Kelsey Rogers recorded her fourth 20-point game of the season leading the Vikings with 22 points. PHOTO: WWU Athletics

Vikings Hold off Alaska Fairbanks 59-57 to Improve to 3-0 in GNAC

January 4, 2019 

FAIRBANKS, Alaska – Led by 22 points from sophomore forward Kelsey Rogers, the Western Washington University women’s basketball team remained unbeaten in Great Northwest Athletic Conference play with a 59-57 road victory over Alaska Fairbanks Thursday evening on the Alaska Airlines Court.

 

WWU (8-3, 3-0 GNAC) led by as many as 22 points early in the third quarter, but had to hold off a furious Nanooks rally over the final 15 minutes of the game. The Nanooks dropped to 3-6 overall and 0-3 in GNAC play. 

 

Rogers (Bothell, WA/Lynnwood) led all players with 22 points, connecting on 11-of-20 shots for her fourth 20-point game of the season to tie for the most in the conference.

 

Freshman forward Katrina Gimmaka (Everson, WA/Nooksack Valley) added 8 points on 3-for-4 shooting, with sophomore guardEmma Duff (Tumwater, WA/Black Hills) and junior forward Anna Schwecke (Evergreen, CO/Clear Creek/Colorado-Colorado Springs) each adding 7 points. Senior guard Bobbi Westendorf (Auburn, WA/Kentridge/Tacoma CC) led the team with 7 rebounds in 12 minutes of action.

 

Overall the Vikings shot 38.7 percent for the game, going 14-for-32 (43.7%) in the first half and were 10-for-30 (33.3%) in the second half. WWU held a 38-30 advantage in rebounding.

 

The Nanooks had three players reach double-figures in scoring, led by 15 points from guard Angela Murnion and 13 points each from Sabrina Ungaro and Marian Wamsley. The Nanooks shot a shot a season-high 45.8 percent going 22-for-48 from the field.

 

QUICK START

The Vikings jumped out to a 22-10 lead through the first quarter, using a 15-2 run to pull away from the Nanooks. UAF led 8-7 with six minutes remaining the quarter, but a Kelsey Rogers jumper ignited the run to give the Vikings the 12-point lead through the first quarter. Rogers led the Vikings with 6 points on 3-for-7 shooting in the quarter, followed by 5 points from Avery Dykstra (2-for-3 FG) and 4 points from Gracie Castaneda. The Vikings shot 52.9% from the field in the quarter (9-for-17) and out-rebounded UAF 12-7.

 

EXTENDING THE LEAD

WWU extended its lead to 14 points on a 3-pointer by Bobbi Westendorf with 6:48 left in the half. UAF hit baskets on back-to-back possessions, including a 3-pointer by Angela Murnion at the 4:51 mark to cut the deficit to 9 points at 26-17. But the Vikings answered once again, this time going on a 9-0 run to extend the lead to 18 points at 35-17. Emma Duff hit a 3-pointer at the 1:45 mark and Rogers hit a late layup to punctuate the run.

 

HOLDING OFF THE NANOOKS

After the Vikings grew the lead to as many as 22 points at 41-19 early in the third quarter, UAF went on a 11-2 run late in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 12 points at 47-35. The Vikings held a 52-37 lead heading into the final quarter, and that is when the Nanooks stormed back. UAF out-scored the Vikings 20-7 in the final quarter, but couldn’t complete the comeback as Western held on for the two-point victory.

 

UP NEXT

The Vikings continue their Alaskan road trip on Saturday facing No. 14 Alaska Anchorage. The game vs. the Seawolves (10-1, 2-1 GNAC) will start at 7:30 pm AKT (8:30 pm Bellingham time) and can be followed online via live statistical updates and webcast at GNAC.tv.

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