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WCC Women's Basketball Recaps

Feb. 14, 2008

Gonzaga - 90
San Francisco - 42

SPOKANE, Wash. - Sophomore Heather Bowman scored a game-high 20 points and freshman Courtney Vandersloot added 18 points, eight assists and five rebounds as the Gonzaga University women's basketball team rolled past visiting University of San Francisco 90-42 Thursday evening in front of 1,821 fans at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

Senior Michelle Elliott and freshman Janelle Bekkering had 10 points apiece for the Bulldogs, who improved to 18-7 overall and 9-1 in West Coast Conference action. Necolia Simmons led the Dons, who are 13-11 overall and 4-5 in conference, with 17 points.

Gonzaga opened the contest hitting its first nine shots to build an impressive 23-6 advantage. Vandersloot missed the Zags first shot of the contest, a layup, at the 14:10 mark, but junior Maria Hassett pulled down the offensive board and made a short jumper to give GU the 25-9 margin.

San Francisco cut Gonzaga's lead to 12, 29-17, with 9:00 left in the first half, but Bowman made a layup which sparked the Bulldogs 15-3 run to close the half and give the Zags the 44-21 edge.

The Bulldogs dominated the second half by hitting an impressive 62.1% (18-29) from the floor. Gonzaga began the final stanza with a 20-6 run, which was capped off on a layup by Hassett.

The Bulldogs largest margin in the contest was 51, hit two different times. The last coming at 2:54 when redshirt freshman Tatriana Lorenzo made a layup to make the score 88-37.

Gonzaga grabbed more rebounds than San Francisco scored points. The Bulldogs finished the contest with 46 rebounds, 15 offensive. Bowman led the way with nine total.

Turnovers proved costly for the Dons, who committed 13 in the first half and 21 for the game.

The Bulldogs will host its final home game of the season on Saturday, Feb. 16 when it welcomes the University of San Diego to the McCarthey Athletic Center. Game time is set for 2 p.m.

Saint Mary's - 59
LMU - 57

Moraga, CA - Freshman forward Louella Tomlinson recorded the performance of her career thus far, as she was just two rebounds shy of a triple-double in the Gaels' 59-57 victory over the Loyola Marymount Lions. The Aussie posted 12 points and eight rebounds, while setting a new career-high and Saint Mary's single game record, 11 blocks.

Lauren Shaughnessy and Jontelle Smith joined Tomlinson in double-digits, recording 12 and 10 points respectively. Three Gaels posted six points, in Sierra Chambers, Serena Benavente, and Lindsay Ellis.

The Gaels came out running against the Lions to start the first half, scoring12 points in the first four minutes of action. Smith sunk two baskets from long range in the Gaels 12-4 run, while also adding a two off a Benavente assists. LMU would not remain static on the offensive end, igniting to go on a 9-0 run and cutting the Gaels' lead to one, 14-13.

After the Lion's run play seemed to become a back-and-forth battle, but Saint Mary's once again used their uptempo style of play to charge past LMU, taking a ten point lead, 30-20, with 5:30 left in the first half. The Lions kept up with the Gaels speed throughout the first half, as there were very few fouls and dead balls throughout the game. At the half Saint Mary's held a 38-28 lead.

It was apparent the Gaels took high percentage shots throughout the first half, as they shot an impressive 50 percent from the floor (16-of-32). Saint Mary's shot 28.6 percent from three point land (2-of-7), while knocking down all four of their attempts at the free-throw line.

Leading the Gaels in the first half was Tomlinson with 12 points, five rebounds, and five blocks in 13 minutes of action. Smith was an immediate offensive spark to start the ballgame, recording all eight of her points in the first four minutes. The junior guard also picked up two steals and dished out one assist in the half. Rounding out the top scorers of the first half was Lauren Shaughnessy and Sierra Chambers with six points apiece.

The Gaels forced LMU into their first timeout of the second half at the 18:36 mark, after going on a 4-0 run and extending their lead to 14 points. After the timeout the game got a little more interesting, as the Lions began to cut down the Gaels lead.

Saint Mary's who once held a 14 point advantage saw their lead diminish as the Lions pulled to within two, 55-53, with 5:33 minutes left in the ball game. With the two point lead in hand at the 1:11 mark, Benavente approached the free throw line for a one-and-one opportunity, knocking down both to improve the Gaels' led to four. Jenna Sybesma responded by getting to the rack for two points, to draw within two with 50 seconds remaining.

A Smith three with two seconds on the shot clock and 19 seconds on the game clock did not fall for the Gaels, but the extra effort by Benavente on the offensive board was what Saint Mary's needed, regaining possession and forcing the Lions to foul. Benavente missed the front end of her second one-and-one situation, but it would not end up harming Saint Mary's as LMU was unable to convert their two looks at the basket.

Saint Mary's defeated the Lions 59-57 in their second match-up of the year, marking the second time that the game came down to a two point margin.

The Lions were led by Jenna Sybesma with 18 points and Amanda DeCoud with 12. Valerie Ogoke pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds in the ball game, while adding five points.

