Women's Basketball: Vikings Earn GNAC Top Team Award
After celebrating the holidays, the Vikings will take an 8-2 record into the New Year.
After celebrating the holidays, the Vikings will take an 8-2 record into the New Year.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

PORTLAND, Ore. - It was a nice start to the holidays for Western Washington University’s women’s basketball team.

The Vikings, ranked 20th in the latest USA Today Sports WBCA NCAA Division II women’s basketball poll, defeated sixth-ranked Washburn (Kans.) and No. 15 Grand Canyon (Ariz.) Tuesday and Wednesday in the 2012 South Point Holiday Hoops Classic at Las Vegas.

WWU improved to 8-2 on the season with the two victories earning GNAC Team of the Week honors in the process.

Center Britt Harris (6-2, Sr., Marysville, WA – Marysville-Pilchuck) was selected the tourney MVP, while guard Corinn Waltrip (5-6, Sr., Tigard, OR) was also named to the all-tournament team.  Both players, who are in their fourth seasons with the Vikings, had career highs in the tournament.

Harris, who was also selected as the GNAC Red Lion Player of the Week, netted 42 points and had 13 rebounds, six assists and five steals.

Waltrip, meanwhile, contributed 30 points, half of them from the arc where she cashed in on five of nine three-pointers.  She also had eight rebounds and three assists. 

Waltrip now ranks 22nd in GNAC history in three-pointers made with 136 and 35th in  career assists with 244.

In Wednesday’s 72-68 overtime win over Grand Canyon, Waltrip matched a career-high with 23 points, nine of them in overtime. She made four of eight treys and also had six assists. Harris had 15 points and 10 rebounds in the contest.

“She (Waltrip) just took over for us and hit some big shots when we were down,” 22nd year Viking head coach Carmen Dolfo (454-171) said.

In Tuesday’s 64-62 win over Washburn, Harris had a career-high 27 points, including 15 in the second half.  She also had  four assists and three steals, both team highs.

“It was great to see this team step up and take ownership after two losses (last week) in California,” Dolfo said.  “Rather than feeling sorry for themselves, they stepped up and played solid defense and played together.”

Also contributing to the two victories were guard Trishi Williams (5-9, Sr., Mabton, WA), guard Katie Colard (5-9, So., McCleary, WA – Elma) and forward Sarah Hill (6-3, Jr., Richmond, VA).

Williams had 19 points, 15 rebounds and a team-high seven assists.  Colard scored 18 points, while Hill had 10 points and led WWU with 17 rebounds.

The Vikings are now idle Jan. 3 when they travel to Alaska to take on defending GNAC champion Alaska Anchorage.  WWU will take a 2-0 conference record into that contest.