Freshman Avery Dykstra led WWU’s defensive effort with 6 steals, also contributing 6 assists and 6 points. PHOTO: WWU Athletics

Dominating Defense Leads Vikings to 66-36 Victory Over Alaska

February 3, 2019

BELLINGHAM, Wash. – The Western Washington University women’s basketball team put together one of its best performances of the season in a 66-36 victory over Alaska Fairbanks on Saturday night in Great Northwest Athletic Conference action on WECU Court in Carver Gym. 

 

The Vikings snapped a three-game losing streak with the 30-point victory, improving to 11-9 overall and evened their conference record at 6-6. The Nanooks dropped their 15th consecutive game to drop to 3-15 overall and 0-12 in GNAC play.

 

WWU held the Nanooks to 36 points, the fewest points a GNAC team has allowed in a game this season.

 

Sophomore forward Kelsey Rogers (Bothell, WA/Lynnwood) led four Vikings in double-figure scoring with a game-high 17 points on 7-for-11 shooting. She also had 6 rebounds in 29 minutes of action.

 

Junior center Anna Schwecke (Evergreen, CO/Clear Creek/Colorado-Colorado Springs) added 13 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 blocked shots. Freshman guard Mollie Olson (Napavine, WA) and sophomore guard Gracie Castaneda (Arlington, WA) each had 10 points in the balanced team effort.

 

Overall WWU shot 48.2% (27-for-56) for the third-best shooting performance of the season. WWU added a season-high 17 steals, with freshman guard Avery Dykstra (Lynden, WA/Lynden Christian) leading the way with a career-high 6 steals. Dykstra also 6 assists to go with 6 points in the starting role.

 

“I thought we did a really good job on defense, creating pressure and that fed our offensive effort,” said head coach Carmen Dolfo. “I loved how the team came out tonight and put the last few games behind them, and put together one of the best team performances of the season. A good win to build off of.”

 

Angela Murnion came off the bench to score 8 points and grab 4 rebounds for the Nanooks, tying for the team high in points. Emily Evans added 8 points and 3 assists.

 

DOMINATING DEFENSE

The Vikings held the Nanooks to 36 points, the fewest points allowed by a GNAC team this season (previous was 37, SPU at UAA)…marks the fewest points allowed by a GNAC team since Alaska Anchorage held Saint Martin’s to 31 points on Feb. 16, 2017…lowest scoring total by a WWU opponent since a 60-30 win over St. Mary’s (TX) on Dec. 17, 2010…lowest opponent points total in a GNAC game since WWU held Alaska Fairbanks to 32 points on Feb. 26, 2009.

 

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING

Kelsey Rogers has scored in double-digits in 16 of 20 games this season and is averaging a team-best 14.3 points per game…Anna Schwecke has led the team in rebounds in 10 of 20 games (7.8 rebounds per game)…48.2 field goal percentage trails only 49.2 vs. Minnesota-Crookston and 48.3 vs. Western Oregon for best shooting games of the season…WWU out-scored UAF 38-12 in the paint and held a 20-8 advantage in points off turnovers…WWU’s biggest lead was 32 at the 7:59 mark in the fourth quarter (61-29).

 

LOW-SCORING SECOND HALF

Western held the Nanooks to 9 points in the third quarter, but was also limited to 14 in the 10-minute period. The Vikings carried a 59-27 lead into the final quarter. Both teams scored in single-digits in the fourth quarter with WWU holding a 9-7 advantage, and overall the Vikings and Nanooks combined for 39 points in the second half.

 

NO SECOND QUARTER LETDOWN

WWU continued their furious pace in the second quarter, scoring the first six points and used an 11-3 run to build the lead to 21 points at 33-12. The Vikings went into halftime with a commanding 43-20 lead, fueled by a 53.1% shooting performance (17-for-32) in the first half. Kelsey Rogers scored 8 of her first-half high 11 points in the second quarter on 3-for-4 shooting.

 

FURIOUS FIRST QUARTER

The Vikings and Nanooks were tied 8-8 with 5:35 remaining in the quarter, and then WWU pulled away going on a 14-1 run starting with a Mollie Olson layup at the 4:59 mark. Western was 5-for-6 shooting during the extended run to build a 22-9 lead through the first quarter. The Vikings shot 56.3% in the quarter (9-for-16), with Anna Schwecke, Mollie Olson and Gracie Castaneda all scoring 5 points. UAF was limited to 2-for-12 shooting (16.7%) in the quarter.

 

UP NEXT

The Vikings take back to the road next week visiting Oregon to take on Western Oregon (7-11,  4-8) in Monmouth on Thursday (2/7, 7 pm) and Concordia (10-10, 5-7) in Portland on Saturday (2/9, 2 pm). Both games will feature a live webcast and statistical updates via GNAC.tv.

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