Lexie Bland scored 13 points on 5-for-9 shooting and had a late game-tying layup for the Vikings (WWU Athletics file photo)

Vikings Drop 61-59 Contest at SPU 

January 18, 2019 

SEATTLE, Wash. – The Western Washington University women’s basketball team got off to a scorching start holding a 23-6 lead after the first quarter over Seattle Pacific, but couldn’t hold off the Falcons down the stretch falling 61-59 in a tight Great Northwest Athletic Conference match-up Thursday night in Royal Brougham Pavilion.

 

WWU recorded its third loss in the last four games to drop to 9-6 overall and 4-3 in GNAC play. Seattle Pacific snapped its three-game losing streak to improve to 5-9 overall and is tied with WWU and Simon Fraser for fourth place in the conference with a 4-3 mark in league play. 

 

Sophomore forward Kelsey Rogers (Bothell, WA/Lynnwood) led three Vikings in double figures scoring with 14 points. She added 10 rebounds for her second double-double of the season.

 

Junior guard Lexie Bland (Ellensburg, WA) added 13 points on 5-for-9 shooting and sophomore guard Gracie Castaneda (Arlington, WA) had 11 points on 3-for-5 shooting. 

 

WWU led 23-6 allowing just two field goals in the first quarter, but SPU out-scored the Vikings 24-11 in the second quarter to chip away at what was as many as an 18-point lead by the Vikings. The Falcons pulled ahead early in the third quarter, held off an early fourth-quarter lead by Western, and rallied down the stretch for the victory.

 

Bland tied the game at 59-59 with just over 30-seconds remaining in regulation, but Carly Rataushk hit the game-winning layup on SPU’s last possession with seven seconds on the clock. Rogers game-tying attempt at the buzzer was no good giving the Falcons the narrow victory.

 

The Falcons had three players reach double figures in scoring, led by 17 points from guard Hailee Bennett on 5-for-14 shooting. Jaylee Albert added 11 points and Jade Skidmore had 10 points off the bench.

 

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING

The Vikings shot 37.9% from the field, including 30.0% in the second half (9-for-30)…WWU won the rebounding battle 40-28, including an 11-4 in offensive rebounds…both teams had 22 points in the paint and SPU held an edge 20-16 in points off turnovers…SPU shot 38.5% for the game (20-for-52), but were 18-for-40 (45.0%) in the second, third and fourth quarters…Kelsey Rogersreached double-digits in scoring for the 10th consecutive game and 13th time in 15 games this season (leads team averaging 15.6 points per game)…WWU led for 23:21, SPU held a lead for 14:28 and the game was tied for 2:11.

 

UP NEXT

WWU continues its trip down I-5 on Saturday facing Saint Martin’s (3-12, 1-6) in Marcus Pavilion. Tip-off is set for 7 pm with a live webcast and live statistical updates available via GNAC.tv.

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