OLYMPIA, Wash. – Putting together the first 50-plus point win in program history, the Evergreen Geoducks started the 2011-12 campaign off on a positive note, blowing out the Walla Walla Wolves, 71-16, in an NAIA women’s basketball contest on Sunday afternoon at CRC Gymnasium in Olympia, Wash.
The Geoducks (1-0) took the lead just ten seconds in on a jumper by sophomore Danielle Swain (Rainier, Wash./Black Hills HS) and the home squad would never trail as Evergreen scored the games’ first 19 points. Walla Walla (0-3) finally got on the board with 13:54 left in the first half but it would take the Wolves another seven minutes to get basket number two as the Geoducks continued to pull ahead, taking a 40-7 lead into the halftime break.
In the first half, Evergreen outscored Walla Walla, 22-0, in the paint. The Geoducks were led by 17 first-half points from Sami Clark (Monroe, Wash./Edmonds CC) while Swain, who led the Cascade Conference in rebounding last season, brought down nine rebounds in the first 20 minutes.
The second half was much like the first as Evergreen just overpowered the visiting Wolves. The Geoducks lead hit 40 with 16:44 left to play and then hit the half-century mark with 12:24 left to play. WWU stepped it up on defense in the second period, holding Evergreen to 36.4% shooting after allowing the Geoducks to shoot 47.4% in the first half, but the Wolves couldn’t find their shot on offense as Evergreen picked up the 71-16 win.
Evergreen was led in scoring by Clark, who finished with 24 points in her Evergreen debut, also adding 10 steals to get the unconventional double-double. Jessica Edge (Lake Stevens, Wash./Skagit Valley CC) nearly had a triple-double with 15 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. Swain also had a double-double, putting up 14 points and 17 rebounds on the afternoon. Maddie Graves (Spokane, Wash./Eastern Washington) rounded out the Geoducks in double-digit scoring, putting up 10 points.
Walla Walla was led by nine points from Abbey Manzano. As a team, the Wolves were six-of-37 from the field for 16.2% and committed 30 turnovers, compared with just 13 for Evergreen. The 16 points scored by Walla Walla set a new mark for lowest points scored by an Evergreen opponent, breaking the previous mark of 31 scored by Warned Pacific on Dec. 13, 1999. It also marks the eighth win in eight meetings for Evergreen over Walla Walla, dating back to 2001.
The Geoducks will next take the floor on Nov. 8 when they travel to Lacey to take on Saint Martin’s in an exhibition. Evergreen’s next counting game will be on Nov. 15 when they travel to Portland to take on Lewis & Clark.