CWU women's basketball gets commanding 74-54 win over WOU - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

CWU women's basketball gets commanding 74-54 win over WOU

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ELLENSBURG, Wash. -- Senior Sophie Russell (Olympia, Wash./River Ridge HS) scored 18 points in her final collegiate game, and the Central Washington University women's basketball team used a full team effort in defeating visiting Western Oregon University, 74-54, in the 2011-12 season finale for both teams on Saturday night at Nicholson Pavilion.

The Wildcats finished the year at 9-17 overall and 5-13 in Great Northwest Athletic Conference play, taking sole possession of eighth place in the final conference standings. Western Oregon finished at 7-21 overall and 6-12 in the GNAC.

Russell, who finished her four-year career as the fourth-leading scorer in CWU history with 1,144 points, scored seven of her points in the first 1:54 of the game as the Wildcats stormed out to a 12-3 lead. The Wildcats never trailed in the contest, thanks in large part to their feverish start, and after a three-pointer by Russell to open the second half, CWU led by double digits for the final 19:41 of the game.

Russell scored nine points in each half, and was the Wildcats' top scorer after the opening 20 minutes, when the Wildcats took a 32-24 halftime lead.

The Wildcats had a strong supporting cast around Russell on Saturday, as they shot 44.8 percent from the floor (including 50 percent in the first half) and had three players reach double figures. Junior Alex Dunn (West Valley City, Utah/Hunter HS) finished with 15 points, seven rebounds, and six assists, while sophomore Jessica VanDyke (Chester, Mont./Chester-Joplin-Inverness HS) added 12 points and five rebounds. Junior Stacy Albrecht (Federal Way, Wash./Thomas Jefferson HS) converted on 4 of 7 field-goal attempts, scoring nine points with seven rebounds. Aided by the seven rebounds each from Albrecht and Dunn, Central Washington finished with a commanding 45-29 edge in rebounding on the night.

Central Washington also got significant -- and balanced -- contributions from its bench, which totaled 18 points between seven players. Five of the reserves scored at least two points, led by sophomore Amber Moser (Willamina, Ore./Sheridan HS) with six on 3 of 4 shooting.

Western Oregon had three players reach double figures, led by 17 points from Rylee Peterson. Jade Haas added 11 points and six rebounds, while Melissa Fowler scored 10.

The 2011-12 CWU squad finished the year with marked improvement under first-year head coach Shawn Nelson. In addition to its nine overall victories -- the most by the program since 2007-08 -- the Wildcats posted their highest conference win total (five) since that same season. Central Washington also set a single-season school record by making 222 three-pointers, led by a single-season school-record 70 from VanDyke and 65 from Russell, while posting its highest single-season rebounding average (40.2 per game) since 1995-96 and the team's highest scoring average (71.0 points per game) since 2004-05.
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