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Wildcats homestand won’t get any easier with NNU

Thomas Loranz, Staff Reporter - January 30, 2013

After back-to-back losses to No. 5 Western Washington and No. 7 Simon Fraser, the Central Washington University women’s basketball team will try and bounce back when they play Northwest Nazarene this Saturday at the Pavilion.

The Wildcats dropped to 8-9 overall and 3-6 in the GNAC after their two hard-fought losses. Sitting at eighth place in the GNAC, the Wildcats are in need of a rebound victory in order to get back in the conference race.

Northwest Nazarene is coming to Ellensburg fresh off its victory over Fresno Pacific and is currently third in the GNAC with an overall record of 14-3 (6-3 GNAC).
The Crusaders are second in the GNAC for offensive scoring with an average of 72 points a game.

The Wildcats have already played against Northwest Nazarene earlier this year, with the Crusaders barely coming out on top at the end, 76-71.

Two big parts of Northwest Nazarene’s scoring success have been juniors Megan Hingston and Chelsie Luke, who combined for 27 points in their last game.

Hingston will be a large part of the Crusaders’ scoring as well as their defense, leading her team with an average of 18.3 points and nine rebounds per game, Luke is the Crusaders leading three point scorer with over 93 points this season.

The Wildcats aren’t without weapons of their own however, and junior Jessica VanDyke and freshman Jasmine Parker are leading the way.

The women put up a combined total of 22 points against Simon Fraser and 35 points against Western.

Parker, with three blocks in her last game and a season total of 40, is part of the reason Central is second in blocked shots in the GNAC. Parker also recorded three steals and will be vital for the Wildcats’ success this coming week.

Parker and VanDyke will be looking for junior guard Ally Schmitt to feed them the ball during the game, she leads the team in assists with 76.

Central will also need to be on their three-point game if they want to compete with Northwest Nazarene.

The Wildcats are third overall in the GNAC for three-point field goal percentage, connecting on 35 percent of their shots from the three-point line.

If the Wildcats begin to struggle the team will look to their most productive three-point shooter, Jessica VanDyke, to open up the offense. VanDyke has a total of 47 three- pointers made.

With a win against Northwest Nazarene, the Wildcats will return to an even record of 9-9.
Central would be back in the race in the middle of the standings, trying for a last push to the playoffs.

Central can also use their momentum from this coming game to carry them through their next two away games before returning home on Valentines’ Day to play Alaska Anchorage.
Tipoff is at 7 p.m. in Nicholson Pavilion.

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