The Western Washington University women’s basketball team used a strong second half to defeat host Fresno Pacific University, 75-46, in first-day action Friday at the West Region Crossover Classic being held at the Special Events Center on the FPU campus.
The game was the season opener for both teams.
The Vikings, ranked No.6 in the USA Today/Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Division II Top 25, were led by the game-high 15 points of redshirt freshman forwardKiana Gandy (Des Moines/Mount Rainier). They also got 14 points from freshman guard Taylor Peacocke (Kenmore/Inglemoor), a transfer from NCAA Division I Sacramento State.
WWU shot 61.5 percent (16-of-26) from the field in the second half, making nine of its first 13 attempts. The Vikings finished at 53.7 percent (29-of-54) for the game with Peacocke 5-of-6 and Gandy 7-of-9.
Fresno Pacific, which shot just 30.8 percent (16-of-52) from the floor, 22.2 percent (6-of-27) after halftime, got 10 points from guard Patrice Saindon.
Guard Keairra White, who averaged 18.2 points last year for the Sunbirds, was held to two points on 1-of-6 field-goal shooting.
Ahead by six, 35-29, at halftime, WWU scored the first 13 points of the second half for a 19-point advantage, 48-29, with 14:29 remaining in the game. FPU missed 10 shots and had two turnovers during that stretch of 5:31.
The Vikings’ biggest lead was 30 points on two occasions.
Point guard Jenni White (Jr., Spokane/East Valley) and forward Sydney Donaldson (Jr., Edmonds/Edmonds-Woodway) each scored 11 points for WWU.
The Vikings had a 37-26 rebound edge with forward Rachel Albert (Fr., Bellingham/Sehome) grabbing a game-high eight.
WWU scored the first eight points of the game and led by 11, 17-6, nine minutes into the first half. FPU was within two, 28-26, with 3:53 left in the period, but the Vikings finished with a 7-3 run for a six-point lead at halftime.
WWU meets Humboldt State in final-round tourney action Saturday, Nov. 9, at 5:30 p.m.