The team returns to action against the Pepperdine Waves on Saturday, February 16 at 2:00 pm.

San Diego - 62
Portland - 52

PORTLAND, Ore. - Behind Amber Sprague's season-high 30 points and game-high 12 rebounds, the University of San Diego women's basketball team won their fourth consecutive game with a 62-52 West Coast Conference game over the host University of Portland Thursday evening at the Chiles Center.

With the win, the Toreros improve to 13-10 overall, move to 4-5 in the WCC and have now won their fourth consecutive game. With the loss, the Pilots fall to 14-10 overall and 4-6 in the WCC.

Sprague led all scorers with her third 30-point game of her career, as she shot an impressive 12-for-18 from the field and went a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity stripe. Junior forward Kiva Herman was also a huge offensive help for the Toreros as she scored 20 points on a 7-for-13 performance from the field. Amanda Rego recorded another double-digit performance in the assist column as she dealt out 11 assists. As a team, USD shot 45 percent from the field and out rebounded the Pilots 38-27.

Over the first 13 minutes of action, it was a pretty even battle with each team taking their turn with the lead and neither team having a lead bigger then four. Then with the score at 19-18 in favor of the Toreros with just 7:07 remaining in the half, San Diego began to take control of the momentum. A Sam Child lay-up then ignited an 11-0 USD run that was caped off on a Amber Sprague lay-up to give the Toreros a 12-point lead at 30-18 with just 2:43 remaining in the half. The Pilots were able to get the lead down to eight at 32-24 going into the break.

In the second half, the early going was a sea saw battle with the Pilots closing the game to five at 31-36 with 16:09 to go. But the Toreros then responded with a 8-0 run that was sparked on a Sprague lay-up and capped on a Herman jumper to give USD back a 11-point advantage at 42-31 with 12:52 remaining in the game.

The Toreros never let up and maintained the lead for the majority of the second half. The Pilots made one last effort to get close to USD as they closed the game to five points at 55-50 on a Laiken Dollente jumper with 4:05 to go. But the Toreros refused to be denied their fourth straight win, as they out scored the Pilots 7-2 over the remaining four minutes to claim the win.

The Toreros will put their four four-game winning streak on the line on Saturday as they head to Spokane, Wash. to take on the first-place Gonzaga University Bulldogs in a 2 p.m. WCC game at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

Santa Clara - 86
Pepperdine - 81 (OT)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Tracey Walker and Jen Gottschalk registered double-doubles to lead the Santa Clara women's basketball team to an 86-81 overtime victory over Pepperdine Thursday night at the Leavey Center. With the win, SCU improved to 6-3 in West Coast Conference action and 17-7 on the season, while the Waves dropped to 1-9 in league play and 6-17 overall.

Walker posted a career-high 27 points and pulled down 11 rebounds for the Broncos, while Gottschalk compiled her ninth double-double of the season with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Freshman Nicole Gall added a season-best 17 points, going 5-for-8 from beyond the arc, while Elizabeth Doran chipped in with 10 points.

The Broncos started the game with an early scoring run, notching 10 points in the first three minutes of the contest. Daphanie Kennedy, who registered a game-high 31 points, ended Santa Clara's run with a layup, 10-2. The Waves rallied back to bring the score within one point, 15-14, with 9:32 left in the first half. Pepperdine earned its first lead of the night with 4:57 remaining, 25-24, but Doran responded with a three-pointer to quickly put SCU up by two, 27-25. The two teams traded baskets and the Broncos ended the first half with a three-point lead, 36-33.

Less than two minutes into the second half, an aggressive Santa Clara offensive scored five points, widening its lead to seven points, 41-34. The Broncos then claimed their largest lead of the contest, 55-44, on trey from Gall with 11:30 to play. Yet, the Waves were relentless and with 4:10 left in the second half, a shot from beyond the arc by Katie Menton and a free shot by Jessica Ross put Pepperdine within three points of SCU, 64-61. A three-pointer from Taylor Smith knotted the score, 66-66, with 1:21 left in regulation. Gall dropped another trey for the Broncos with 56 seconds left to give SCU a 69-66 advantage but a free shot from Miranda Ayim and a layup from Kennedy sent the game into overtime.

Kennedy scored the first basket in overtime on a layup, 71-69, but Walker answered with a three-pointed, followed by another shot from beyond the arc by Gall and a second trey by Walker to make the score, 78-73. Walker then fired back with a fast break layup, 80-75, with 1:00 left. A free shot by Ayim and two free throws by Kennedy brought the Waves within two points, 80-78, with 32 seconds left. But free throws by Doran and Sara Majors gave Santa Clara a six-point advantage, 84-78, with 22 seconds left. With 10 seconds left, Gottschalk made two free throws to give the Broncos the 86-81 victory.

The Broncos return to action on Saturday, Feb. 16 against the Lions of Loyola Marymount. Saturday is Pack the House night at the Leavey Center. Fans are asked to wear red in support of their Broncos. Tip off is scheduled for 2 p.m.