Sophomore forward Kelsey Rogers recorded her GNAC-leading fifth 20-point game of the season. PHOTO: WWU Athletics
Vikings Fall to Concordia 70-62 in GNAC Play
January 11, 2019
BELLINGHAM, Wash. – The Western Washington University women’s basketball team let a second-half lead slip away in a 70-62 loss against Concordia University Thursday evening in Great Northwest Athletic Conference action on WECU Court in Carver Gym.
WWU led 52-49 heading into the final quarter, and built a 13-point lead midway through the third quarter, but was clipped down the stretch being out-scored 21-10 in the final quarter by the Cavaliers.
The Vikings dropped their second consecutive game to fall to 8-5 overall and 3-2 in GNAC play. Concordia snapped a four-game losing streak to improve to 6-7 overall and gained its first conference win of the year to move to 1-4.
Sophomore forward Kelsey Rogers (Bothell, WA/Lynnwood) led the Vikings with 22 points on 11-for-17 shooting while playing a team-high 37 minutes. She recorded her GNAC-leading fifth 20-point game of the season and increased her season scoring average to 15.7 points per game.
Sophomore guard Gracie Castaneda (Arlington, WA) also reached double-digits with 10 points, and contributed 6 rebounds and 2 assists. Junior center Anna Schwecke (Evergreen, CO/Clear Creek/Colorado-Colorado Springs) grabbed a game-high-tying 11 rebounds.
Concordia sophomore guard Olivia Vezaldenos scored a game-high 28 points on 8-for-18 shooting, including going 4-for-10 from 3-point range. She scored 12 of her 28 points in the second half. Senior guard Keesha Sarman recorded a 15-point, 11-rebound double-double and helped fuel CU’s 21-point fourth quarter with 9 points.
WWU shot 42.4% from the field, connecting on 25-of-59 shots, but were 4-for-19 from 3-point range (21.1%) and 8-for-13 (61.5%) from the free throw line. The Vikings out-rebounded the Cavaliers 43-26, including a 13-4 advantage in offensive rebounds. Concordia nearly doubled the Vikings in their trips to the free throw line, going 19-for-25 from the charity stripe compared to 8-for-13 for the Vikings.
WWU was dealt just its second loss all-time to Concordia, still leading the all-time series 12-2, but Concordia has won two of the last three in the series dating back to last season.
THE FOURTH QUARTER
Entering the final quarter trailing by just three points, the Cavaliers quickly tied the game at 52-52 on a 3-pointer by Keesha Sarman at the 9:35 mark. Sarman hit a free throw at the 8:56 mark to give Concordia its first lead of the game at 53-52, but WWU answered with a 5-0 run to regain the lead at 57-53. Beginning with an Erin Higbie layup at the 5:33 mark, the Cavaliers used a 10-2 run over a three-minute stretch to take a four-point lead at 63-59. The Vikings were just 2-for-8 from the floor over the final five minutes of the game while taking the eight-point defeat.
GROWING THE LEAD
The Vikings appeared to be in control of the game taking a 13-point lead with 4:10 remaining in the third quarter. But after Kelsey Rogers hit a jumper to give WWU a 50-37 lead, the Cavaliers ended the quarter on a 12-2 run to pull to within three points.
SECOND QUARTER SLOWDOWN
The Cavaliers out-scored the Vikings 16-12 in the second quarter and trailed 32-28 at the half. Concordia ended the quarter on a 9-3 run over the final 3:40 of the half to pull to within four points at the break. WWU was limited to a 28.6 shooting percentage (4-for-14), while Concordia connected at 40.0 percent (6-for-15). Kelsey Rogers scored 6 of her team-high 10 first-half points in the quarter.
OFF TO A GOOD START
WWU held a 20-12 lead at the end of the first quarter, and led by as many as 13 points in the opening period. The Vikings went on a 10-0 run over a two-minute stretch to build the lead to 13 points at 16-3. The Cavaliers answered with a 9-2 run to pull to within 6 points at 18-12. Katrina Gimmaka led the way for WWU with 7 points on 3-for-3 shooting and Kelsey Rogers added 4 points on 2-for-2 shooting. WWU shot 47.1 percent (8-for-17), while holding the Cavaliers to 30.8 percent from the field (4-for-13).
The Vikings return to action on Saturday hosting Western Oregon (5-6, 3-2) with a 7 pm tip-off on WECU Court in Carver Gym. Advanced tickets can be purchased by visiting WWUVikings.com/Tickets and the Carver Gym Box Office will open one hour prior to tip-off.
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