Guard Katie Colard scored a game-high 15 points to lead a balanced attack as nationally ranked Western Washington University defeated Central Washington University 81-56 in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference game on Saturday, Feb. 23, at Sam Carver Gymnasium.
The Vikings, ranked No. 8 in this week's top 25 poll and No. 1 in the West Regional rating, improved to 21-3 overall and clinched at least a share of first place in the GNAC regular-season standings at 15-1.
Simon Fraser remained two games behind in second with a 73-52 triumph over Northwest Nazarene.
CWU fell to 9-15 overall and 4-12 in the GNAC with its eighth loss in the last nine games. Courtney Johnson, Daisy Burke and Ally Schmitt each had 12 points for the Wildcats.
The Wildcats hit six of their first 11 shots from the field and opened up a 12-6 lead just over four minutes into the game, but WWU responded with a run of seven straight points to take a 13-12 lead. The Vikings still led by just one, 24-23, with 5:42 remaining in the first half, but closed the period with an 18-4 run and held a 42-27 lead at halftime.
WWU then opened the second half with an 11-3 charge in the first four minutes to grab a 53-30 lead, and the margin was never less than 20 after that.
Center Britt Harris had 13 points for WWU and forward Trishi Williams added 12. Six players had eight points or more for the Vikings, who were also effective at the defensive end, holding the Wildcats to 34.4 percent (21 of 61) shooting from the field and 18.2 percent (4 of 22) from 3-point range.
The contest was the final regular-season home game for four WWU seniors - Harris, Williams, guard Corinn Waltrip and forward Erika Ramstead.
The Vikings concluded the regular season undefeated at home at 13-0, and have won 17 straight games at Carver Gym over the last two seasons.
WWU has won the last 11 series meetings and 19 of the last 20.
WESTERN WASHINGTON 81, CENTRAL WASHINGTON 56
CENTRAL WASHINGTON (9-15, 4-12 GNAC)
Schmitt,Ally 12; Johnson,Courtney 12; Burke,Daisy 12; Parker,Jasmine 5; Moser,Amber 5; VanDyke,Jessica 4; Stillar,Leslie 3; Fettig,Tayler 3; Matheson,India 0; Caldwell,Nina 0; Martinez,Annie 0; Shine,Hannah 0. Totals 21-61 10-22 56.
WESTERN WASHINGTON (21-3, 15-1 GNAC)
Colard,Katie 15; Harris,Britt 13; Williams,Trishi 12; Waltrip,Corinn 9; Donaldson,Sydney 8; Hill,Sarah 8; Hathaway,Aleisha 6; White,Jenni 4; Benner,Brandi 3; Bernsen,Kayla 2; Pounds,Marcel 1. Totals 28-65 20-33 81.
Half: WWU 42, CWU 27
3-point goals--Central Washington 4-22 (Burke,Daisy 2), Western Washington 5-16 (Colard,Katie 3). Fouled out--Central Washington-Matheson,India, Western Washington-None. Rebounds--Central Washington 41 (Parker,Jasmine 8), Western Washington 49 (Donaldson,Sydney 10). Assists--Central Washington 10 (Shine,Hannah 4), Western Washington 19 (White,Jenni 4). Total fouls--Central Washington 28, Western Washington 19. Technical fouls--Central Washington-None, Western Washington-None. A-738