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WCC Women's Basketball Recaps

Jan. 7, 2007

Gonzaga - 58
Pepperdine - 35

MALIBU, Calif. - The Gonzaga University women's basketball team improved to 2-0 in the West Coast Conference with an impressive 58-35 victory over Pepperdine University this afternoon at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, Calif. It is a superb start for Gonzaga as Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount University, who GU defeated on Friday, were picked in the WCC Preseason Poll to finish tied for first.

The Bulldogs, who have won three-straight, are now 10-8 on the season, while the Waves dropped to 8-9 overall and 1-1 in WCC.

Gonzaga, who held a slight 11-10 lead at the 10:19 mark, was able to rattle off nine-straight points to break open a 20-10 advantage. Freshman Vivian Frieson made two free throws, senior Stephanie Hawk hit two jumpers and sank one of two free throws, and freshman Heather Bowman also made a jumper to give the Bulldogs the 10-point edge.

Pepperdine closed out the half with a 7-3 spurt to cut Gonzaga's halftime lead to 23-17.

Hawk and Bowman paced the Bulldogs in the first half scoring eight points each. Hawk also dominated on defense, grabbing seven rebounds and blocking four shots.

Gonzaga used a 12-2 run over the first six minutes of the second half to break open the contest. Senior Katy Ridenour found her stroke during this run, draining two of her game-high three three-pointers. The Bulldogs lead grew as high as 26 points twice over the final 12 minutes, including at the 2:49 mark when senior Simone Santos hit a jumper.

Hawk finished the contest with her second-straight double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds; both game-highs. Bowman and Ridenour closed out the game with 14 and 11 points, respectively.

Jasmane Clarendon led the Waves with 11 points while Teiosha George added nine.

Gonzaga will be back in action on Thursday, Jan. 11 when it welcomes Santa Clara University to the McCarthey Athletic Center. Game time is set for 7 p.m.

Loyola Marymount - 54
Portland - 34

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - LMU limited Portland to a new program low for points en route to a 54-34 victory in West Coast Conference women's basketball action this afternoon in Gersten Pavilion. The guard tandem of Cassady Moore and Amanda DeCoud shut down the conference's leading scorer, Laiken Dollente, not allowing the freshman guard to score a single point this afternoon. The Lions never trailed in the game, forcing 25 turnovers in the win.

LMU improves to 9-7 on the season, 1-1 in WCC play. Portland falls to 8-9 overall, 0-2 in conference action.

The game started slowly with the first points of the game coming at the 17:25 mark on a three-pointer by Amanda Patton. Both teams struggled offensively early in the first half, but Patton's three-point shooting kept the Lions ahead. She made three baskets from behind the arc in the first half. LMU extended its lead to 10 points, 22-12 with a jumper by Jennifer Hall at 4:52, but Portland outscored LMU 6-2 the rest of the half to cut the halftime lead to 24-18.

Patton led LMU with nine points, going 3-for-5 from behind the three-point line. Hall added six points. Allyson Sievers led Portland with six points. Moore recorded four of her career-high seven steals in the first half. The teams combined for 28 turnovers in the half, and Portland outrebounded LMU 16-14.

The Lions came out of the halftime break strong, extending their lead back to double digits on a three-pointer by Patton at 15:46 to make it a 33-22 game. The three-pointer was the 119th of Patton's career and she passes Lion great Bryn Britton to move into second place on the career list. She is now seven three-pointers away from tying former teammate Rachael Ziemann's record of 126.

LMU continued to stymie the Pilot offense and its leading scorer Dollente who finished the game with no points on 0-for-5 shooting. The point guard also had eight turnovers in 34 minutes of action.

The Lions led by double digits in the final 10 minutes of the game, extending its lead to 20 points, 50-30 on a three-pointer from the corner by Hall at 2:35. A free throw by Lisa Helmers at 0:46 gave LMU its biggest lead of the game, 21 points.

Patton led all players with 14 points, adding three assists and two steals. Hall contributed 13 points with two assists and a steal. Ashlee Dunlap and DeCoud added eight points each. Dunlap also contributed six rebounds three blocks and two steals. DeCoud had three assists and two steals while helping to shut down the Portland guards.

Only five Portland players scored today, led by Rachel Warren who finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds to go along with four blocks and two steals. Sievers finished with eight points.

The 34 points scored was a new program low for Portland, beating the previous low of 35 set twice, last against Gonzaga on February 26, 2005. It was also the fewest points that LMU has allowed since the 1987-88 season when the Lions limited San Francisco to 30 points on February 13, 1988.

It is the second time this year that the Lions have kept a team under 40 points, limiting Long Beach State to 38 points on November 21, 2006.

LMU looks to continue its strong team defense on the road next weekend when it travels to San Francisco and San Diego for its first conference road trip of the year. The Lions will face the Dons on Thursday at 7:00pm, and the Toreros on Saturday afternoon at 2:00pm.

San Diego - 52
San Francisco - 45

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Behind a strong defensive effort as well as sophomore forward Amber Sprague's third double-double of the season, the University of San Diego women's basketball team (12-3, 1-0 WCC) claimed their West Coast Conference opener, 52-45, against the University of San Francisco (6-10, 0-1 WCC) Sunday afternoon at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.

