WWU Vikings

Western Washington’s Dolfo gets 500th career win

Western Washington University women’s basketball coach Carmen Dolfo notched her 500th victory, as the Vikings defeated University of Southern Indiana 71-50 Friday, Dec. 19, in final-day at the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic in Las Vegas.

Dolfo becomes the first four-year coach in the state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest (Idaho, Oregon and Washington) to reach that milestone at one university. In 24 seasons, she has a 500-187 record, a winning percentage of 72.8. Here .730 winning percentage entering the season ranked her 11th among active NCAA Divison II women’s basketball coaches and 22nd all-time.

“The 500 wins are about a group of coaches and student athletes who have worked very hard for a program and university that they believe in,” said Dolfo, who became the 24th Division II women’s coach to reach that milestone.

“Our women’s basketball program has been very lucky to have a supportive administration and community that has embraced our program and believed that the focus is not just about wins and losses but about growth and development of young women. The milestones that we accomplish in our program are all about ‘We’.”

WWU, which improved to 6-4, was led by guard Katie Colard with 20 points, as she made 6 of 10 3-pointers.

USI had an eight-game winning streak snapped, as it fell to 8-2. The Screaming Eagles were led by forward Mary O’Keefe, who had game highs of 21 points and eight rebounds.

WWU scored 12 straight points, the first six coming on 3-pointers by Colard and Jenni White, over a span of 2:30 to take an 18-4 lead with 11:59 remaining in the first half.

USI got back to within nine, before the Vikings closed the half with eight straight points for a 39-22 lead at halftime.

Following a basket by O’Keefe to begin the second half, WWU scored 10 straight points, including two 3-pointers from Colard, for a 25-point advantage, 49-24. The Vikings’ biggest lead was 28 points, 65-37, with 7:51 to go after another trey by Colard.

WWU shot 52.6 percent (30 of 57) from the field and 57.1 percent (8 of 14) from beyond the arc, while holding USI to 33.3 percent (17 of 51) from the floor.

The win snapped a two-game losing streak for WWU, which had lost 74-71 at Simon Fraser on Dec. 6 and 64-63 in overtime to No.4 West Texas A&M on Thursday, Dec. 18. In between those setbacks, the Vikings won an exhibition game, 75-64, at NCAA Division I Portland State.

WWU takes a break for the Christmas holidays before entertaining nationally No.19 Seattle Pacific in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference contest at 7 p.m. on New Year’s Day.