4-1 Western competes at CCAA/GNAC Challenge Classic
Dec. 6, 2004
BELLINGHAM, Wash. -
UPDATE: Having completed a sweep of a four-game home stand, the Western Washington University women's basketball team travels to San Francisco, Calif., this weekend for the California Collegiate Athletic Association/Great Northwest Athletic Conference Challenge Classic, meeting host San Francisco State University on Friday (8 p.m.) and Sonoma State University on Saturday (6 p.m.).
The 4-1 Vikings, who host The Evergreen State College on Monday (Dec. 13, 7 p.m.), defeated Seattle U., 71-58, in a very physical GNAC opener last week. They made 37-of-50 free throws, both school records, which helped offset making just one field goal in the last 15:48 of the contest.
All four of Western's wins have come at home after a season-opening 88-78 overtime loss at Montana State-Billings. The other victories were over Pacific Lutheran, 70-57; Lynn FL, 80-58; and Warner Pacific OR, 77-52.
San Francisco State (1-5) and Sonoma State (0-5) are a combined 1-10 this season. SFSU, which has lost five straight after a season-opening win, is led by 6-1 senior center Bianca Rayford (12.8 ppg, 8.2 rpg). Sonoma State, which meets No.3-ranked Seattle Pacific on Friday, is paced by 5-10 senior guard Tara Whiteside (10.4 ppg, 5.0 rpg), twice a second-team all-CCAA choice.
Leading the Vikings is junior forward Tina Donahue (Stanwood), who received Women's Division II Bulletin Player of the Month honorable mention for November and is averaging 19.6 points per game. Had it not been for a four-point effort against Pacific Lutheran on a day when she was suffering from a stomach virus and had a root canal, her average would be 23.5.
Donahue, who also is averaging 6.2 rebounds, has shot 16 free throws in each of Western's last two games, and is hitting 86.4 percent (38-of-44) at the line this season.
Reserve sophomore guard Devin Dykstra is averaging 10.6 points and a team-high 2.6 steals. She is shooting 60.9 percent (14-of-23) from the floor, a GNAC-best 66.7 percent (6-of-9) from 3-point range, and 86.4 percent (19-of-22) at the free throw line.
Senior guard Jodi Gerald is averaging 10.0 points on 41.2 percent (7-of-17) 3-point shooting, and is grabbing rebounds at a team-best 8.6 clip.
Western, which is hitting 74.8 percent (104-of-139) of its free throws, is outscoring its opponents by an average of 12.6 points per game and has a 9.4 edge in rebounds.
The Challenge Classic is the first of two CCAA/GNAC tourneys for the Vikings, who are at Seattle (host Seattle Pacific) on Dec. 29-30 to meet Cal Poly Pomona and Cal State L.A.
Dec. 10 (Fri.) at CCAA/GNAC Challenge Classic (host San Francisco State) vs. San Francisco State, 8 p.m. Dec. 11 (Sat.) at CCAA/GNAC Challenge Classic vs. Sonoma State, 6 p.m. Dec. 13 (Mon.) EVERGREEN (Carver Gym), 7 p.m. Dec. 29 (Wed.) at GNAC/CCAA Challenge Classic (host Seattle Pacific) vs. Cal Poly Pomona#, 1 p.m. Dec. 30 (Thu.) at GNAC/CCAA Challenge Classic vs. Cal State L.A., 1 p.m. Jan. 6 (Thu.) at Alaska Fairbanks* (Fairbanks, AK), 7 p.m. Jan. 8 (Sat.) at Alaska Anchorage* (Anchorage, AK), 7 p.m. *Great Northwest Athletic Conference contest #broadcast on KBAI Radio (930 AM - Bellingham) and internet (wwuvikings.com)
THREE-DOT NOTES: Donahue received Women's Division II Bulletin Player of the Month honorable mention for November ... Western has won outright or tied for the WWU/Lynda Goodrich Classic title in seven of its eight years, winning 15 of 16 games, including the first 11 ... The Vikings have won their last 21 home openers ... Donahue was GNAC Player of the Week for Nov. 21-27, being named MVP of the 8th annual WWU/Lynda Goodrich Classic. Also earning all-tourney honors was Dykstra.
