#5 Western Washington takes down women’s basketball, 77-48

Photo by Paul McCarthy
Photo by Paul McCarthy

Jamie Foland

Bellingham, Wash. – Fifth-ranked Western Washington remained unbeaten in Great Northwest Athletic Conference women’s basketball play after downing Alaska 77-48 Thursday evening at Carver Gymnasium.

The Vikings (16-2, 10-0 GNAC) got a game-high 15 points from Trishi Williams while Jenni White and Britt Harris scored 13 and 10 points, respectively. Aleisha Hathaway led all players with a game-best 10 rebounds off the bench.

WWU shot 41 percent (26-63) for the game while holding Alaska to 24 percent (16-66) shooting on the night. The Vikings beat the Nanooks (2-16, 0-10 GNAC) on the boards by a 52-43 advantage but the ‘Nooks had 18 offensive rebounds, to Western’s 15. The Vikings also outscored the Nanooks 32-24 in the paint, 23-8 off turnovers and 8-2 in transition.

Alaska was paced by sophomore Benissa Bulaya (Sacramento, Calif./Business administration), who scored a team-high 13 points while dishing out five assists. Senior forward Jacqueline Lovato (Gunnison, Colo./Business administration) had 11 points and three thefts while senior guard Taylor Altenburg contributed 10 points.

The game remained tight for much of the first half but with Alaska leading 19-16, back-to-back three pointers by Katie Colard sparked a 22-5 run as the Nanooks were held to just five points in the final 10 minutes of the first. The Vikings led 38-24 at the break.

WWU extended the lead to 47-24 with a 9-0 run in the first 1:49 of the second half. Western led by as many 34 points down the stretch as Alaska never got any closer than a 21-point deficit.

Alaska heads to Burnaby, B.C., to take on No. 13 Simon Fraser on Saturday at 4:15 p.m. (AKST).