WWU Vikings

WWU women edged by No.1 Alaska Anchorage, 81-78

Western Washington University’s attempt to upset NCAA Division II No.1 University of Alaska Anchorage fell just short as a potential game-tying 3-pointer rimmed out at the buzzer and the Seawolves claimed an 81-78 victory on Saturday, Feb. 21, in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference women’s basketball contest at Sam Carver Gymnasium on the WWU campus.

Kayla Bernsen had a game-high 20 points and Jenni White added 19 for the Vikings, who had a five-game winning streak snapped and fell to 18-8 overall and 12-5 in the GNAC.

Top-ranked UAA improved to 25-1 with its 13th straight victory, and clinched sole possession of first place in the GNAC and the top-seed in the conference tournament at 15-1. Jessica Madison came off the bench to lead five Seawolves in double figures with 16 points, hitting 4-of-5 3-pointers.

Down five, 79-74, inside the final two minutes, WWU pulled to within one as Bernsen hit two free throws with 1:45 left, then scored on a post-up with 26.1 seconds to go, narrowing the margin to one, 79-78.

Kiki Robertson hit one of two free throws for the Seawolves, giving the Vikings a chance to tie, but UAA’s Megan Mullings stopped a Taylor Peacocke (So., Kenmore/Inglemoor) layup attempt with her fourth block.

UAA’s KeKe Wright then hit the first of two free throws with 5.3 seconds left, pushing the margin to three, 81-78, but missed the second. White, who matched a career scoring high, then drove upcourt, eluded a defender to get off an off-balance 3-pointer that rimmed out at the buzzer.

Robertson had 13 points for UAA, which shot 56.6 percent (30 of 53) from the field. Wright and Mullings each had 12 points, and Alysha Devine had 10.

Peacocke had 11 points for WWU, and Katie Colard added 10.

The Vikings trailed by as much as 12 early in the second half, but used a 12-2 run to close the gap to two, 50-48, with 14:24 left, and eventually tied the game at 56-56 on a Bernsen layin with 11:22 remaining.

The Seawolves again went back up by 10 at 71-61 with 5:36 left, but WWU rallied again, closing to within three, 75-72, with 3:03 left after back-to-back 3-pointers by White.

It was the first loss in the last seven contests at Carver Gym for the Vikings, who are 10-3 at home this season.

ALASKA ANCHORAGE 81, WESTERN WASHINGTON 78

ALASKA ANCHORAGE (25-1, 15-1 GNAC)

Madison,Jessica 5-7 2-2 16; Robertson,Kiki 4-10 5-6 13; Mullings,Megan 5-7 2-4 12; Wright,KeKe 4-4 4-7 12; Devine,Alysha 4-7 2-2 10; Buchanan,Jenna 4-8 0-0 9; Madison,Alli 3-9 1-2 7; Afoa,Sierra 1-1 0-0 2; Nelson,Jerica 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 30-53 16-23 81.

WESTERN WASHINGTON (18-8, 12-5 GNAC)

Bernsen,Kayla 8-9 4-7 20; White,Jenni 6-14 4-4 19; Peacocke,Taylor 4-12 3-5 11; Colard,Katie 3-12 2-2 10; Hathaway,Aleisha 2-5 3-4 8; Briggs,Tia 1-5 2-2 4; Donaldson,Sydney 2-6 0-0 4; Albert,Rachel 1-1 0-0 2; Gandy,Kiana 0-4 0-2 0; Pounds,Marcel 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 27-69 18-26 78.

Half: AA 39, WWU 30

3-point field goals — Alaska Anchorage 5-10 (Madison,Jessica 4-5; Buchanan,Jenna 1-3; Devine,Alysha 0-1; Robertson,Kiki 0-1), Western Washington 6-24 (White,Jenni 3-8; Colard,Katie 2-9; Hathaway,Aleisha 1-2; Gandy,Kiana 0-1; Pounds,Marcel 0-1; Peacocke,Taylor 0-3). Fouled out--Alaska Anchorage-Devine,Alysha, Western Washington-Donaldson,Sydney; Bernsen,Kayla. Rebounds--Alaska Anchorage 35 (Wright,KeKe 7), Western Washington 35 (Bernsen,Kayla 11). Assists--Alaska Anchorage 17 (Robertson,Kiki 8), Western Washington 18 (White,Jenni 5; Colard,Katie 5). Total fouls--Alaska Anchorage 20, Western Washington 18. Technical fouls--Alaska Anchorage-None, Western Washington-None. A-963

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