STATS OF INTEREST: Western has held the opposition under 40 percent from the floor in each of its last three games ... Donahue made all 16 of her free throws versus Warner Pacific on 11/27/04, setting a school record for free throws in a game without a miss. She missed her first free throw against Seattle U., ending a string of 21 consecutive makes (school record is 27) ... Western set game marks for free throws made and attempted against Seattle U. on 12/4/04, making 37-of-50 attempts.
GNAC PRESEASON COACHES POLL: Western was picked second in the GNAC Pre-season Coaches Poll. Two-time defending champion Seattle Pacific was the overwhelming choice to take the title, receiving all 10 first-place votes. Seattle Pacific and Western are followed by Central Washington, Northwest Nazarene, Saint Martin's, Alaska Anchorage, Alaska Fairbanks, Seattle, Humboldt State and Western Oregon.
HOME COURT DOMINANCE: The Vikings are 338-57 (85.6 percent) in 33 years at Carver Gym, winning 78 of their last 86 home games (90.7 percent). They have reached double-digit victories at home in each of the last seven years. Western was 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 14th year as head coach at Western after taking a sabbatical last season. She has a 282-106 (72.7 percent) record. Entering this season, her victory total ranks 39th among active coaches in NCAA II, and her winning percentage is 15th. Dolfo's teams have reached post-season play 13 times and have won 20 or more games 11 times. She was named GNAC Coach of the Year in 2004, 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 714 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 25 straight post-season appearances and 32 overall, reaching nationals 14 times. They also have had 25 20-win seasons and 32 overall ... 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). 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.
LAST SEASON: The Vikings finished 21-8, winning 20 games and reaching the national tournament, both for a school-record seventh straight time. They placed second in the GNAC at 13-5 and reached the semifinals of the NCAA II West Regional.
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 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 Arielle White, 5-11, So., Kent, WA/Spanaway/St. Martin's (2.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg) F Tina Donahue**, 6-0, Jr., Stanwood, WA/Stanwood (19.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg, .864 FT Pct.) C Courtney Clapp, 5-11, Jr., Kirkland, WA/Juanita/Santa Rosa CC (7.6 ppg) G Samantha Hubbard**, 5-6, Jr., Carbonado, WA/White River (6.4 ppg, 3.6 apg) G Jodi Gerald***, 5-10, Sr., Puyallup, WA/Cascade Christian (10.0 ppg, 8.6 rpg, .412 3-pt. Pct.)OPPONENT SKETCHES:
SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY: The Gators (1-5) have lost five straight games following a season-opening win. First-year head coach Cristo Ortega, who was the SFSU men's assistant the last six seasons, has two starters back from last year's 14-13 team. They are 6-1 senior center Bianca Rayford (12.8 ppg, 8.2 rpg) and 5-5 senior guard DeAnna Butler (8.2 ppg). Rounding out the first five are 5-9 junior guard Ashley Haggerty (10.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg), 5-11 junior forward Leslie Miller (8.5 ppg, 2.0 spg), a transfer from Allan Hancock JC where she was a two-time first-team all-league pick; and 5-4 freshman guard Virginia Kudritzki. Western holds a 4-1 series advantage, winning 72-65 last year.
SONOMA STATE UNIVERSITY: The Seawolves (0-5, vs. Seattle Pacific on Dec.10), who lost to Western, 85-71, in a first-round West Regional game last year, return one starter from last year's 17-11 team - 5-10 senior guard Tara Whiteside (10.4 ppg, 5.0 rpg), twice a second-team all-CCAA pick. Leading the newcomers is "sixth man" 5-10 junior guard Jessica Jennings (10.8 ppg), a transfer from Fullerton JC. Two other returnees starting are 6-0 sophomore center Nichola Hester (6.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg) and 5-7 sophomore guard Natalia Worth (6.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg). Completing the first five for Coach Mark Rigby (8th year, 128-74) are two freshmen forwards - 6-1 Lindsay Van Nostrand (7.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg) and 6-0 Genny Anderson (6.8 ppg). Western has not lost in seven previous series meetings, the last two in regional playoff games.
