Jan. 12, 2008
SPOKANE, Wash. - The Gonzaga University women's basketball team improved to 2-0 in the West Coast Conference with an impressive 81-65 victory over Loyola Marymount University in a rematch of the 2007 WCC Tournament Championship game Saturday afternoon at the McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, Wash.
The Bulldogs, who have won three-straight contests, are now 11-6 overall this season, while the Lions dropped to 9-8 overall and 1-1 in WCC action with the loss.
Senior guard Michelle Elliott continued her spectacular play in WCC action finishing with a game-high 17 points, 14 of which were scored in the second half. Elliott, who had 22 points for the Bulldogs in their WCC opening win over Pepperdine University, was only 3-of-11 from the floor, including 2-of-5 from behind the three-point arc, but was 9-for-11 at the charity stripe.
Freshman point guard Courtney Vandersloot also posted double-figure points for Gonzaga for the second-straight contest, registering 14, along with five rebounds, three assists and one steal. Freshman forward Janelle Bekkering added 12 points for GU.
The Bulldogs finished the game shooting 41.8 percent (28-67) from the field, including 43.8 percent (7-of-16) on three-pointers, and was 75.0 percent (18-24) at the free throw line. Gonzaga dominated the boards again, holding the huge 54-35 advantage, including the 13-5 edge on the offensive end and outscored the Lions 27-2 on fast-break buckets and 34-24 in the paint.
Loyola Marymount's Renahy Young, a freshman who scored a career-high 20 points against the University of Portland in LMU's opening WCC contest, had a team-high 14 points for the Lions. Amanda DeCoud added 11 points and Kavita Goss chipped in 10. LMU finished the contest shooting 35.3 percent (24-68) from the floor and 42.9 percent (6-of-14) from three-point range to go along with 73.3 percent (11-for-15) at the free throw line.
Gonzaga jumped out ahead early, building an 11-4 lead at the 14:29 mark after a free throw by senior guard Michelle Elliott. The Bulldogs then used a 13-4 run over the next seven minutes to gain its largest lead of the half at 16. The run was capped off with an old fashion three-point play by Maria Hassett which put the score at 24-8 with 7:46 remaining in the opening half.
Loyola Marymount seemed to find their rhythm from distance, getting three-pointers from Goss and Lisa Helmers which sparked a run. An offensive rebound and put back by LMU's Aleyse Evans cut the score to 28-20 but GU got six-straight points from Bekkering to push its advantage back to 14. The Bulldogs stayed strong over the final five minutes and were able to go into the intermission ahead 40-31.
Elliott drained a three-pointer to open the second half and it was all Gonzaga after that. The Zags, who built their lead to 67-45 at 10:35 after a three-pointer by senior Rachel Kane, kept their lead above 20 for the final 10 minutes of the contest.
Gonzaga was sizzling in the second stanza, hitting 6-of-9 three-point attempts after only hitting one in the opening half.
The Bulldogs hit the road for the next two WCC contests. Gonzaga begins the week with a game at the University of San Diego, picked to finish first in the conference, on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. The Zags then play at the University of San Francisco on Saturday, Jan. 19 at 2 p.m.