San Diego was led by Sprague, who had a game-high 20 points on 9-of-17 shooting and also pulled down a game-high 13 boards to go along with two blocks, two steals and two assists. Kiva Herman saw extended minutes for the Toreros and as a result she fell just one point shy of her career-high in points with nine, while also pulling down five rebounds. Amanda Rego dished out a game-high six assists.

USD out rebounded the Dons, 46-32 and shot 32 percent from the floor, compared to that of USF who hit 38 percent of their shots. San Diego also held the Dons' leading scorer, Dominique Carter (14.8 ppg), to just five points.

"I thought the team made some really awesome adjustments after half time. I thought our defense really stepped it up in the second half and I thought we did a great job on defending Dominique (Carter)," said head coach Cindy Fisher. "I thought our rebounding efforts were phenomenal. I think that Amber Sprague and Kiva Herman both really did some awesome things for us on the boards."

In the first half of play, the two teams were pretty even keel over the first several minutes. Then with the score at 13-12 in favor of the Toreros, USF used a 13-0 run to take control of the momentum as well as a comfortable lead.

San Diego then responded by closing the half with an 8-2 run sparked by a Sprague fade-away jumper and capped by a pair of Rego free-throws, cutting the deficit to six going into the break.

The Toreros used a 10-4 run at the start of the second half to again be on even terms with the Dons. Sprague got things rolling with a jumper and book ended the run with another jumper to allow USD to pull even with the Dons at 33-33 with 14:11 remaining.

The two teams would then sea saw back and forth over the next nine minutes, before the Toreros began to pull ahead, but not to far ahead as the Dons were able to keep things close, not trailing by more then five points. USF would get the game back to within one at 44-43 on a Nickie Warren lay-up. However, the Toreros then dug in and kept their defensive pressure on over the final three minutes not allowing the Dons to score more then two points allowing USD to capture the 52-45 win.

A pair of 11-point performers in Warren and Heidi Heintz led USF offensively. Heintz also pulled down a team-best seven rebounds.

The Toreros will return to action on Thursday, as they host Pepperdine University in a 7 p.m. WCC game at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.

Santa Clara - 84
Saint Mary's - 71

MORAGA, Calif. - The Santa Clara women's basketball team got the defense of its WCC regular-season title off to a successful start Sunday afternoon, out-gunning the Saint Mary's Gaels 84-71 at McKeon Pavilion. The Broncos pulled away in the second half, shooting 59.4% in the final 20 minutes to keep Saint Mary's in catch-up mode and come away with the win.

The Broncos (9-7, 1-0) will continue WCC play next week, traveling to the Pacific Northwest to take on the Gonzaga Bulldogs at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 11, before closing the trip with a 2 p.m. contest Saturday, Jan. 13 at Portland.

"I actually thought our intensity and energy on the defensive end was good in the first half, but we always talk about the importance of the first five minutes of the second half," said head coach Michelle Bento-Jackson. "Today was the first game of the year where we increased a lead, and while we made our shots, I thought we did a much better job today on the defensive boards."

Jen Gottschalk, behind a huge first half performance, scored a team-leading and career-high 27 points and grabbed nine rebounds, while from the outside, Chandice Cronk added career-highs of her own with 26 points and eight three-pointers made, now on the year giving her an NCAA-leading 64 three-pointers.

"Jen definitely made it look easy today, she is the type of player that has a nose for the ball," said Bento-Jackson. "Her teammates did a good job of finding her, but she is so good at finding the ball around the basket, and she did a great job of finishing tonight."

Sheridan Arredondo scored 24 points to pace the Gaels, while Jontelle Smith added 14. Eghosa Obaiza grabbed 11 rebounds to lead all players Sunday.

Gottschalk's 19 first-half points carried the Broncos to the 10-point halftime lead at 37-27. The teams battled back-and-forth for the first 11 minutes of the half, which featured six lead changes. But despite 10 straight points from SMC's Arredondo, the Broncos held on to an 18-17 lead before gaining some separation.

Santa Clara ran off nine consecutive points in the next 3:36 behind the scoring of Gottschalk and Tracey Walker, who scored 11 points and grabbed five rebounds Sunday. The duo continued to shine in the final minutes, and by the end of the half had combined to score SCU's final 19 points.

The Broncos and Gaels proved why they are the WCC's highest-scoring teams in getting the second half off to a frenetic start, scoring a combined 34 points in the opening six minutes. Ashley Gonnerman's layup 10 seconds in started the stampede, as the teams exchanged buckets in alternating waves of red and white jerseys sprinting up and down the court.

SCU held the hot hand throughout the opening volleys, hitting 13 of its first 17 attempts to stretch its lead to 23 at 67-44 with 11:14 remaining. Cronk then nailed her sixth three of the game and followed up with a jumper the next trip down to give the Broncos a 72-49 lead.

The Gaels simply could not keep up with the Broncos in the second half, as Santa Clara continued to fire away, led by the accuracy of Cronk and the inside work of Gottschalk. SCU's lead got to as many as 24 at 78-54 with 8:14 to play, while the Gaels, with the outcome no longer in doubt, trimmed the deficit to 13 by the final horn.