THE EVERGREEN STATE COLLEGE: The Geoducks (2-4, Dec. 10 vs. Linfield, Dec. 11 at Pacific Lutheran) return two starters from last year's 11-22 team. Back for Coach Monica Heuer (4th year, 21-78, overall 32-99, 6 yrs.) are 5-10 sophomore center Jenny Olson (9.8 ppg) and 5-9 senior forward Heather Hyde (8.8 ppg, 6.5 rpg). Two newcomers are 5-8 junior guard Dalia Gomez (6.3 ppg) and 5-10 freshman forward Kamrica Ary-Turner (11.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg). Rounding out the first five is 5-4 sophomore guard Ashley Miller (5.2 ppg). TESC is shooting just 37.6 percent from the field, and is averaging just 55.2 points per game. Western has won all five previous series meetings.
Nov. 20 at Billings, MT - Montana State-Billings 88, WESTERN 78 OT After overcoming an 11-point second-half deficit to send the game into overtime, Western scored just one point in the first 3:48 of the extra period as it fell 88-78 to Montana State-Billings at Alterowitz Gymnasium. It was the season opener for both schools, and the first overtime debut in Western history. Gerald led the Vikings with 24 points, hitting 4-of-7 3-pointers, and grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds. Donahue had 23 points for Western, and guard Samantha Hubbard added 16. MSU-Billings got a career and game-high 29 points from 6-foot-3 center Robyn Milne, who made 11-of-15 field goals and connected on all seven of her free throws. She also had a team-high 10 rebounds and a game-high eight assists. Forward Tanya Petersen had 18 points for the Yellowjackets, hitting 12-of-14 free throws. Guard Jenny Langford contributed 17 points, and forward Michelle Lieber had 10 points and eight rebounds. Down by 11 points, 49-38, with 16:38 left in regulation, Western scored 11 straight points over the next five minutes to tie the game at 49-all on a 3-pointer by Gerald at 11:24, and took a 52-51 lead on another Gerald 3-pointer at 10:46. In the final two minutes of regulation, Donahue twice tied the score, once at 67-all with a jumper at 1:54 and again at 69-all with two free throws at 1:22, then gave the Vikings just their second lead of the second half, 71-69, on a jumper with 35 seconds to go. But Petersen hit two free throws at 0:12 to tie the score at 71, and Gerald missed a shot at the buzzer, sending the game into overtime. MSU-Billings scored 13 of the first 14 extra period points, six of them at the free throw line, to lead by 12 points, with 1:18 left, and the closest Western got after that was eight. The Yellowjackets shot 50.9 percent (27-of-53) from the field to Western's 42.5 percent (31-of-73), and MSU-Billings hit 29-of-34 free throws (85.3 percent) to the Vikings' 9-of-12 (75.0). Trailing by four points, 20-16, with 9:01 left in the first half, Western used a 15-6 run, Hubbard scoring eight points, to take a 31-26 advantage with 4:53 left. But MSU-Billings closed the period with a 13-2 run to lead 39-33 at the intermission. The overtime loss snapped a string of three straight extra period wins for the Vikings, whose last overtime loss was 72-71 to the Yellowjackets during the 2002-03 season.
Nov. 23 at Bellingham - WESTERN 70, Pacific Lutheran 57 Dykstra had career highs of 25 points and seven rebounds as Western defeated Pacific Lutheran, 70-57, at Carver Gym. It was the 21st straight home-opening victory for the Vikings. Pacific Lutheran, which fell to 1-2, was led by the 18 points of forward Kelly Turner. Dykstra, who had just two points in Western's season opener and whose previous career high was 16, came off the bench to go 10-of-12 from the field, including 5-of-6 on 3-pointers, and also contributed five assists and three steals. Robinson had 13 points on 6-of-8 field-goal shooting as the Western bench outscored the starters, 40-30. Outside of Dykstra and Robinson, the Vikings, many of whom were battling a flu bug, were just 14-of-50 from the floor. The Lutes held a 9-8 lead with 12:27 left in the first half, but the Vikings ran off 12 straight points to take a 20-9 advantage with eight minutes remaining in the period and never trailed again, leading, 31-25, at halftime. Pacific Lutheran used a run of seven straight points, the last five by Turner, to close within three, 40-37, with just under 13 minutes remaining, but Western responded with six consecutive points of its own and the Lutes never got closer than six after that. Forward Trina Buckingham had 12 points for Pacific Lutheran and center Kezia Long added 11 and had a game-high nine rebounds. Western, which has never lost to the Lutes in 21 series meetings, had a 47-28 advantage in rebounds, with seven Vikings grabbing five rebounds or more.
