Emma Duff led the Vikings with 19 points in Thursday’s 86-73 loss to No. 1 Northwest Nazarene. PHOTO: WWU Athletics

Vikings Give No. 1 Northwest Nazarene Test in 86-73 Defeat

January 25, 2019 

BELLINGHAM, Wash. – The Western Washington University women’s basketball team gave undefeated and No. 1 nationally-ranked Northwest Nazarene their toughest conference game of the year, but fell 86-73 in Great Northwest Athletic Conference action Thursday night on WECU Court in Carver Gym. 

 

WWU dropped the 13-point decision to fall to 10-7 overall and 5-4 in GNAC play. NNU improved to 17-0 and a perfect 9-0 in GNAC play.

 

Prior to tonight, NNU’s closest conference margin of victory was a 16-point win over Alaska Anchorage. WWU held the Nighthawks to 86 points, nearly two points below their season average of 87.9 that entered the game ranked No. 3 in NCAA Division II.

 

Sophomore guard Emma Duff (Tumwater, WA/Black Hills) led the Vikings with 19 points on 6-for-13 shooting, scoring 14 of her points in the second half (11 in the fourth quarter).

 

Junior center Anna Schwecke (Evergreen, CO/Clear Creek/Colorado-Colorado Springs) added 15 points and 8 rebounds and junior guard Lexie Bland (Ellensburg, WA) had 12 points, 3 assists and 4 steals. Freshman forward Katrina Gimmaka (Everson, WA/Nooksack Valley) grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds to tie for the game-high.

 

NNU had seven players score at least 6 points, led by 17 points each from senior forward Ellie Logan and junior guard Avery Albrecht. Logan, who ranks in the top 10 in GNAC history in scoring, added 10 rebounds for her second double-double of the season.

 

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING

WWU shot 40.3% for the game (25-for-62) and was 7-for-20 (35.0%) from 3-point range…tied for second-most 3-pointers made in a game this season (8 vs. Stanislaus State)…NNU shot 55.3% from the field (26-for-47), including 11-for-21 (52.4%) in the second half (7-for-12 in the fourth quarter)…WWU tied a season high with 14 steals, led by 4 from Lexie Bland…Kelsey Rogers finished with 8 points, having her string of consecutive games scoring in double-digits snapped at 11 straight…Anna Schwecke was 6-for-8 from the field and 13-for-16 over the last two games (55.0%/77-for-140 for the season)…WWU’s defense forced 22 NNU turnovers, the 3rd-most the Nighthawks have recorded this season.

 

THE SECOND HALF

NNU maintained a double-digit lead for the entire second half, with the Vikings closing the gap to 10 points following an 8-0 run in the third quarter. WWU cut into the deficit out-scoring the Nighthawks 17-13 in the third quarter and trailed 61-49 heading into the fourth quarter. NNU expanded its lead to as many 18 points in the fourth quarter and ended up with the 13-point victory.

 

SECOND QUARTER SETBACK

NNU opened the second quarter on a 14-2 run to extend its lead to 14 points at 36-22, and went into the half with a 48-32 lead. The Nighthawks were 8-for-9 from the field in the quarter, including 2-for-2 from beyond the arc, to extend their lead to 16 points heading into the break. WWU was limited to 29.4% shooting in the quarter (5-for-17) and were 1-for-5 from the free throw line. Katrina Gimmaka led WWU with 4 points on 2-for-5 shooting, while Ellie Logan and Avery Albrecht both scored 5 points for NNU. The 26 points scored by NNU were tied for the 2nd-most allowed by WWU in a quarter this season.

 

THE OPENING QUARTER

The Nighthawks opened the game scoring the first 8 points and led by as many as 10 points at 17-7 with midway through the first quarter. But the Vikings answered with a 10-0 run, and took their first lead at 20-19 following a Lexie Bland 3-pointer at the 1:47 mark. NNU scored the final three points of the quarter to take a 22-20 lead after the first 10 minutes of action. Bland led all players with 8 points on 3-for-4 shooting, with Anna Schwecke adding 4 points. The Vikings shot 50.0 percent (8-for-16) in the quarter, while NNU was held to 7-for-17 from the field (41.2%).

 

UP NEXT

The Vikings return to action on Saturday hosting in-state rival Central Washington at 7 pm in Carver Gym.

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