BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Center Britt Harris had a team-high 14 points and game-highs of 10 rebounds and four blocked shots to lead tournament host Western Washington to a 71-63 triumph against Cal State Monterey Bay in Monday’s semifinal round of the West Regional.
The Vikings, the No. 1 seed in the West Region, improved to 27-3 overall and face No. 2 seed Simon Fraser in the regional championship game on Tuesday.
CSUMB, the No. 5 seed in the tournament, completed its season 20-9. Center Brittani Jefferson led the Otters with 17 points.
The score was tied at 40 on a 3-pointer by CSUMB’s Stefanie Corgel with 13:34 remaining, the first three of the game for either team. The Vikings seemed to take control with 12 consecutive points in a span of two minutes, capped by a Jenni White 3-pointer, to take a 52-40 lead with 10:04 to play.
CSUMB responded with 10 consecutive 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 Monterey Bay,” WWU coach Carmen Dolfo said. “That was one of toughest defensive teams we’ve seen all year.”
WWU had leads of seven and six in the opening half, but CSUMB responded both times to tie the game. The Vikings held a narrow 32-31 lead at halftime.
Forward Trishi Williams and guard Corinn Waltrip each had 13 points for WWU. 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.
The triumph propels the Vikings to their first regional final since 2002.
WWU is now 15-0 at home and has won 19 consecutive victories at Carver Gym over the last two seasons.