By Hailey PalmerA strong second quarter and a tough defense effort paved the way for the No. 13 Western women’s basketball team. The Vikings defeated Central Washington University 69-54 for their 12th straight victory Thursday, Feb. 2, at the Whatcom Pavilion.Senior guard, Aleisha Hathaway’s back-to-back 3-pointers midway through the second quarter provided the spark the Vikings needed to erase an 11-point deficit.Western women’s head coach, Carmen Dolfo, said Hathaway’s performance provided the team with a much needed spark. “[Hathaway’s shots] were huge,” Dolfo said. “She came in really confident and was the key to get us rolling.” The Vikings held CWU to 12 points in the second quarter. Senior forward, Kiana Gandy, said the team emphasizes defense and controlling the pace of the game.
“We can’t lose games if they don’t score.”
“We can’t lose games if they don’t score,” Gandy said. Western took a 31-27 lead into halftime and never looked back leading by as many as 22 points in the fourth quarter.On a quiet night for senior guard Taylor Peacocke, the NCAA Division II leading scorer, the Vikings relied on Gandy, who scored a game-high of 19 points. “I feel like my teammates were just finding me,” Gandy said. “They were making great passes and all I had to do was put the ball in the basket.”The Vikings are second in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, moving to 11-1 in conference play and 18-3 overall.The Vikings face Northwest Nazarene University in their next game Saturday, Feb. 4, at the Whatcom Pavilion.