Jan. 25, 2007
(San Francisco) - USF women's basketball got off to a slow start, rallied late, but could not come all the way back, dropping a 58-53 decision to league-leading Gonzaga Thursday night in West Coast Conference play at War Memorial Gym. The Dons (7-14, 1-5 WCC) did not score their first points of the game until the 13:24 mark of the opening half, but the Bulldogs (14-8, 6-0 WCC) only managed three points to that point.
Junior guard Nykia Peace led the Dons with a season-high 14 points, just one shy of her career-high, converting on 6-of-12 from the field to go along with three assists. Senior forward Nickie Warren added nine points and pulled down a team-high 11 rebounds. Sophomore guard Shay Rollins also score nine points with five boards.
After trailing by 10 four times inside of the 10 minute mark, USF crawled back into the contest, cutting the deficit to one, 19-18 with 1:25 on the clock on a bucket by senior center Breann Sitton. Gonzaga went on a 5-2 spurt to take a 24-20 lead into the intermission. Field goal percentages were ugly - USF shot .286 (10-35), while Gonzaga hit at a .308 (8-26) pace.
USF took its first lead of the game on a Peace lay-up with 14:24 remaining in the second and led by as many as five points three times, the last coming at 39-34 on a lay-up by junior guard Dominique Carter with 10:12 left in regulation. The Zags used an 11-2 run to take a 45-41 advantage they would not surrender. The Dons shot .520 (13-25) in the second half, compared to just .333 (9-27), but Gonzaga used its size to advantage making many trips to the free throw line, converting on .733 (22-30), including .800 (16-20) in the second half.
Senior forward Stephanie Hawk enjoyed a big game for Gonzaga, scoring a game-high 20 points, converting on 11-of-12 at the charity stripe and pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds. Freshman forward Heather Bowman scored 15 points and added eight rebounds.
San Francisco returns to WCC action when it hosts Portland in a Saturday matinee. Tip-off against the Pilots is set for 2:00 PM at War Memorial Gym.