Nov. 26 at Bellingham - WESTERN 80, Lynn FL 58 Donahue scored 14 of her game-high 17 points in the second half as Western defeated Lynn FL, 80-58, in an opening-round contest of the 8th annual WWU/Lynda Goodrich Classic at Carver Gym. The Vikings also got 12 points and six steals from Dykstra, who made 10 of 12 free throws. Lynn, which fell to 2-1, was led by the 15 points of center Megan Osmer. Forward Cherise George added 12 points and six rebounds for the Fighting Knights. Western took control of the game midway through the first half. Trailing, 9-8, the Vikings held Lynn without a field goal for nearly 10 minutes, opening up a 27-13 lead with 3:54 left in the first half. Western led, 35-20, at halftime. The Fighting Knights closed to within eight, 53-45, with nine minutes left, but Western responded with 10 straight points, six of them by guard Angela Burt, to effectively put the game out of reach. Western was outstanding defensively, forcing 25 Lynn turnovers and holding the Fighting Knights to 32.8 percent (20-of-61) field goal shooting. Lynn shot just 18.8 percent (6-of-32) in the first half, at one point missing 16 consecutive field-goal attempts.
Nov. 27 at Bellingham - WESTERN 77, Warner Pacific 52 Tournament MVP Donahue scored a career-high 31 points and added a game-high 11 rebounds as Western defeated Warner Pacific OR, 77-52, in the final game of the 8th annual WWU/Lynda Goodrich Classic at Carver Gymnasium. The Vikings also got 11 points off the bench from McCarrell. Warner Pacific, which fell to 1-5, was led by the 17 points of forward Anna Frutchey. Guard Angie Sun added 14 points. Donahue was 7-of-11 from the field, making her only 3-point attempt, and set a school record for most free throws without a miss in a game by going 16-of-16 at the line. Warner Pacific led just once, scoring eight straight points to take a 12-10 lead with 11:56 left in the first half. But the Vikings responded with a 20-4 run over the next 10 minutes, Donahue scoring 12 of the points, and held a 34-23 edge at halftime. Western then used a run of 10 straight points early in the second half to extend the margin to 21, 44-23, with 17:34 to go, and never led by less than 14 points after that. The Vikings made 25-of-27 free throws (92.6 percent), and had a 34-26 edge in rebounds.
Dec. 4 at Bellingham - WESTERN 71, Seattle U. 58 Donahue scored a game-high 23 points as Western defeated Seattle U., 71-58, at Carver Gym. It was the Great Northwest Athletic Conference opener for both schools. Donahue was the only player to score in double figures for the Vikings, who got their fourth straight win despite having just one field goal in the last 15 minutes. Guard Jodi Gerald contributed eight points and had a game-high 13 rebounds. Seattle fell to 3-4. Jessica Swenson had 10 points and eight rebounds and Ashley Payne had 10 points for the Redhawks, who have dropped 17 straight series meetings to Western, not beating the Vikings since the 1993-94 season. Western trailed only at 3-2, opening up a 21-9 lead with 8:26 to go in the first half. The Vikings held a 38-26 advantage at halftime, and were up by 20, 48-28, with 17 minutes left. Seattle used a 20-6 run, with center Chantell Burch scoring seven of the points, to close to within six, 54-48, with 10:22 to go. But the Redhawks then went scoreless for more than eight minutes, and Western ran off 12 straight points, 10 of them on free throws, to put the game out of reach. The Vikings overcame season-low 36.4 percent (16-of-44) field-goal shooting by holding Seattle to 32.3 percent (21-of-65) from the field, and by hitting 37-of-50 free throws (74.0 percent). Donahue was 12-of-16 at the line, and also was 5-of-10 from the field.
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