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WCC Women's Basketball Recaps

Jan. 25, 2007

Gonzaga - 58
San Francisco - 53

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.

Saint Mary's - 64
Loyola Marymount - 59

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Cassady Moore smashed her career-high with 22 points but it was not enough as the Lions fell to Saint Mary's 64-59 this evening in Gersten Pavilion. The Gaels led by as many as 16, but the Lions cut the lead to two points late in the second half. Missed field goals and free throws in the final minutes slowed the comeback bid and the Gaels pulled out the road win.

The Lions (11-9, 3-3) scored the first basket of the game, but the Gaels (9-10, 3-3) led the rest of the way. Moore scored LMU's first six points of the game, but SMC pulled out to a 14-6 lead at 11:49 on a jumper by Serena Benevente. LMU cut it to four, 16-12, but the Gaels scored eight straight points to take a 24-12 lead at 9:17 on a three-point play by Sheridan Arredondo. The Lions were able to cut the lead to single digits on a layup and free throw by Moore, but the Gaels answered back with eight straight points, including back to back three-pointers by Benavente and Jontelle Smith to extend the lead back to 16, 37-21 at 3:47. Again, LMU worked it back down to eight points with a pair of free throws by Amanda Patton with 10 seconds remaining in the half, but Arredondo scored as the clock ran out to give SMC a 39-29 lead heading into the break.

Moore led all players with 18 points in the first half on 7-for-11 shooting from the field. No other LMU had more than two points in the half. Arredondo and Smith led SMC with nine points each.

The Gaels held a 24-14 rebounding advantage in the first half, led by Maija Lahde and Lauren Shaughnessy who had six boards. Ashlee Dunlap led the Lions with four rebounds.

SMC opened the second half by extending its lead to 15 points, 46-31, on a jumper by Shaughnessy at 18:14. The Lions then began to mount their comeback, outscoring the Gaels 19-8 over the next 10 minutes to cut the lead to 54-50 at 8:31 on a layup by Jennifer Hall.

LMU kept battling and cut the lead to two points, 58-56, on a layup by Jenna Sybesma on a fantastic assist from Amanda DeCoud.

Unfortunately for Lion fans, that would be as close as LMU would get. Arredondo answered with a fastbreak layup to extend the lead back to four points. Valerie Ogoke was fouled on the next LMU possession and made one of two free throws to cut the lead back to three, 60-57 at 3:45. SMC countered with a layup by Eghosa Obaiza at 3:19 to extend the lead to five, 62-57.

Both teams would struggle offensively over the next few possession, with turnovers and missed shots keeping the score steady until a steal and a coast to coast layup by Patton at 1:24 cut the lead back to three, 62-59 at 1:24.

Obaiza missed a layup on the next SMC possession, and Hall was able to grab the rebound. She was fouled in the process, but missed both free throws. LMU had two offensive rebounds following the second missed free throw, but a missed layup and an offensive foul gave the ball back to the Gaels with 30 seconds on the clock.

After getting fouled, SMC's Smith made her first free throw but missed her second and Moore recovered the defensive rebound with 21 seconds remaining. However, two more LMU misses in the final seconds of the game sealed the Lions' fate.

Moore led all players with a career-high 22 points, smashing her previous career-high of 14 points. Hall added 10 points and eight rebounds, while Ogoke had seven points, seven rebounds, four blocks and three steals. DeCoud had six assists and three steals for LMU.

Four Gaels finished in double digit scoring, with Benavente and Arredondo leading the way with 13 points. Obaiza finished with 12, and Smith added 10 points. Shaughnessy led all players with nine rebounds, and added eight assists. Lahde and Smith dished out five assists.

The Gaels shot 48.3% from the field, including 50% in the second half, while LMU shot 41% overall. The Lions struggled from three-point range, making just one of 11 shots. In addition, LMU also missed several key free throws, shooting 50% from the charity stripe.

LMU returns to action on Saturday, hosting Santa Clara at 2:00pm to wrap up the first half of conference play.

San Diego - 74
Portland - 66

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Behind Kelly Winther's career-high 20 points the University of San Diego women's basketball team won its seventh consecutive game in a 74-66 victory over the University of Portland Thursday evening in a West Coast Conference game at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.

