ELLENSBURG, Wash. – The Evergreen Geoducks outscored the Central Washington Wildcats, 34-29, in the second half but a 21-point halftime deficit was too much to overcome as the NCAA Division II ‘Cats claimed the 66-50 victory in an non-conference women’s basketball game on Monday evening at Nicholson Pavilion in Ellensburg, Wash. The game was an exhibition for the visiting Geoducks while host CWU improved to 2-1 on the young season.
After traveling over a snowy Snoqualmie Pass on Monday afternoon, the Geoducks struggled to find a rhythm early as the Wildcats quickly built a double-digit lead. Evergreen eventually found their shot as they ended up shooting 27.3% for the half but the Central Washington lead hit 20 with 1:47 left to play in the opening period on a fast break basket by Sophie Russell. The Geoducks got the final points as Sami Clark (Monroe, Wash./Edmonds CC) used a lay-up with two seconds to cut the gap to 37-16 heading into the break.
In the second half, sophomore Danielle Swain (Rainier, Wash./Black Hills HS) put the Geoducks on her shoulders, scoring the first six points of the period to pull Evergreen back within 15 at 37-22. After the CWU lead climbed back up the 27 with 7:08 left to go on a pair of free throws by Marissa Pratt, Evergreen managed to again cut the gap, pulling back within 14 with 54 seconds left but it was too little, too late as CWU hit a pair of free-throws to ice the 66-50 win.
Evergreen was led by a game-high 17 points from Swain, who was seven-of-eight from the field and three-of-four from the charity stipe. Clark finished with 15 points, playing all 40 minutes for the Geoducks.
Central Washington was led by 15 points and nine rebounds from Jessica VanDyke. Stacy Albrecht added 11 points for the Wildcats, who made eight three-pointers on the evening, shooting 40.0% from behind the arc. CWU outrebounded Evergreen, 44-36, on the afternoon including 23 offensive rebounds, leading to 18 second-chance points.
The Geoducks will return to Olympia on Wednesday afternoon when they take on Whitworth in a pre-Thanksgiving battle. Tip-off with the Pirates is set for 4:00 pm at CRC Gymnasium in Olympia, Wash.