(Tracy Swisher / NWAACC)
Dominique Johnson scored a game-high 25 points as the Clark College women’s basketball team eliminated third-ranked Walla Walla 75-70 from the NWAACC Tournament on Monday in Kennewick.
Clark (17-12), the only West Division team remaining, will play Bellevue (21-9) for fifth place at noon today at the Toyota Center.
A day after suffering one of its worst losses of the season to No. 1 Clackamas, the Penguins were resilient against the Warriors of Walla Walla.
“We talked about just putting the last game behind us and moving forward,” Clark coach Al Aldridge said. “We wanted to play for some pride in ourselves and the program.
“It was a real concerted effort by everyone on defense and better execution on offense. Lots of people stepped up.”
Clark battled back from being down by as much as 10 points to the Warriors in the first half to tie the game early in the second half.
The Warriors last big lead was 46-42 with 16:27 to play.
Johnson made just two 3 pointers, but they were key. Her first got Clark within one at 46-45, and her second gave the Penguins a 48-46 advantage.
Walla Walla stayed close and did tie the game at 66 with 6:38 to play.
Andrea Smith’s free throws with 6:15 remaining put Clark ahead to stay.
Free throws by Johnson and Tanya Martin in the final 21 seconds helped seal the win.
“Dominique Johnson had an exceptional game, and Tanya Martin had a good game, making those clutch free throws at the end of the game,” Aldridge said.
Nicolette Bond had 14 points for Clark, Martin and Andrea Smith each had 11, and Toni Doroha had 10 points. Martin led Clark in rebounds with eight.