FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 28, 2022

MEDIA CONTACT:
Jeff Evans
Western Washington University Athletic Department
Jeff.Evans@wwu.edu
(360) 650-6800
https://wwuvikings.com/

Western Washington University's Historic Season Comes to a Close in National Title Game

The historic season of the Western Washington University women’s basketball team came to a close falling to Glenville State College 85-72 in the NCAA Division II National Championship Game Friday evening at Bill Harris Arena in the Birmingham CrossPlex.

Playing in its first national title game in the illustrious 51-seasons of program history, the Vikings concluded the 2021-22 campaign with a 25-6 record.

Matching up against the top scoring team in the nation, the Vikings had a two-point halftime lead at 46-44 and trailed by only one point at 61-60 with 2:13 remaining in the third quarter. The Pioneers completed the game on a 24-12 run, including a 9-0 spurt to pull away midway through the fourth quarter. Glenville State (35-1) out-scored Western 41-26 in the second half to win the first national championship in school history.

WWU was led by a 27-point, 12-rebound double-double from sophomore forward Brooke Walling who was 12-for-16 shooting. Senior guard Emma Duff added 17 points on 7-for-13 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds. Walling and Duff were selected to the five-player Elite Eight All-Tournament Team. Junior forward Katrina Gimmaka scored 12 points on 6-for-8 shooting.

The Vikings combined to shoot 53.3% for the game (32-for-60), but were hampered by 2-for-14 accuracy from three-point range. WWU recorded 25 turnovers leading to 30 Glenville State points.

Glenville State (from West Virginia) were held below their season scoring average of 95.8 points per game entering the contest, but their fast-paced style of play and rapid substitutions out-paced the Vikings down the stretch. The Pioneers shot 48.6% in the second half (17-for-35) after going 17-for-48 (.354) in the first 20 minutes.

The Pioneers were led by a pair of 20-point performances from junior guards Re'Shawna Stone (25 points, 11-for-16 FG) and Zakiyah Winfield (23 points, 9-for-19 FG). Dazha Congleton neared a double-double with 11 points and a team-high nine rebounds.

GAME NOTES:

WWU became the third team from the Great Northwest Athletic Conference to advance to the national championship game (SPU – 2005, UAA – 2016) … Brooke Walling finished the postseason averaging 17.3 points and 8.9 rebounds in nine games (.566/64-for-113) … Emma Duff moved into the top 10 in WWU history with 1,346 career points … Duff and Gracie Castaneda finished their career with 126 games played, the most in program history.

THE MOMENT THAT MATTERED:

The Vikings held a 50-46 lead two minutes into the third quarter before Glenville State went on a 10-0 run over a quick 1:36 stretch to regain the lead and never trailed the remainder of the game. WWU pulled back to within one point at 61-60 with just over two minutes remaining in the third quarter, but the Pioneers scored 21 of the next 29 points to build an insurmountable 14-point lead.

FIRST HALF RECAP:

A fast-paced first half resulted in the Vikings holding a two-point 46-44 lead. Each team benefited from an extended scoring run in the half that featured four lead changes and three ties. WWU led early by five points at 12-7 midway through the first quarter, but the Pioneers answered with a quarter-spanning 12-2 run to take a 25-19 lead at the 9:16 mark. WWU regained the momentum with a 13-2 run over a three-minute stretch to retake the lead at 32-27, with Emma Duff scoring nine points during the stretch.

Brooke Walling led all players with 17 first-half points on 8-for-9 shooting and also had six rebounds. Duff contributed 11 points and five rebounds to help the Vikings to the two-point halftime lead.

        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
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