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WCC Women's Basketball Recaps

Jan. 13, 2007

Gonzaga - 85
Saint Mary's - 49

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Gonzaga University women's basketball team earned an 85-49 victory over Saint Mary's College Saturday afternoon at the McCarthey Athletic Center. With the win, the Bulldogs improved to a perfect 4-0 in the West Coast Conference and 12-8 overall. The Gaels dropped to 1-2 in conference and 7-9 overall with the loss.

Freshman Heather Bowman led Gonzaga with a game-high 20 points; her sixth-straight double-figure scoring game and 11th overall. The Spokane native closed out the game shooting 7-of-10 from the field and was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line.

Senior Katy Ridenour added 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the floor, including 2-of-3 shooting from the three-point arc. She also chipped in a game-high five steals and two assists.

The Bulldogs, who held a 22-6 lead with a little over eight minutes to go before halftime, went into the locker room with a 34-19 advantage. GU shot a sizzling 51.7% (15-29) from the floor in the first stanza, while holding SMC to a dismal 20.6% (7-34).

Gonzaga came out of halftime on fire scoring 20 points over the first six minutes, while limiting Saint Mary's to just four points, to take a commanding 54-23 lead. The Bulldogs pushed their lead to 37; their largest of the game, after freshman Vivian Frieson hit one of two free throws at the 2:55 mark.

The Zags finished the game shooting 53.4% (31-58) from the field, their highest field goal percentage this season in WCC play. Gonzaga also shot 30.0% (3-10) on three-pointers and 71.4% (20-28) at the charity stripe.

The Gaels closed out the contest shooting 30.8% (20-65), including 25.0% (3-12) on three-pointers and 60.0% (6-10) from the line.

Saint Mary's was led by Jontelle Smith who scored a team-high 10 points, along with five rebounds, and two assists.

Gonzaga will be back in action on Saturday, Jan. 20 when it welcomes University of Portland to the McCarthey Athletic Center. Game time is set for 3 p.m.

San Diego - 50
LMU - 49

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Amanda Rego's free throw with 17 seconds remaining, and Loyola Marymount University's Amanda DeCoud's missed free throw with three seconds remaining lifted the University of San Diego women's basketball team to a thrilling 50-49 West Coast Conference win over LMU, who was tabbed a the co-favorite to win the WCC, Saturday afternoon at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.

With less than one minute to play, USD was clinging on to a one-point lead at 49-48 thanks to a Kelly Winther jumper with 2:05 remaining. Each team had opportunities to score, but neither could but the ball in the basket. Then Cassady Moore fouled Rego, who hit one of two free throws to give USD a two-point lead with 17 seconds remaining.

Winther then fouled DeCoud with three seconds left under the basket to give LMU an opportunity to tie the game. DeCloud sank the first free throw, then missed the second, and the long rebound went into the hands of Rego, who was in turned fouled with one second remaining. Rego missed the free throw, and the ball went out of bounds as time expired to give USD the win.

With the win, the Toreros improve to 14-3 overall, win their fourth consecutive game, remain undefeated in conference at 3-0 and have defeated the two preseason favorites to win the conference crown. This marks the first time since the 1998-99 season the Toreros have began conference with a 3-0 start, and this is also the first time since the 1999-2000 season USD has won 14 games. With the loss, the Lions fall to 10-8 overall and 2-2 in the WCC.

"I thought our defense was the key in the game, again," said head coach Cindy Fisher. "I thought that Ashley Voisinet's defensive effort on Amanda Patton was phenomenal. Patton was coming off a huge 24-point game and was really playing well, and I just thought Ashley did a great job of slowing her down. I really felt that was the difference in the game. I also thought that Sabine Loewe gave us some really great minutes defensively in rebounding the ball."

Winther led the team in scoring with 12 points on 5-of-11 shooting. Rego was the only other USD player in double figures with 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting, while also dishing out six assists and pulling down a game-high eight rebounds. The Toreros shot 41 percent from the floor and out rebounded the Lions 37-29.

In the first half, the early going was pretty even with neither team taking a lead bigger than four. Then with the score at 12-10 in favor of the Lions, LMU used a 7-0 run to gain control of the momentum and take a nine-point lead. USD would eventually close the gap to six by the break.

In the second half, LMU continued to have control of the momentum, as they would eventually build up their lead to as many as 13 at 36-23 with 15:45 remaining on a Jennifer Hall three-pointer.

USD then began its comeback, as they used a 12-2 run sparked by Rego lay-up and capped by a Winther three-pointer to pull within three at 38-35. USD would then pull within one on a Rego lay-up, but LMU responded with a 6-2 run to give them some breathing room.

USD refused to go away as they then clawed their way back into the game and would regain the lead on a Winther jumper with 2:05 remaining moving the score to 49-48. This set the stage for the final minute of play.

Hall led all scorers with 17 points for LMU on 7-of-14 shooting. Moore was one point shy of double figures with nine points for this Lions. As a team, LMU shot 38 percent from the floor.

The Toreros will now hit the road for a pair of WCC games this week against Santa Clara University on Thursday, then close there road swing with Saint Mary's College on Saturday at 2 p.m.

