NWAACC: Walla Walla women fall to red-hot Umpqua

Jeff Morrow, Herald sports editorMarch 2, 2014 

Walla Walla guard Jessica Siler (31) drives to the basket on Umpqua guard Romanalyn Incencio (22) during an NWAACC quarterfinal matchup Sunday at the Toyota Center in Kennewick.


Followers of the community college women’s basketball tournament were hoping for a dream matchup of Walla Walla and Columbia Basin in the scheduled title game on Tuesday night.

“That was my dream matchup too,” said Walla Walla head coach Bobbi Hazeltine.

Alas, it won’t happen, as Hazeltine's Warriors fell to Umpqua 81-72 on Sunday in the quarterfinals of the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges championships at the Toyota Center.

The Riverhawks (23-6), from Roseburg, Ore., were just too hot from the 3-point line in the second half.

“I don’t know how anybody could have stopped them,” Hazeltine said. “We tried manning, we tried zoning, we tried dropping back. Nothing worked. They were the better team today.”

Umpqua’s 3-point shooting percentage over the course of the regular season was 32 percent: nothing special, although it puts it among the top eight teams in the entire NWAACC for that stat. Neither coach was happy with their team’s first-half performance, as the two quarterfinalists entered halftime tied at 33-33.

“I thought in the first half people with open shots didn’t take them,” Umpqua coach Dave Stricklin said. “Or those open who did shoot didn't shoot with confidence.”

Hazeltine told her team at intermission, “We are not playing very well and it’s tied.”

But within two minutes into second-half play, Umpqua’s Romanalyn Incencio fired up a 3-point field goal attempt that went in to give the Riverhawks a 38-35 lead, a lead they would never relinquish.

Umpqua, in fact, kept hammering treys in the second half — nine of them against 15 attempts.

“We have a pretty good shooting team,” said Incencio, who hit all three of her treys in the second half. “Everybody in this tournament is going to have a bad shooting game. Team-wise, this was ours.”

At least for the first 20 minutes, because once the long-distance bombs started going in, most everything else did.

“We were able to make those shots, and that opened up things inside,” said Stricklin.

The Warriors tried to mount some serious comebacks late in the game, but they couldn’t do it. “They got it down to five or six points,” Stricklin said, “then we’d hit a 3. We always seemed to answer.”

The Riverhawks also outrebounded the Warriors 51-44.

“We’re a good rebounding team and we struggled,” Hazeltine said. “But against a team like that, we would have to play our best game of the year.”

Kyndal Charlston led Umpqua with 21 points, while Kayla Bice added 13. Ashli Payne added 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Riverhawks, who play Blue Mountain in the quarterfinals at 6 p.m. today.

Jessica Siler led Walla Walla (18-8) with 23 points and 10 rebounds, while MeShel Rad added 14 points and 11 boards.

The Warriors will play Clark at 2 p.m, today in a loser-out contest.

WALLA WALLA — Lainey Corbett 1-2 0-1 2, Amy DeLong 2-9 3-4 7, Bailey Nygaard 3-13 0-0 9, MeShel Rad 5-13 4-4 14, Jessica Siler 8-19 7-11 23, Karli McHone 4-13 0-0 11, Devynn Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, Josie Jordan 2-5 0-0 6, Paige Vincent 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 25-75 14-20 72.
UMPQUA — Kayla Bice 5-11 2-2 13, Romanalyn Incencio 4-10 0-0 11, Ashli Payne 3-7 4-5 11, Kyndal Charleston 7-16 2-4 21, Asia Smith 3-10 1-2 7, Rachel Sample 3-6 2-3 10, Marcel Ortiz 0-0 0-0 0, Leilani Morris 4-6 0-0 8. Totals 29-66 11-16 81.
Halftime score - Tied 33-33. 3-point field goals - WW 8-30 (Nygaard 3-11, McHone 3-12, Jordan 2-4, Corbett 0-1, DeLong 0-2), UCC 12-27 (Charleston 5-10, Incencio 3-6, Sample 2-4, Bice 1-3, Payne 1-3, Morris 0-1); Rebounds - WW 44 (Rad 11), UCC 51 (Smith 13); Assists - WW 19 (DeLong 5), UCC 22 (Incencio 6); Turnovers - WW 10, UCC 18. Fouls - WW 18, UCC 17. Fouled out - Rad.

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