W. Washington runs streak to 19
Vikings hit 10 of 20 3-pointers to snap MBSU home-court streak
BILLINGS, Mont. -- Guard Megan Pinske hit a crucial 3-pointer with 1:18 to play to help preserve a narrow lead as Western Washington won its 19th consecutive game, holding off Montana State Billings 63-57 in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference women’s basketball game Tuesday at Alterowitz Gymnasium.
The Vikings, who are ranked No.6 in the latest USA Today/ESPN Division II top 25 poll and No.2 in the most recent West Region ranking, improved to 24-1 overall and 17-0 in the GNAC. WWU has already clinched the No.1 seed and home-court advantage throughout the GNAC Tournament, which begins on Monday, Feb. 28.
Guard Amanda Dunbar had a game-high 19 points for Western, which matched its second-longest winning streak in school history and is two short of the school record. Center Lauren Hefflin had 17 points and eight rebounds and Pinske contributed 13 points, 11 in the second half as she hit all three of her 3-point attempts.
MSUB fell to 14-11 overall and 10-7 in GNAC play, having a six-game home-court winning streak snapped.
After Western had its lead cut to one point with 1:32 remaining, Pinske responded with a 3-pointer from the right side to put the Vikings up by four 61-57. She made two free throws with 14 seconds to go for the final margin.
Dunbar became just the fourth Western player to reach 1,600 points in a career by scoring a 3-pointer with 6:07 left in the first half. She finished the night at 1,604 career points after making her first five shots, four of them treys. She scored 17 points and dished out three assists as the Vikings rallied from a six-point deficit midway through the first half to lead 33-32 at the intermission.
Western never trailed after the 10-minute mark of the second half and led by six at 56-50 with 7:04 left following a 3-pointer by Pinske and a Dunbar layup.
Forward Gabby Wade grabbed a game-high nine rebounds for the Vikings, who made 10 of 20 3-pointers. It is the sixth time this season they hit 10 or more treys in a game, upping their GNAC-leading average to 7.3 per contest.