Women’s basketball look to use non-conference games for extra learning experience

ELLENSBURG, Wash. – The Central Washington Wildcats women’s basketball team (7-1) will host the first two in a series of non-conference games over the holiday season. The Wildcats welcome Lincoln University of California’s Lady Oaks first (2-8) with Friday’s game being played at Yakima Valley Community College in Yakima, Wash. with the pick scheduled for 6 p.m. The Wildcats will wrap up their weekend on Saturday when they host the Northwest Eagles (3-3) at Ellensburg High School with tip-off at 6 p.m


Friday December 9thth

6:00 p.m
Central Washington vs. Lincoln (CA)
Yakima Valley Community College
Yakima, Wash.
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Saturday December 10thth

6:00 p.m
Central Washington vs. Northwest
Ellensburg High School
Ellensburg, Washington.
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Central Washington has had a solid opening weekend of GNAC games, sweeping the weekend with a 69-56 win over Western Oregon and then backing it up with a convincing 74-54 win over Saint Martin’s.

The Wildcats started strong against WOU and took an 18-10 lead after the first quarter. However, Wolves stormed back in the second quarter, down 25 points compared to the ‘Cats 14 who helped Wolves take the three-point lead, 35-32 at halftime. The Wildcats had their chance to charge forward, beating WOU by 20 points 26-6 in the third quarter to put the ‘Cats 58-41 ahead for the rest of the game. Wolves were able to close their deficit in the fourth game and edge CWU 15-11, but the game of time proved too much for a Wolves comeback, giving WOU their first loss of the season.

Samantha Bowman led the CATtack and added another double-double with 25 points and 17 rebounds. Asher Cai also had a 21-point game while racking up two steals and a block. Overall, the ‘Cats shot 39.4 percent from the floor while letting 27.3 percent of three-pointers and 77.8 percent from the free-throw line. CWU passed WOU 51-44 and doubled Wolves’ assists for a 16-8 total. CWU also added three blocks and 11 steals.

CWU fired on all guns to start their game against SMU. The ‘Cats quickly built an early lead and never looked back as they finished the first quarter 21-6. CWU continued their offensive prowess in the second quarter, beating the Saints 23-10 and keeping them scoreless until the 3:46 mark of the quarter. The ‘Cats led 44-16 at halftime. SMU’s offense started to click a little more in the second half as they outscored CWU 22-16 in the third quarter to go 60-38 going into the last quarter. The Saints once again bested the ‘Cats in fourth place by a slim 16-14 lead and saw CWU drive to the 74-54 win.

Valerie “Sunshine” Huerta led all points with 21 points and added four rebounds, two assists and a steal, while Cai put in another solid performance with 18 points, five rebounds and two assists. Bowman pulled off another double-double performance with 17 points and 15 rebounds while also adding four assists and two steals. Collectively, the ‘Cats show 42.2 percent off the ground while also letting off 34.6 percent of their three-point attempts and 61.1 percent of their free throws.


“I look forward to another opportunity to hit the ground. It’s another opportunity for us to see growth and learn!”


This is the first-ever meeting between the ‘Cats and Lady Oaks as they are in their second year as a program. The Lady Oaks started the season 4-0, losing to Northern New Mexico, San Diego Christian, William Jessup and Bushnell.

Lincoln bounced back with back-to-back wins; a 75-65 win over California Maritime in which Lindsey Claude had 31 points and 11 rebounds while Julianna Martinez also finished in double digits with 21 points. LU then defeated Occidental 72-56. Claude again surpassed the 30 point mark with 35 points while Martinez was second again with 18 points.

The Lady Oaks played fellow Division Two opponents Cal State-San Bernardino and Cal State-Dominguez Hills. LU dropped both contests, staying close to CSU-SB 80-64 and losing 92-32 to CSU-DH.

LU continued the action against two Bay Area teams in The Master’s and Division One opponent Santa Clara. The Lady Oaks fell 89-56 to The Master’s Mustangs. Against Santa Clara, the Lady Oaks fell 97-37. LU takes on GNAC rivals Seattle Pacific tomorrow in Seattle.


NU has finished the season 3-3 so far, but against teams from Washington 3-0. That record will be tested on Friday when they play at Evergreen State College. Most recently, they opened their conference game with a split at home, first a loss to Lewis-Clark State 93-28, followed by a 51-43 win over upcoming CWU opponent Walla Walla.

Kyrin Baklund leads the Eagles offensively averaging 11.3 points per game, closely followed by Kylie Lunday, who is averaging 11 points per game. Lunday and Maria Arroyo Sanchez are the leading defenses for NU. Lunday is averaging 7.7 rebounds per game and 1.3 steals per game, while Arroyo Sanchez is averaging one block per game to lead his category in each.

Collectively, the Eagles shoot 42.3 percent from the floor, 29.6 percent for three-point attempts, and 74.5 percent from the free throw line. This is the first matchup between NU and CWU since the 2002-03 season.


The Wildcats will complete their non-conference schedule with two games before Christmas. Both games will be played at Yakima Valley Community College. The ‘Cats welcome a member of the NCAA Division Three, the Whitman Blues, for the first time on Saturday, December 17th with kick-off at 2:00 p.m. The Wildcats’ final non-conference game is on Monday, December 19 against NAIA member Walla Walla Wolvesth at 5:00 p.m. in a double-header with the CWU men’s basketball team.