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WCC Women's Basketball Recaps

Feb. 9, 2008

Gonzaga - 92
Pepperdine - 85

MALIBU, Calif. - The Gonzaga University women's basketball team bounced back from its first West Coast Conference loss to defeat host Pepperdine University, 92-85, Saturday afternoon at the Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, Calif. The Bulldogs improved to 17-7 overall with the win and are now 8-1 in conference action, while the Waves dropped to 6-17 on the season and 1-9 in the WCC.

Gonzaga went into the locker room with the slight 44-42 edge on the strength of freshman Courtney Vandersloot and senior Michelle Elliott. Vandersloot, the Zags starting point guard, finished the half hitting 4-of-6 from the field, including sinking 1-of-2 three-pointers, for nine total points. Vandersloot also had a hand in six other baskets for the Bulldogs, made two steals and grabbed two rebounds.

Elliott, who did not put up a three-pointer in GU's loss to Loyola Marymount, Feb. 7, closed out the first stanza hitting 3-of-6 from behind the three-point arc and adding 1-of-2 from the charity stripe for a team-eading 10 points.

Pepperdine was able to stay with Gonzaga in the first half due largely in part by Miranda Ayim and Teiosha George who combined for 27 of the Waves 42 first half points. Aym scored 17 points for the Waves, hitting an incredible 8-of-9 from the floor and a perfect 1-of-1 at the free throw line, while Teiosha George added 10 points.

The game stayed close in early minutes of the second half until the Bulldogs broke open a 55-55 tie with a 10-0 run to take their then-largest lead of the contest with 9:24 left. The Waves never got closer than four points of the lead after Zag push.

Gonzaga secured the seven-point victory by hitting 8-of-10 free throws over the final 1:01 of the contest.

All five starters closed out the game in double-figures for Gonzaga. Vandersloot led the way scoring a career-high and team-leading 20 points. Vandersloot also dished out seven assists, had five steals and three rebounds in the victory. Sophomore Heather Bowman and Elliott registered 14 points apiece, while junior Jami Bjorklund and sophomore Vivian Frieson chipped in 10 each.

The Bulldogs finished the game shooting 51.4% (35-68) from the floor, including 29.4% (5-17) on three-pointers, and was 70.8% (17-24) at the charity stripe.

Daphanie Kennedy Ayim and George all paced Pepperdine. Kennedy scored a game-high 28 points, hitting 8-of-15 from the floor, including 1-of-7 on three-pointers, and was a perfect 11-of-11 from the charity stripe. Ayim also scored 20-plus points for the Waves, finishing with 23, while George posted 18.

Pepperdine shot 55.9% (33-59) from the field and was a perfect 16-of-16 at the free throw line.

Gonzaga will close out its home-portion of West Coast Conference action next week when it welcomes both the University of San Francisco and the University of San Diego to the McCarthey Athletic Center. The Bulldogs will start the week off by hosting the Dons of USF on Thursday, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. and then welcomes the Toreros of USD on Saturday, Feb.16 at 2 p.m.

LMU - 64
Portland - 51

Los Angeles, CA - LMU led wire-to-wire and tied its season-high with its third straight victory, defeating Portland 64-51 in a West Coast Conference game Saturday afternoon at Gersten Pavilion. The win is the 11th straight for the Lions (14-10, 6-3 WCC) over the Pilots (14-10, 4-5 WCC).

A balanced scoring output saw three Lions finish in double figures. Freshman Renahy Young had a game-high 16 points, 11 after halftime, to lead the team in scoring for the seventh time in WCC play. Senior Amanda DeCoud added 14 points and junior Jenna Sybesma had her second consecutive strong outing off the bench with 12 points, five rebounds, and two steals. She was joined under the hoop by senior Valerie Ogoke, who grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds to go along with five points and four steals.

LMU shot 42.1% (24-for-57) from the floor and made one of its three attempts from long range. The Lions held a huge advantage at the line, sinking 15-of-22 (68.2%) and out-rebounded the Pilots 40-38. LMU has also found its niche in the lane, outscoring Portland 40-24 in the paint.

