Guard Katie Colard poured in a career-high 34 points helping Western Washington University to overcome a 14-point second-half deficit and claim a 72-67 overtime victory over nationally ranked Seattle Pacific University on Friday, March 6, in a semifinal game at the 5th annual Great Northwest Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Championship Tournament at Alterowitz Gymnasium on the campus of Montana State Billings.
The Vikings, the No. 3 seed in the tourney, improved to 21-8 and face NCAA Division II No. 1-ranked Alaska Anchorage in the championship game Saturday at 4:15 PST. The winner earns an automatic berth in next week’s NCAA Division II National Tournament West Regional.
SPU, the No. 2 seed and ranked No.20 in this week’s USA Today Sports Top 25, fell to 21-6 despite the 24 points and nine rebounds of Aubree Callen.
WWU trailed by 14 points, 50-36, with 11:32 remaining, but used an 18-6 charge, with Colard scoring 11 of the points, to pull to within two, 56-54, with five minutes left.
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SPU pushed the margin back to six, 62-56, inside the final 90 seconds, but the Vikings scored the final six points of regulation to force overtime, tying the score on Colard’s driving layin with 12 seconds left.
WWU then scored the first six points of overtime, four of them by Sydney Donaldson, who had been held scoreless in regulation. Callen responded with five straight points to pull the Falcons within one, 68-67, with 1:04 left, but Tia Briggs scored in the paint, and then Donaldson provided the final margin on two free throws with 21 seconds left.
“I was so proud of our team and how it stepped up, stayed strong and did it together,” WWU head coach Carmen Dolfo said in a news release. “Katie (Colard) was awesome, totally taking over the game and getting us going on that run.”
Colard finished 12 of 22 from the field, including 6-of-11 on 3-pointers. Her six 3-pointers gave her a school-record 257 for her career, one more than Amanda Dunbar (2007-11). The 34 points tie Colard for seventh for a single game in WWU history and are the second-highest mark in the last five seasons.
“I wasn’t ready to be done yet,” Colard said in a news release, “and everybody (on the team) felt the same way.”
The Vikings started quickly, jumping to a 9-0 lead in the first 2:30 of the contest, but SPU rallied and took a 33-24 halftime lead as WWU hit just 6-of-24 shots from the field the rest of the period.
The Falcons, who defeated the Vikings in both regular-season meetings this season, then extended the gap early in the second half, leading by 14 for the first time at 42-28 with 15:52 to play.
Jenni White had 13 points for WWU, which shot 50 percent (18 of 36) from the floor after halftime.
The Vikings will be seeking their third straight GNAC tourney title on Saturday, and have now reached the championship game in all five years the event has been held.
WESTERN WASHINGTON 72, SEATTLE PACIFIC 67 (OT)
WESTERN WASHINGTON (21-8)
Colard,Katie 12-22 4-5 34; White,Jenni 6-15 0-0 13; Briggs,Tia 3-6 2-2 8; Donaldson,Sydney 2-7 2-2 6; Peacocke,Taylor 2-8 2-5 6; Bernsen,Kayla 1-6 1-6 3; Gandy,Kiana 1-1 0-0 2; Hathaway,Aleisha 0-0 0-0 0; Pounds,Marcel 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 27-66 11-20 72.
SEATTLE PACIFIC (21-6)
Callen,Aubree 10-15 1-2 24; Ohlsen,Suzanna 6-14 0-0 13; Rodrigues,Hannah 3-8 0-2 6; Kingma,Betsy 2-9 0-0 6; Hollander,Courtney 3-4 0-0 6; Pflaumer,Maddey 2-8 2-3 6; Grager,Molly 1-5 0-0 2; Lukasiewicz,Stacey 1-2 0-0 2; Shim,Rachel 1-1 0-0 2; McPhee,Jodan 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 29-66 3-7 67.
Half: SPU 33, WWU 24; Reg: 62-62
3-point field goals — Western Washington 7-16 (Colard,Katie 6-11; White,Jenni 1-4; Donaldson,Sydney 0-1), Seattle Pacific 6-16 (Callen,Aubree 3-4; Kingma,Betsy 2-7; Ohlsen,Suzanna 1-3; Rodrigues,Hannah 0-2). Fouled out--Western Washington-Bernsen,Kayla, Seattle Pacific-None. Rebounds--Western Washington 36 (Donaldson,Sydney 8), Seattle Pacific 34 (Callen,Aubree 9). Assists--Western Washington 9 (White,Jenni 3), Seattle Pacific 10 (Ohlsen,Suzanna 4). Total fouls--Western Washington 15, Seattle Pacific 19. Technical fouls--Western Washington-None, Seattle Pacific-None. A-432