MOSES LAKE — Leah Dougherty and Hailey Garrity took turns punishing Spokane early.
The duo combined for 32 of Big Bend’s 50 first-half points. Garrity shot a scorching 8-of-9 from the field for 17 points in the first 20 minutes while Dougherty added 15 of her own on 5-of-8 shooting.
Behind its potent front court, Big Bend (6-5, 17-7) led by 22 points at halftime and held off Spokane 76-67 to move over .500 in NWAC East play for the first time this season.
“She (Garrity) was a monster tonight,” point guard Sunnie Martinez said. “She really did some nice things tonight and I think she showed up to play and that just goes to show anyone on our team can go off on any given night, which makes it nice for us.”
Needing a win to keep its NWAC Tournament hopes alive, Big Bend began the game on a 14-2 run and led by as many as 18 points in the first quarter. That explosive scoring continued in the second quarter when Garrity and Callie Gronning hit consecutive 3-pointers to push the Vikings’ lead back to 18 points.
“They just really wanted to go out and put a great game together,” head coach Preston Wilks. “In the preseason, we were following Spokane around to tournaments and the girls just had a feeling that they could shine tonight because they’ve seen Spokane so many times. That’s what I felt more than anything.
“Just this sense of confidence that we could play well tonight.”
Spokane leading scorer and Moses Lake High School graduate Jessica Olson dealt with foul trouble throughout the first three quarters. Olson finished with 10 points — seven in the fourth quarter — in 18 minutes.
With Olson on the bench, Spokane turned to 6-foot-1 freshman Rose Mongoyak. Garrity, listed at 5-foot-11, did her best to deny post-entry passes, but Mongoyak was difficult to handle after the catch and finished with a game-high 35 points and 12 rebounds.
Big Bend regressed to the mean, so to speak, in the second half with just 10 third-quarter points and the lead was trimmed to 15 points.
After two points on 1-of-4 shooting in the first half, Martinez scored eight straight points — 10 total — in the fourth quarter to extend Big Bend’s lead back to 20 points.
“I just wanted to make sure that we didn’t give up our lead and let them come back and win,” she said. “I’m sure at halftime they weren’t very happy with their performance and so I knew that they were going to come back and give us their best punch.
“Luckily, the ball went in for me. It wasn’t in the first half, but it started going in for me in the second half so that was nice.”
Score by quarters
S — 11 17 17 22 67
BB — 24 26 10 16 76
Leah Dougherty 19, Hailey Garrity 18, Miranda Johnson 14, Sunnie Martinez 14, Callie Gronning 7, Emily Allan 4