Tara Cronin and Karlie Burris each had 10 points to lead the Pilots, who shot 35.6% (21-for-59) overall and 20.0% (2-for-10) from three-point range. Portland struggled all day from the line, connecting on half of its 14 attempts, and committed 21 turnovers.

Two days after stepping up the defensive pressure and discovering its inside game in a win over Gonzaga, the Lions continued with that M.O. against Portland. LMU forced nine UP turnovers in the first nine minutes while making nine of its first 15 shots from the field to jump out to a 19-6 lead with 11:09 left in the first. Sybesma and redshirt freshman Aleyse Evans were the beneficiaries of the inside play, with each scoring six points as 14 of LMU's first 19 points came in the paint.

LMU's lead grew to as many as 18, 28-10, before the Pilots began chipping away by hitting the offensive glass. Eleven of UP's 24 first-half rebounds were on the offensive end, helping the visitors finish the half on an 11-1 run to make the halftime score 29-21 LMU.

As on Thursday, the Lion guards came out firing in the second half with DeCoud and Young finding room to penetrate and finish. The duo combined for 10 of LMU's first 13 points coming out of the break to help the Lions on a 13-5 run to open up a 16-point lead, 42-26.

Still, the Pilots did not go away and slowly crawled back with a three-pointer by Jennifer Wassom bringing them within 10, 48-39. Wassom connected again a minute later to make it a seven-point game with less than 10 minutes to go. After a layup by junior Cassady Moore, Burris hit a three and then a short jumper and the Lion lead was down to six.

The Lions had one last spurt left in them to pull away, though. Sybesma connected on a layup and Young converted a three-point play to push LMU's lead back into double figures. Ogoke then blocked a shot and secured the rebound to end the Pilots' final chance.

LMU takes its final road trip of the season next week, traveling to Saint Mary's on Thursday at 7 p.m. and Santa Clara on Saturday at 2 p.m.

Saint Mary's - 65
Santa Clara - 54

Moraga, CA - The Saint Mary's women's basketball received a huge boost from Sierra Chambers off the bench, as the Gaels posted a 65-54 win over the Santa Clara Broncos. The sophomore slasher tied her career-high with 19 points on the night, while also picking up eight rebounds.

Although Chambers recorded the game-high, the Gaels executed a well balanced offense with multiple players adding to the Saint Mary's total. Louella Tomlinson chipped in 11 points and four blocks on the night, while Jontelle Smith posted 10 points and five rebounds. Serena Benavente did an excellent job distributing the ball, dishing out six assists while committing no turnovers.

With just 10 seconds into the game Tomlinson knocked down the 15 footer to give the Gaels their first basket. Chambers then performed an acrobatic spin-move around two Bronco defenders at the 17:11 mark, tying the game at five apiece. The sophomore continued to produce Gael offense the next possession down, as she was fouled on a three point attempt. Chambers went 2-of-3 from the line to record a five point run on her own in the first three minutes.

Lindsay Ellis fought for an offensive rebound with 11:58 on the clock and her efforts were rewarded, grabbing the rebound and converting a three-point play. At the second media timeout the Gaels were all tied-up with the Broncos, with both teams posting 16 points apiece.

Junior Mikaela Cowles threw in her first points of the ball game at the 9:54 on a three-pointer, extending the Gaels' lead to eight, 24-16, the largest lead of the half thus far. With momentum in their hands the Gaels forced a Bronco turnover and found the bottom of the net on a Tomlinson two. With the two-pointer Saint Mary's extended the advantage to double digits, 26-16.

Santa Clara dug their way back into the game, cutting the Gaels' lead to five at halftime. Saint Mary's shot an impressive 40.6 percent from the field in the first half, while holding their opponents to 36.4 percent. The Gaels out rebounded the Broncos in the first half 24-18, with Smith leading the way with four boards.