San Francisco - 77
Pepperdine - 65

San Francisco, CA - USF started strong but finished even stronger, rallying from a nine-point halftime deficit to stun Pepperdine 77-65 Saturday afternoon in West Coast Conference action at War Memorial Gym. The Dons (7-11, 1-2 WCC) scored a remarkable 57 points in the second half, connecting on .654 (17-26) from the field at the expense of the Waves (8-11, 1-3 WCC).

Freshman guard Heidi Heintz and junior guard Dominique Carter scored a game-high 17 points, while sophomore guard Shay Rollins added 16. It is a new career-high for Heintz, who scored all of her points in the final 20 minutes to go along with six rebounds and did not commit a turnover in 26 minutes. Carter scored 14 in the second half and pulled down five boards. Senior forward Nickie Warren chipped in 10 points and pulled down a game-high seven rebounds.

"I think the second half went really well," said USF head coach Tanya Haave, who collected her first league victory. "We played offensive ball and it just clicked. I thought our focus was great to come from behind and win in the second half. Heidi played close to 100 percent efficiently, but having four players in double-digit scoring gave us great balance on the court."

USF opened the game on a 11-2 run and looked to be in control. Pepperdine disagreed and went on a 17-2 run to take a 19-13 lead with 4:16 remaining and led at the 29-20 at the break.

San Francisco roared out of the gate in the second, going on a 10-1 run to tie the contest at 30-30 on a jumper by Warren with 17:26 remaining. The Waves pushed their lead to six points, 39-33 with 14:53 left, but a pair of Carter free throws gave the Dons a 45-43 edge with 9:56 on the clock and USF would not trail the rest of the contest.

Senior forward Jasmane Clarendon and sophomore guard Jessica Ross each scored a team-high 11 points for the Waves, while three players scored 10 off the bench. Pepperdine shot .397 (25-63) from the field and converted on .406 (13-32) in the second half.

San Francisco shot .429 (24-56) for the game and connected on .400 (6-15) from 3-point range. USF held a 39-34 rebound advantage and shot at a .767 (23-30) clip from the free throw line.

USF returns to WCC action when it travels across the Bay Bridge to take on longtime Bay Area rival Saint Mary's Thursday, January 18. Game time against the Gaels is set for 7:00 PM at McKeon Pavilion in a game televised live on ESPNU.

Santa Clara - 81
Portland - 71

PORTLAND, Ore. - Still smarting from a heartbreaking overtime loss two nights ago, the Santa Clara women's basketball team took out its frustrations on the Portland Pilots Saturday afternoon, shooting and pounding their way to an 81-71 victory at the Chiles Center. Four Broncos scored in double figures to lead a balanced effort to victory.

The Broncos (10-8, 2-1) return home for their first homestand of the WCC season, hosting the San Diego Toreros Thursday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m., and closing the weekend out with a 7 p.m. contest Saturday night, Jan. 20 opposite the San Francisco Dons.

Kasey Monteith matched her career high Saturday with 16 points and was a perfect 6-of-6 from the floor. Chandice Cronk bounced back with 16 points, Jen Gottschalk continued her outstanding weekend with 13 points and eight rebounds, and Ashley Graham rounded out the Broncos scoring in double figures with 11. As a team, Santa Clara went 31-for-56 from the floor (55.4%).

"Kasey and Jen were very sharp for us today, they gave us the scoring balance that we want from our inside players," Bento-Jackson said. "I thought that Kasey came in, was very intense and aggressive, and made very good decisions on the floor today. When she makes solid decisions, she puts herself in a good position to succeed."

A 17-2 run to open the second half blew Saturday's contest open, turning a 10-point SCU halftime lead into a 62-39 advantage. The Santa Clara defense made 12 thefts and forced 23 Portland turnovers on the day, and that performance helped fuel the second-half run as Portland was held scoreless for the first 4:33 of the half.

With Thursday night's overtime loss at Gonzaga still a fresh wound, the Broncos came out Saturday determined to keep Portland on the defensive for the entire 40 minutes. From Ashley Gonnerman's opening layup 13 seconds into the contest, Santa Clara took a lead that they would not relinquish the entire afternoon.

"It was very important for us to take that energy from Thursday night's game and channel it today in a positive way," Monteith said after the win. "We did a good job of putting the game behind us and focusing on getting the job done today."

Both teams shot well from the floor in the opening half, as the Broncos shot 58.6% and the Pilots 51.9%, but the SCU defense caused 14 Portland turnovers, which they converted into 12 points in transition in the opening 20 minutes.

Cronk, coming off of a season-low one-point performance at Gonzaga, hit a pair of jumpers and a three to open SCU's lead to 12-7 less than three minutes in, and another three with 10:11 left in the half capped her 12 first-half points and gave SCU a 25-17 lead.

Portland, after falling behind by nine at 30-21 at one point, pulled to within three after scoring six straight points, but Ashley and Tracey Walker combined for the next five points to put SCU up by eight at 35-27. The Broncos kept the pressure on the Pilots the rest of the half, and Yasemin Kimyacioglu's jumper with two seconds left sent SCU into the locker room with a 10-point halftime lead at 45-35.

Santa Clara's big run to start the second half essentially put the game away, as the 25-point lead was more than enough for SCU to hold. Monteith continued her solid play throughout the half, scoring seven points while fellow post Gottschalk added 11 second-half points. For the game, the Broncos scored 46 points in the paint to Portland's 26.