Western Washington Makes It An All-GNAC Region Final
Sydney Donaldson (42) joins Viking coaching staff in cheering on WWU victory (Photo by Dan Levine)
Sydney Donaldson (42) joins Viking coaching staff in cheering on WWU victory (Photo by Dan Levine)

Monday, March 18, 2013

BELLINGHAM, Wash. -  Center Britt Harris had a team-high 14 points and game-highs of 10 rebounds and four blocked shots to lead tourney host Western Washington to a 71-63 triumph over Cal State Monterey Bay in Monday’s second semifinal game of the NCAA Division II West Regionals.

The Vikings, the No.1 seed in the West Region and ranked fifth in the USA Today Sports NCAA Division Top 25 National Poll, improved to 27-3 overall and face No.2 seed Simon Fraser in the regional championship game Tuesday at Carver Gym.  Tip off will be at 6 p.m.

The Clan defeated Grand Canyon 76-59 in Monday’s first semifinal.

Center Brittani Jefferson led Cal State Monterey, which completed its season with a 20-9 record, with 17 points.

The score was tied at 40-40 on a 3-pointer by CSUMB’s Stefanie Corgel with 13:34 remaining, the first trey of the game for either team. 

The Vikings then seemed to take control with 12 straight points in a span of a little over two minutes, capped by a Jenni White 3-pointer, to take a 52-40 lead with 10:04 to play.

CSUMB, however, responded with 10 straight points of its own, narrowing the gap to two at 52-50  with 5:56 left, but never got that close again, as WWU scored the next seven points.

“I was really impressed with Monterrey Bay,” said WWU coach Carmen Dolfo.  “That was one of toughest defensive teams we’ve seen all year.” 

WWU, which had a 32-31 lead at halftime, had leads of seven and six in the opening half, but CSUMB responded both times to tie the game.

Forward Trishi Williams and guard Corinn Waltrip  each had 13 points for WWU while forward Sarah Hill added 12 and White had 10 off the bench.

Waltrip became the 22nd player in school history to pass the 1,000 point mark in career scoring, concluding the contest with 1,009 points.

The triumph propels the Vikings, who are 15-0 at home this season, to their first regional final since 2002.  The Vikings will take a 19-game home win streak into the contest.

The game will be the fourth this season between the rivals.  Each won on their home courts as SFU was also unbeaten at home.  WWU won a neutral site contest between the two at Lacey in the GNAC championship game.


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