The loss is the first of the season for Minnesota Crookston as they fall to 5-1 on the season.

BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Western Washington University out-scored the University of Minnesota Crookston women’s basketball team 44-30 in the second half to upend the Golden Eagles 78-68 at the Lynda Goodrich Classic in Bellingham, Wash.

    The loss is the first of the season for Minnesota Crookston as they fall to 5-1 on the season. The Golden Eagles continue their best start since the 2004-05 season, where they opened the campaign with a 5-1 mark. Minnesota Crookston went on to a 16-12 mark for the 2004-05 slate. Western Washington improves to 4-2 with the victory.

    The Golden Eagles went into the half with a 38-34 advantage over the Vikings. Unfortunately, Minnesota Crookston struggled to sink their shots in the second stanza as they shot just 33.3 percent from the field and were 0-of-8 from beyond the arc.

    The Golden Eagles were led by senior Caitlin Michaelis (Sr., G, Marshfield, Wis.), who continues a phenomenal start to her final campaign. Michaelis registered 19 points on 6-of-15 from the field, and 2-of-5 from beyond the arc. Michaelis was named to the All-Lynda Goodrich Classic Tournament Team for the Golden Eagles. She was joined on the squad by her fellow senior and captain, Isieoma Odor (R-Sr., F/C, Bloomington, Minn.). Odor notched 16 points on 7-of-10 from the field.

    Kylie Post (Fr., G, Corcoran, Minn.) continued a phenomenal beginning to her journey as a Golden Eagles as the newcomer notched 15 points, four rebounds, and two assists. Abby Guidinger (So., G/F, Waukesha, Wis.) added 10 points and five boards. Stephanie McWilliams (Jr., G, Grand Forks, N.D.) came off the bench for four points and three boards.

    The Golden Eagles were 26-of-64 for 40.6 percent on the night. They finished the evening just 2-of-15 for 13.3 percent from behind the three-point line. Minnesota Crookston made it count from the charity stripe, where they were 14-of-16 for 87.5 percent.

    Minnesota Crookston was controlled on the boards 40-29, allowing 14 offensive boards to the Vikings. They were able to force 18 turnovers for Western Washington.

    The Vikings were guided by Kelsey Rogers with 23 points and eight boards on 10-of-12 from the field. Anna Schwecke chipped in 15 points and eight boards. Dani Iwami got the offense going for Western Washington with seven assists to go with her 11 points. Gracie Castaneda came off the bench for 10 points.

    The Vikings shot 30-of-61 from the field for 49.2 percent. Western Washington was just 3-of-14 for 21.4 percent from beyond the arc. They were 15-of-19 for 78.9 percent from the foul line.

    The Vikings jumped out to a 4-0 lead with a Schwecke bucket. Minnesota Crookston quickly responded with a 5-0 run as a Michaelis triple put the Golden Eagles up 5-4. The two teams would trade the lead on alternating possessions before Western Washington widened the gap to 14-8 with an Iwami jumper with 2:13 remaining in the first quarter. The Vikings rode the momentum to a 20-12 lead going into the quarter break.

    Minnesota Crookston countered with a strong performance in the second quarter. The Golden Eagles cut the deficit to 25-19 with a Guidinger jumper with 8:43 left in the second frame. However, Western Washington moved into a 29-21 lead after a Schwecke basket. Minnesota Crookston again responded as they utilized an 11-0 run catapulted by Odor with four points, and Michaelis with five points. The rally put the Golden Eagles up 32-29. An Iwami response from the three-point line knotted the score up 32-32 late in the second stanza. Minnesota Crookston ended the frame with a 6-2 run as a Post bucket gave the Golden Eagles a 38-34 lead going into the locker room.

    The Vikings came out strong out of the break as a 4-0 run knotted the game up 38-38 early in the third quarter. Western Washington overtook the lead 42-40 on a Rogers bucket with 8:01 remaining in the quarter. The Golden Eagles responded later in the frame as they took the advantage back 48-46 on a Post bucket with 4:49 remaining before the break. Six-straight points for the Vikings served as a response for Western Washington as they reclaimed the lead 52-48. The Vikings built off the run as they went into the quarter break with a 58-50 lead.

    The Golden Eagles struggled to overcome the third quarter run for Western Washington. The closest Minnesota Crookston would come in the final stanza was 69-62 on a Guidinger basket with 1:22 remaining. Unfortunately, the Golden Eagles would not close the gap further as they fell 78-68.

    The Golden Eagles will look to build off one of their best non-conference slates in the history of the program as they open NSIC play Dec. 1 at 1:30 p.m. at Bemidji State University in Bemidji, Minn.