Vikings rebound after first loss
Center Lauren Hefflin and forward Gabby Wade combined for 29 points and 17 rebounds as the nationally ranked Western Washington University women's basketball team bounced back from its first loss of the season to defeat host Sonoma State University, 73-60, Saturday, Dec. 11, in the final game of the California Collegiate Athletic Association/Great Northwest Athletic Conference Challenge Classic held in Rohnert Park, Calif.
The Vikings, ranked No. 14 in the latest USA Today/ESPN/Women's Basketball Coaches Association Division II Top 25, improved to 6-1 after suffering a 65-62 overtime loss to No. 17-rated Chico State in the tourney opener Friday.
Sonoma State fell to 3-4 with its fourth straight loss. The Seawolves were led by Kristina Fahey with 13 points.
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Hefflin, who was named to the all-tournament team, finished with a game-high 17 points and had eight rebounds, hitting 6-of-9 field goals and making all five of her free throws. Wade had 12 points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.
Western, which never trailed in the contest, scored the first 10 points, forcing the Seawolves into three turnovers and three missed field-goal attempts on their first six possessions over a stretch of 3:29.
The Vikings led by as many as 15, 34-19, when Hefflin made two free throws with 5:08 left in the period and were ahead 40-26 at halftime.
Western upped their lead to 16 points twice early in the second half. Sonoma State scored six straight points to cut the margin to nine, 50-41, with 13:45 left on a 3-pointer by Aly Henington.
The Vikings countered with six consecutive points of their own for a 15-point advantage, 56-41, with 11:54 to go. The closest Sonoma State got after that was nine points on two occasions, the last, 63-54, with 3:45 left.
Guard Megan Pinske scored 13 points for Western and forward Erika Ramstead added 10 off the bench.