With the win, the Toreros move to 17-3 overall and remain undefeated in conference play at 6-0. USD has now tied the 1999-2000 and 1989-90 teams for the most wins in program history and the 6-0 WCC start hasn't happened since the 1985-86 team opened conference action at 7-0. USD is now on a season-high seven game winning streak, just two shy of the program record. With the loss, the Pilots fall to 8-12 overall and 0-6 in the WCC.

Winther led all scorers with her 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting, marking the fifth consecutive game the sophomore has scored in double figures. Kiva Herman had her second consecutive game in double figures with 14 points, including going 8-for-8 from the free throw line. Amber Sprague was the third Torero in double figures with 14 points and freshman Morgan Henderson was the final USD player in double digits with 12 points. Amanda Rego dished out a game-high seven assists to go along with six points and five rebounds.

The Pilots surprised the Toreros from the get-go as they opened the game with a 6-0 run, before Henderson snapped the run with a jumper from on the baseline. But Portland kept the pedal to the medal and would eventually build their lead up to as many as 12 at 18-6 on a Jennifer Wassom three pointer from about five feet behind the arc.

The Toreros then responded with a 8-0 run to get back into the game. Herman got the ball rolling for USD with a pair of free-throws, the back-to-back three-pointers, one by Henderson and the other by Wither, and USD was only down four with 8:10 remaining.

After a pair of free throws by Portland's Laura Thomas, USD would explode for another 8-0 run to take their first lead of the game. Sprague sparked the run with a jumper in the paint, and Winther would book end the run with another three-pointer to give USD a 22-20 advantage.

The two teams would then sea saw back and forth for a bit and USD would go on to take a one point lead into the break at 34-33.

In the second half, San Diego opened the frame with a 7-3 run to give them some breathing room at 41-37. But the Pilots refused to go away, as they would pull to within two at 41-39 on a pair of Kendra Morris free throws.

But that would be the closest they would come to the Toreros as USD responded with a 9-2 run to regain the momentum and give them a 11 point lead on a pair of Herman free throws.

USD would eventually build their lead up to as many as 13 at 56-43 again a pair of Herman free throws, and USD would not look back as they cruised their way to their seventh straight win.

For the Pilots, Laiken Dollente led the way with her team-best 18 points. Three other Pilots were in double figures with Jennifer Wassom getting 13, Thomas adding in 16 and Morris dropped in 11.

The Toreros will now host Gonzaga University on Saturday for a battle of the undefeated in the WCC and the rights for sole possession of first place. Tip off is scheduled for a 2 p.m. start.

Santa Clara - 69
Pepperdine - 60

MALIBU, Calif. - Junior Teiosha George recorded the second double-double of her career with a 12-point, 12-rebound effort Thursday night but it was not enough to keep the Pepperdine Waves from dropping their fifth straight game of the season 69-60 to the Santa Clara Broncos in West Coast Conference (WCC) action.

Teena Wickett added a team-high 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting for Pepperdine (8-13, 1-5 WCC). The freshman also pulled down eight rebounds. Junior Daphanie Kennedy had eight points to go along with four rebounds in her first game since December 21.

Chandice Cronk scored 24 of her 26 points in the second half to lead all players, while Anna Martin chipped in with 11 points and Jen Gottschalk added nine points and 10 rebounds for Santa Clara (12-9, 4-2 WCC).

Trailing by one to start the second half, Pepperdine pounded the ball inside and tied the score at 26-all on a Wickett layup at the 17:26 mark. Wickett stole the ball from Ashley Graham moments later and connected on a pair of free throws, giving the Waves their largest lead of the night.

Cronk scored five straight points to regain the lead for Santa Clara but consecutive baskets by Shannon Johnson and Jasmane Clarendon pushed Pepperdine back in front 32-31.

With the score tied at 36 Santa Clara pulled away using a 9-2 run as Pepperdine went 1-for-5 from the floor over almost a five minute span. The Broncos extended their lead to a dozen with 4:01 to play and secured the victory by making 12-of-16 free throws in the final two minutes.

Santa Clara raced out to a 15-7 lead before Pepperdine started to heat up. The Waves used a 12-4 run to tie the score at 19-19 with 4:08 remaining in the first half. The Broncos built up as much as a four-point lead down the stretch but a Jessica Ross trey with 40 seconds to play provided the 23-22 half time score.

Pepperdine will return to action Saturday afternoon when it hosts the Saint Mary's Gaels at Firestone Fieldhouse. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. PT.