Western Washington rallies late to top UAA women, 76-70 in Bellingham

UAA's Jenna Buchanan got hot early in the second half, burying three 3-pointers in the opening three minutes.

Western Washington's Taylor Peacocke got hot late in the half, draining three 3-pointers inside the final eight minutes.

The last salvos prevailed in Thursday night's match-up between strong women's basketball teams in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference -- Western Washington racked its 25th straight home win at Carver Gym with a 76-70 victory over the Seawolves.

Buchanan scored all 15 of her points in the second half after missing all five of her first-half shots. She dropped 11 points on the Vikings in the opening 4:04 of the second half.

Peacocke, meanwhile scored 15 of her game-high 17 points in the second half, including eight in a span of 2:08 inside the last three minutes.

UAA slipped to 12-4 overall and 5-3 in the GNAC, where it sits in a three-way tie for third place, trailing Montana State-Billings (7-2) and Western Washington (6-2).

UAA's Kylie Burns converted a lay-up off Alli Madison's assist to forge a 69-69 tie with 1:40 to go in Bellingham. On the ensuing possession, Western Washington's Sarah Hill rebounded her own miss and followed with a put-back for a 71-69, then blocked a second-chance shot by UAA's Emily Craft. After Madison hit one of two free throws to cut the Seawolves deficit to 71-70 with 40 seconds left, Peacocke hit a pair of free throws to give the home team a 73-70 edge with 26 seconds to go.

A UAA turnover, and a missed jumper forced the Seawolves to foul and the Vikings hit three of four free throws in the waning seconds.

The Seawolves outrebounded the Vikings 44-41 and their 16 turnovers were just two more than the Vikings.

"I liked the effort,'' UAA coach Ryan McCarthy said by phone. "We're right there. Usually, when you out-rebound a team and the turnover differential isn't much, you win. We didn't hit big shots down the stretch. We put ourselves in position to win.

"At the end, we made some uncharacteristic mistakes and they capitalized.''

McCarthy said his young team, which faced a squad featuring players with Division II Final Four and Elite Eight experience, will learn from a pressure-packed game on the road. Disappointed by the outcome, the coach retained his sense of humor.

"I eat at Denny's after losses,'' McCarthy said. "I've eaten at the Denny's in Bellingham too many times.

UAA shot 37.3 percent from the field to Western Washington's 41.9 percent.

The Seawolves and Vikings were tied nine times in the first half -- Western Washington led 38-36 at intermission -- and UAA led for more than 15 consecutive minutes in the second half until the Vikings rallied.

Madison matched Buchanan's 15 points and generated six assists, Kiki Robertson added 13, and Burns went double-double with 10 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, including a game-high six offensive boards.

Peacocke led five Vikings in double figures. Tia Briggs added 16 points, Hill furnished 13 points and team highs of nine rebounds and three blocks, and Jenni White added 12 points and a game-high five steals.

UAA on Saturday plays at Simon Fraser (5-3), one of the team it is tied with in third place.

UAA -- Buchanan 5-14 2-2 15, Devine 0-3 0-0 0, Wright 1-1 0-0 2, A. Madison 7-18 1-2 15, Robertson 5-8 3-3 13, Davis 1-4 0-0 3, J. Madison 2-7 0-0 6, Craft 3-10 0-1 6, Burns 4-10 2-2 10. Totals: 28-75 8-10 70.

WWU -- Pounds 0-3 0-0 0, Donaldson 2-8 3-4 7, Hill 4-8 5-7 13, Colard 4-11 0-0 11, White 3-9 6-6 12, Albert 0-0 0-0 0, Peacocke 6-9 2-2 17, Gandy 0-1 0-0 0, Briggs 7-13 2-4 16. Totals: 26-62 18-23 76.

UAA 36 34 -- 70

WWU 38 38 -- 76

Three-point goals -- UAA 7-16 (Buchanan 3-6, J. Madison 2-5, Davis 1-1, Robertson 0-1, Burns 0-2, A. Madison 0-2), WWU 6-18 (Peacocke 3-3, Colard 3-10, White 0-3, Pounds 0-2). Total fouls -- UAA 18, WWU 13. Fouled out -- None. Rebounds -- UAA 44 (Burns 12), WWU 41 (Hill 9). Assists -- UAA 14 (A. Madison 6), WWU 13 (Donaldson 3, White 3). Turnovers -- UAA 16 (Robertson 6), WWU 14 (Hill 4, White 4). Steals -- UAA 10 (4 with 2), WWU 7 (White 5). Blocks -- UAA 2 (Craft 2), WWU 4 (Hill 3). Officials -- Fernandez, Duncan, Smith. A -- 358.

 


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