Lexie Bland recorded her second straight 20-point game Saturday vs. NNU (file photo courtesy of WWU Athletics)
Vikings Drop GNAC Road Game at No. 7 NNU
February 24, 2019
NAMPA, Idaho – The Western Washington University women’s basketball team hung with the No. 7 nationally-ranked team in the nation for the first 15 minutes of the game, but then Northwest Nazarene went on a game-changing run prior to halftime to help defeat the Vikings 85-71 Saturday night in Great Northwest Athletic Conference action in the Johnson Sports Center.
WWU and NNU were tied 25-25 with 5:55 remaining in the first half, and then the Nighthawks pulled away going on a 17-2 run to end the half, including a stretch of scoring 17 consecutive points.
The Vikings rallied to start the fourth quarter scoring the first 9 points to trim the deficit to 13 points at 67-54, but the Nighthawks were too strong on senior night pulling away with the 14-point victory.
With the loss WWU is now 9-9 in GNAC play, tied for 5th place with Concordia, and 14-12 overall. NNU won its eighth consecutive game to improve to 25-1 overall and remain in a first-place tie with Alaska Anchorage at 17-1 on conference play.
Junior guard Lexie Bland (Ellensburg, WA) led the Vikings with 20 points on 8-for-16 shooting, recording her second consecutive 20-point game to establish a career high. Bland also scored 20 points on Thursday night at Central Washington.
Sophomore guard Emma Duff (Tumwater, WA/Black Hills) added 15 points on 6-for-13 shooting to reach double-figures in scoring for the eighth time in the last 10 games.
Junior center Anna Schwecke (Evergreen, CO/Clear Creek/Colorado-Colorado Springs) neared a double-double with 10 points (4-for-7 FG) and a team-high 7 rebounds.
NNU was led by 17 points from Danielle Jardine and 15 points from Avery Albrecht. The Nighthawks equaled their season average in scoring with 85 points, and had another balanced scoring effort with seven player scoring at least seven points.
COACH DOLFO REMAINS IN BELLINGHAM
WWU head coach Carmen Dolfo did not travel with the team for both road games this week, as she is resting and recovering in Bellingham after having appendicitis. Dolfo hopes to return to the sidelines for Tuesday’s home game vs. Simon Fraser. Head Assistant Coach Stacey Turrell, in her 7th season as an assistant for the Vikings, led the Vikings Thursday night in Ellensburg.
THE RUN THAT MADE THE DIFFERENCE
WWU and NNU were tied 28-28 with 5:55 remaining in the second quarter, and that’s when the Nighthawks pulled away going on a 17-0 run to lead 45-28. WWU scored a late basket heading into halftime trailing by 15 points 45-30.
The Vikings host Simon Fraser on Tuesday night in Carver Gym with tip-off at 7 pm. It will be Senior Night with the last regular-season home game with Bobbi Westendorf and student assistant coach Amanda Lance honored before the game vs. the Clan.
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