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Zags Win WCC Rematch, 81-65

Jan. 12, 2008

Box Score

Spokane, WA - Gonzaga handed LMU an 81-65 defeat Saturday afternoon in front of 1508 fans in a rematch of the 2007 WCC Championship Game at the McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, WA. In a matchup of the top two teams in the West Coast Conference standings, the Lions (9-8, 1-1 WCC) drop their fifth straight against the Bulldogs (11-6, 2-0 WCC).

Two days after pouring in 20 points in LMU's WCC-opening victory at Portland freshman Renahy Young continued to play well, scoring a team-high 14 points. Senior Amanda DeCoud, coming off the bench for the second straight game, added 11 points. Sophomore Kavita Goss chipped in 10 points and redshirt freshman Aleyse Evans tied her career-high with eight points while grabbing a game-high nine rebounds.

Michelle Elliott scored 14 of her game-high 17 points in the second half to pace the Bulldog attack. Courtney Vandersloot had 14 points and Janelle Bekkering was also in double figures with 12.

LMU shot 35.3% (24-for-68) from the floor and 42.9% (6-for-14) from three-point range to go along with 73.3% (11-for-15) at the line. Gonzaga shot 41.8% (28-for-67) overall, 43.8% (7-for-16) from long range, and 75.0% (18-for-24) from the free throw line. GU held a 54-35 rebounding advantage and out-scored LMU 27-2 in fastbreak buckets and 34-24 in the paint.

LMU struggled early, making just two of its first 12 shots and turned the ball over four times as the Bulldogs opened the game on a 15-4 run. The Lions' troubles continued as Gonzaga's strong defense frustrated them and the Bulldogs scored 18 of their first 23 points off the fastbreak. LMU went almost five minutes without a field goal with a three-point play by GU's Maria Hassett extending the lead to 24-8.

The Lions found their rhythm from distance, getting three-pointers from Goss and sophomore Lisa Helmers to get them going. An offensive rebound-put back by Evans cut it to 28-20 but the Bulldogs got six straight points from Bekkering to restore the 14-point advantage. Goss kept the Lions close, knocking down another long three and DeCoud followed with a one-on-four fastbreak lay-up to pull LMU back to 36-29 with 2:11 left in the half.

LMU recovered from its slow start to make 10 of its last 19 shots to go into the half trailing 40-31. The Lions shot (38.7%) overall, with strong three-point shooting (3-for-6) keeping them close. Gonzaga shot 42.9% (15-for-35) from the floor and converted 11 LMU turnovers into 18 fast-break points.

LMU cut into the Gonzaga advantage in the second half, reducing the lead to seven on two occasions but the Bulldogs were able to answer back on each occasion, building the lead to as many as 17, 56-39 with 12:55 left. Young, coming off a 20-point performance at Portland on Thursday, scored eight of LMU's first 14 points in the second half, using an array of drives and finishes with either hand.

Still, the Bulldogs kept LMU at bay with some hot three-point shooting. After going 1-for-7 from long range in the first half, GU sank six of its first nine from distance in the second to open up a 70-47 lead.

The Lions return home next week for their WCC games this season. LMU hosts Santa Clara at 7 p.m. on Thursday and Saint Mary's at 2 p.m. on Saturday.