points and a game-high nine rebounds. Mesa State shot 54.0 percent (27-of-50) from the floor. Western led 35-33 at halftime, with neither team leading by more than six points and the score tied seven times in the opening period. The Vikings were still in front by two, 39-37, two minutes into the second half. But Mesa State went on a 13-4 run, Hutto scoring six points, to take a 52-43 lead with 14:08 remaining. Three times Western closed the gap to five, the last at 65-60 with 4:14 left following a free throw by McCarrell. But the Mavericks scored 12 of the final 14 points to win by double digits.
Nov. 18 - WESTERN 92, Chadron State 69 at Gunnison, CO (Western State Invitational)
Stelmack scored a game and career-high 26 points, 17 in the first half, as Western defeated Chadron State, 92-69, in the consolation game of the Western State Invitational Tournament at Paul Wright Gym. The Vikings also got 16 points and eight rebounds from McCarrell and 13 points and nine rebounds from Robinson. Chadron State, which fell to 0-3, was led by guard Natalyn Cumings with 13 points. Trailing by eight points, 15-7, six minutes into the contest, Western outscored the Eagles, 27-7, over the next 10 minutes to take a 12-point lead, 34-22, with 4:12 left in the first half. Stelmack scored the Vikings' last 13 points during that run and 15 overall as they connected on 11-of-17 shots from the floor. Western, which led 40-30 at halftime, had its lead cut to two, 51-49, in the first 5:36 of the second half. The Vikings responded with a 15-2 run over the next six minutes for a 66-51 advantage with 9:16 remaining. Chadron State never got closer than 12 after that and Western closed out the contest by scoring 12 of the last 16 points during the final 3:46. Hartman scored 11 points for the Vikings, all of them in the second half. Western had a 47-33 rebounding advantage and made 25-of-31 free throws (80.6 percent). Stelmack, who scored 21 points in the loss to Mesa State, was 9-of-15 from the floor, including 2-of-6 3-pointers, and made 6-of-7 free throws. She also had four steals, four rebounds and two assists. Her previous high for points in game was 23 as a freshman at Franklin Pierce College NH.
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