Women's Basketball Elite Eight Game Recaps
Walla Walla 85, Lane 62 stats
Walla Walla guards Cierra Jo McKeown, Teresa Acock and Jade Skidmore combined for 66 points, but it was the post defense that buckled down in the second half as the Warriors pulled away for an 85-62 win over Lane in the quarterfinals of the 2018 NWAC Women’s Basketball Tournament.
The Warriors won their 28th straight game and are now 30-1 overall. The win also marked their third win over Lane this season, including wins on Dec. 8 and Dec. 29 in pre-league tournaments.
Walla Walla will face Eastern Region foe Big Bend in the semifinals next Saturday at 8 p.m. Lane’s season ends with a record 23-7.
Lane’s posts had their way with the Warriors in the first half, scoring on many possessions and also getting Walla Walla in foul trouble, but in the second half, the Warrior post defense shined. In fact, in the final 13 minutes and 15 seconds of the game, Lane made just two field goals.
At the 3:15 mark of the third quarter when Lane’s Sierra Carrier scored inside, Walla Walla led 56-50. The next time the Titans made a field goal, at the 7:40 mark of the fourth quarter, it was 67-56 Walla Walla, and the Warriors continued their offensive terror, outscoring Lane 24-8 in the final quarter.
McKeown scored 28 points, including six 3-point goals, Acock added 20 and also had six triples and Jade Skidmore scored 18 points. The Warriors were 13 of 29 from beyond the 3-point arc.
Lane was led by Sarah Hall with 18 points and Carrier with 12.
Big Bend 89, Everett 79 stats
The Big Bend Vikings continued their magical run through the 2018 NWAC Women’s Basketball Tournament with their second straight upset victory, this time an 89-79 win over Everett in Game 11.
The Vikings, 22-9 and the fourth seed from the Eastern Region, advance into the semifinals where they will meet the winner of Walla Walla and Lane next Saturday at 8 p.m. Everett, the second seed from the North, ends its season at 21-7.
All five Viking starters scored in double figures led by the 25 points of Callie Gronning. Leah Dougherty added 20, Sunnie Martinez and Emily Allen scored 15 apiece and Hailey Garrity chipped in 12. The win avenged a 91-86 loss to Everett on December 9.
Big Bend made 9 of 24 shots from 3-point range and Everett was 8 of 31.
Uju Chibuogwu scored 21 points to lead the Trojans before fouling out with 3:42 remaining. Everett scored just three points from
that point on. Tyra Lopez added 19 for Everett and Sydney Taggart and Alexis Biggerstaff scored 14 and 10 points, respectively.
Garrity had 14 rebounds for Big Bend while Dougherty pulled down 11. Chibuogwu grabbed 10 rebounds for the Trojans.
There were seven ties and nine lead changes in the game. Everett’s largest lead came with 8:27 left in the third quarter when the Trojans led by six at 48-42.
Big Bend took the lead for good 59-57 on a 3-pointer by Martinez with 4:48 left in the third quarter. The Vikings’ largest lead was 11 at 75-64 with 8:12 left in the game.
Bellevue 70, Lower Columbia 62 stats
Brenda Akoto posted a double-double for Bellevue scoring 22 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. Twin sister Melinda Akoto also grabbed 11 rebounds to go with her 9 points. For Lower Columbia Cherita Daugherty also finished with a 17-point 12-rebound double-double.
Led by the hot shooting of Sierra Cole, Bellevue jumped out to an early 8 point lead after one quarter. The Bulldogs continued to build on their lead with great inside play by the Akoto twins who kept possessions alive with active rebounding. Meanwhile, the Red Devils struggled to get any offense going, ending the half shooting only 27% from the floor (2-12 from 3).
The Devils came out in the second half with offensive pressure on Bellevue attacking the rim to cut the lead to 15 after 3.
Shanay Dotson netted 8 of the 21 3rd quarter points for the Red Devils after starting scoreless in the first half. Melinda Akoto crafted a perfect shooting quarter going 4-4 from the field for 9 points. Daugherty hit a last second 3 to finish up a positive quarter. They would get the lead down to 8 but it was too much Bulldog offensive efficiency to handle.
During a key possession with 1:30 to go, LCC seemed on the verge of a turnover but a rushed Kassin Hopkins 3 would find its mark with less than a second on the shot clock to push the lead out of reach back to 11.
Molly Dixon held steady at the point with 6 points in the quarter including 2 clutch free throws late. A desperation 3 by Kenya Lorton at the buzzer shrunk the final margin to 70-62 Bellevue.
The Bulldogs (21-8) move on to face Umpqua in the Final Four next weekend right back here at Everett. Umpqua won the previous matchup 87-79 at Bellevue on December 2nd. Lower Columbia finishes the season with a 23-9 record.
Umpqua 93, Columbia Basin 66 stats
The opening Elite Eight game of the 2018 NWAC Women’s Basketball Championships saw the Umpqua Community College Riverhawks battle the Hawks of Columbia Basin College.
UCC is the number one ranked team in the south and NWAC, while CBC is the number two seed from the east and ranked #5 in the conference.
The size and shooting by the Riverhawks led them to a convincing but at times a difficult win 93-66.
The Riverhawks came out firing to take 27-18 first quarter lead on 79% shooting. The CBC Hawks shot only 36% from the floor in the first quarter, but they did force 9 first quarter turnovers.
The Riverhawks continued the second quarter right where they left off the first quarter building their lead as high as 19 points. UCC’s shooting helped them to overcome 19 first half turnovers.
At the half, sophomore Dajanay Powell had 16 points on 7-8 shooting, followed by Taylor Stricklin with 13 points.
CBC’s shooting woes continued as they shot 27% from the floor as UCC’s significant height advantage played a role.
Alexis Castro led the Hawks in first half scoring with 16 points. The Hawks were out-rebounded by the Riverhawks by a 30-8 margin.
CBC continued their pressure defense forcing the Riverhawks into multiple turnovers and cutting the lead to 59-52 at the :39 mark of the third quarter.
UCC shot 78% but only shot 9 times as CBC forced 13 turnovers. CBC in three quarters forced 30 turnovers and scored 29 points off those turnovers.
Umpqua after three quarters held a 42-15 rebound advantage. The 4th quarter saw the Riverhawks re-establish their presence inside led by Dajanay Powell and CBC did not score for over 4 minutes to start the quarter. Umpqua shot 92% in the 4th quarter outscoring the Hawks 31-13.
Sophomore Dajanay Powell led the Riverhawks with 46 points (tied a tournament record, on 21-23 shooting, broke a tournament record for most made field goals with 21) and 16 rebounds.
Taylor Stricklin who played all 40 minutes had 19 points and Jordan Stotler finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists.
UCC had 34 assists on 37 made baskets. Alyssa Greenfell contributed 13 assists. In defeat the Hawks were led by Alexis Castro who shot 50% from the field with 33 points.
Umpqua Community College plays the winner of the Lower Columbia College and Bellevue game next week in the Final Four on Saturday, March 17 at 6pm.