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Zags Hold On, Earn Victory Over San Diego

Jan. 17, 2008

Box Score

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The Gonzaga University women's basketball team handed the University of San Diego, the West Coast Conference preseason favorite, its second-straight WCC loss with a 83-76 victory at the Jenny Craig Pavilion Thursday evening. The Bulldogs (12-6) stayed perfect in the WCC with the win, improving their record to 3-0, and have now won four-straight.

Gonzaga starved off a late run by San Diego (9-7, 0-2) to earn the seven-point victory. The Bulldogs seemed to have locked up the win easily building a 24-point cushion at 57-34 with 15:42 remaining in the contest after GU opened the second half with a 14-0 run.

The Zags continued to hold an extreme lead late into the second half but the Toreros mounted a comeback which was started with a three-pointer by Sam Child at the 5:11 mark that sliced Gonzaga's 17 point advantage to 70-56. A jumper by USD's Kiva Herman followed by another three-pointer by Child cut the Bulldogs lead to single-digits at nine points at the 3:36 mark.

With the Zags leading 76-65 with 1:39 left, the Toreros rattled off an 8-2 spurt to come within five points of tying the contest. Three consecutive free throws by freshman Courtney Vandersloot pushed Gonzaga's lead to 80-72 with 22 ticks remaining, but back-to-back layup by USD's Amanda Rego cut the lead to four and put a small scare into the Bulldogs.

Gonzaga, who struggled earlier in the year at the free throw line, sank its final three of four free throw opportunities to secure the WCC win.

The Bulldogs held the 43-31 lead at halftime on the strong play of both sophomore Heather Bowman and sophomore Tiffanie Shives. Bowman scored 13 points in the opening half and Shives posted 11.

The Zags had five players close out the contest in double-digit points, including Bowman who registered 26 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the field and 6-of-7 from the free throw line. Sharpshooter Shives drained four three-pointers in the game and finished the contest with 14 points.

Vandersloot chipped in 13 points, while freshman Vivian Frieson and junior Jami Bjorklund both posted 12 points.

Gonzaga was sizzling from the floor against San Diego, hitting 50.0 percent (29-58) of its shots, including 56.3 percent (9-16) of its three-pointers. The Bulldogs also finished the contest making 16-of-20 (80.0%) free throw opportunities.

The Zags finished with a slight 31-30 edge in rebounds. Both teams dished out 14 assists, had five steals and two blocks in the contest. Gonzaga turned the ball over 15 times and San Diego had 16 miscues.

The Toreros were led by Herman who scored a game-high 28 points and brought down eight rebounds. San Diego shot 47.5 percent (28-59) from the field, including 42.9 percent (6-14) from beyond the three-point arc, and was 77.8 percent (14-18) at the charity stripe.

Gonzaga will be back in action on Saturday, Jan. 19 when it plays at the University of San Francisco. Game time is set for 2 p.m.