The first half was full of ups and downs for both teams, as the lead was tied six times and exchanged six times. From a statistical standpoint the teams could not have been more even, as both squads recorded 12 points in the point, 11 points of turnovers, and three second chance points. Where the Gaels held the advantage was off the bench, as Saint Mary's received 17 points off the bench compared to the Broncos zero.

Saint Mary's began the second half sluggish, as the Broncos tied the score at 35 apiece on a 5-0 run. The Gaels began to feel Santa Clara's pressure, stepping-up their game to go on an impressive run of their own.

Behind Chambers Saint Mary's posted a 17-3 run, taking a 52-38 lead over the Broncos. From that point on the Broncos would not find their rhythm, as Saint Mary's maintained their defensive effort to keep Santa Clara out of their normal routine.

Saint Mary's finished the ball game shooting 39 percent from the floor, 45.5 percent from beyond the arc, and 63.6 percent from the free throw line. The Gaels outscored the Broncos off the bench, 33-2.

The Broncos were led by Sarah Majors with 18 points on the night, while Elizabeth Doran and Tracey Walker added 15 and 11 points respectively.

The Gaels continue West Coast Conference play at home next week, hosting Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine. Saint Mary's will first face the Pepperdine Waves on Thursday, February 14 at 7:00 pm. In the second WCC competition of the week the LMU Lions will come to McKeon Pavilion on February 16, tip-off is scheduled for 2:00 pm.

San Diego - 67
San Francisco - 48

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Senior point guard Amanda Rego recorded her second career triple-double with 10 points, 10 assists and 10 steals to help propel the University of San Diego women's basketball team to a 67-48 win over the University of San Francisco in a West Coast Conference game at USD's Jenny Craig Pavilion Saturday afternoon.

With the win, the Toreros improve to 12-10 overall, move to 3-5 in the WCC and have won their third consecutive game. With the loss, the Dons fall to 13-10 overall and 4-4 in the WCC.

Rego wasn't the only star on the court for the Toreros with the program's second triple-double in its history, as Amber Sprague recorded a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Kiva Herman recorded a game-high 16 points on 7-of-14 shooting, and Sam Child added in nine points and Morgan Henderson recorded eight points. As a team, the Toreros hit 43 percent of their shots and out rebounded the Dons 35-33.

For USD, Dominique Carter tied Herman for a game--high 16 points to move her into tie for fifth all-time in the WCC in career points with 1,710 with Anja Bordt, who played at Saint Mary's from 1988-91. The Dons were held to just 37 percent shooting from the floor.

In the first half, the Toreros came out hitting on all cylinders as they opened the game with a 17-5 run over the first 5:57 of action. Kiva Herman got things started for the game with a jumper and five different USD players recorded at least one point during this run that was capped on a pair of Kaila Mangrum free throws.

A Carter 3-pointer then ignited a 11-2 Dons run that was capped on a Lisa Olden jumper to pull the Dons back to within three at 19-16 with 8:15 remaining in the first half.

Mangum then hit a pair of free throws to spark a 8-0 Torero run over the next four minutes to give USD back the momentum and a 27-16 advantage. The Dons gave USD a brief scare as they got back to within one at 27-26 on a Carter 3-pointer, but a jumper by Sprague and a Henderson 3-pointer gave USD a 32-26 edge going into the break.

In the second half, Lisa Olden hit a jumper for USF right out of the gates, but a Child 3-pointer then ignited a 9-0 Torero run that was capped off on a pair of Rego free throws to give USD a 41-28 lead.

Finally after a little over a six minute scoring drought, the Dons' Shay Rollins hit a jumper to snap the Toreros run with 14:46 to go.

The Toreros never took their foot off the gas as they quickly built up a 17-point lead at 47-30 with 12:24 to go and never looked back. The Toreros would go on to build their lead up to as many as 26 on a Sprague lay-up with 3:26 to go and would hold on for a 19-point victory.

The Toreros will return to action on Thursday as they make a trip up to Portland to take on the University of Portland at 7 p.m. Valentines Day WCC game.