BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Seattle Pacific University used big runs each side of halftime to establish a double-digit lead and held on to defeat Western Washington University, 68-62, in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference women’s basketball game Saturday at Sam Carver Gymnasium on the WWU campus.
Guard Katie Colard (Jr., McCleary/Elma) had 15 points and Tia Briggs (Fr., Tacoma/Wilson) came off the bench to add 14 for WWU, which fell to 11-8 overall and 7-4 in the GNAC. It was the second straight home loss for the Vikings, who had a 26-game home court winning streak and a six-game overall victory string snapped in a 71-63 loss to GNAC leader Montana State Billings on Thursday.
SPU improved to 14-5 overall and 7-4 in the GNAC. Betsy Kingma scored a game-high 17 points for the Falcons and Suzanna Ohlsen added 15.
The Falcons closed the first half with a 9-2 run to take a 32-23 lead at halftime, then scored the first nine points of the second half, opening up the biggest lead of the game, 39-23, a little over two minutes into the second half.
The Vikings scored seven straight points to close the margin to nine, and eventually pulled within five, 54-48, on a Jenni White (Jr., Spokane/East Valley) layin with 5:38 remaining that capped a 9-2 run.
WWU was still within five, 59-54, inside two minutes, but Kingma hit a 3-pointer to push the lead to eight, with 1:48 to go. The Vikings pulled within six on three occasions after that, but got no closer.
WWU shot just 36.8 percent (21-of-57) from the field, but was 17-of-21 (81.0 percent) on free throws, hitting 10 straight in the final 2:29. White had 11 points and five assists for the Vikings.
The first half was tightly contested with 13 lead changes in the first 12 minutes before SPU scored seven straight points to take a 23-17 lead with 5:37 left in the period.
Ohlsen scored the last seven points of SPU’s 9-2 run to close the half with a nine-point lead.
WWU travels to Northwest Nazarene on Thursday (7 p.m.) for a GNAC counter.