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WCC Women's Basketball Recaps

Feb. 22, 2007

Gonzaga - 71
San Diego - 58

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Gonzaga University women's basketball team won the West Coast Conference regular-season title for the third-straight season with an impressive 71-58 victory over visiting University of San Diego Thursday evening at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

The Bulldogs improved to 20-9 overall and 12-1 in the WCC with the win, while San Diego, who is in second place in the WCC, dropped to 20-7 overall and 9-4 in conference.

San Diego went into halftime with a slight 34-30 lead on the strength of Amber Sprague and its free throw shooting. Sprague, who went 5-for-12 from the field and was 5-of-6 from the free throw line, finished the first stanza with 15 points. She also grabbed four rebounds and blocked two shots to help the Toreros go into the locker room with the four-point lead. As a team, USD sank a 14-of-16 (87.5%) from the charity stripe.

Gonzaga, who was without head coach Kelly Graves after he received two technical's late in the first half, stayed in the game on the solid play of senior Simone Santos. Coming off the bench, Santos hit all four shots she took from the field, along with grabbing four offensive rebounds and dishing out two assists in 11 minutes of action.

It was junior Michelle Elliott that helped the Bulldogs overcome its deficit to take the lead in the second half. Down 40-37, Gonzaga went on a 19-5 run to hold a 56-45 advantage at the 7:35 mark. Elliott scored nine of the 19 points on two old fashion three-point plays and on one three-pointer.

The Toreros slowly chipped away at the Bulldogs lead, cutting it to 58-54 with 3:20 left in the game after a jumper by Ashley Voisinet.

Gonzaga's senior captain Stephanie Hawk drained a three-pointer while freshman Heather Bowman scored a layup on an assist by Hawk to dash any hope of USD wining the game.

The Bulldogs had four players finish in double-digit points, including Elliott and Bowman who both scored 13 points. Hawk added 12 points and 13 rebounds, her 10th double-double of the season, while Santos finished with 10 points.

Sprague closed out the game with a double-double of 22 points and 10 rebounds for San Diego. Voisinet added 11 points for the Toreros.

Gonzaga will close out its regular-season action when it welcomes the University of San Francisco to the McCarthey Athletic Center on Saturday, Feb. 24. Game time is set for 2 p.m.

LMU - 65
Santa Clara - 56

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The LMU women's basketball team outscored Santa Clara 21-5 over the final seven minutes of the game for the 65-56 win in the Leavey Center tonight. With the win, the Lions complete the season sweep over the Broncos. Amanda DeCoud led the Lions with 16 points and converted key free throws in the final minute of the game for the win.

The Lions improve to 16-11 on the season and remain in third place in the WCC with an 8-5 record. The Broncos fall to 13-15 on the season, 5-8 in conference action.

The game started well for LMU, as the Lions pulled out to a double digit lead, 25-14, on a layup by Jennifer Hall at 6:44. However, the Broncos outscored LMU 18-4 over the final 6:44 of the half to take a 32-29 lead into the break.

Santa Clara led by as many as 10 points in the second half, but strong defense by the Lions allowed LMU to chip away the lead and tie things up 51-51 on a steal and layup by DeCoud at the 4:57 mark. A pair of free throws by Jessica Vargas at 3:47 gave LMU its first lead of the second half, 53-51. Sara Majors tied it up again with a pair from the free throw line, but DeCoud's free throws gave the Lions the lead back for good, 55-53. Majors' free throw cut the lead to one, but LMU responded with a layup by Jennifer Hall to go up 57-54 at 2:19.

A driving layup by Patton at 1:34 gave the Lions a 59-54 lead. After DeCoud converted a free throw, Tracey Walker drove to the basket and converted to make it a 60-56 game with 40 seconds remaining.

DeCoud hit two free throws with 33 seconds on the clock to put the Lions up 62-56. A three pointer miss by Santa Clara set up a free throw by Hall. Vargas converted a pair of free throws to give the Lions the final 65-56 victory.

LMU's defense was the key in the second half. The Broncos converted just one field goal in the final 7:04 of the game, as LMU outscored SCU 21-5 over the final stretch.

DeCoud led the Lions with 16 points, including 12 in the second half during LMU's critical run. She converted 3-of-4 free throws in the final 49 seconds of the game. Jennifer Hall was 6-for-8 from the field with 14 points and seven rebounds. Ashlee Dunlap had her third straight double digit scoring game with 12 points and eight rebounds.

Walker led the Broncos with 11 points and Chandice Cronk added 10.

The No. 3 seed in the WCC Tournament is on the line in LMU's season finale against Saint Mary's on Saturday at 2:00pm. Right now, LMU and Saint Mary's are tied for third place with identical 8-5 conference records. The winner of the game will earn the No. 3 seed, while the loser will be the No. 4 seed.

Portland - 54
San Francisco - 52

PORTLAND, Ore. - Portland sophomore forward Allyson Sievers hit the game-winning shot with three seconds left as the Pilots defeated the San Francisco Dons 54-52 in a West Coast Conference women's basketball game Thursday night at the Chiles Center.

Tied at 52-52 with ten seconds left, freshman point guard Laiken Dollente fed Sievers with a pass in the middle of the key. Sievers made a quick move to the right before drilling a the game-winner from 10 feet.

Following a 30 second timeout, the Dons' Nykia Peace got off a desperation heave from half court the came up short.

The win snaps a five-game losing streak for the Pilots, who improve to 10-18 overall and 2-11 in the WCC. San Francisco drops to 9-19 and 3-10 in the conference.

Sievers finished with a team-high 16 points for the Pilots. It's the second straight game in double figures for Sievers, who recently missed five games with an injured ankle. She also grabbed six rebounds and handed out four assists.

Nine different Pilots scored during the game. Dollente finished with 11 points, which included two clutch free throws down the stretch. Fellow freshman guard Kendra Morris also netted 11.

Junior center Rachel Warren, who missed the past eight games with a foot injury, played 23 minutes off the bench and blocked four USF shots. She also scored four points with a team-high eight rebounds.

Dominique Carter scored a game-high 18 points for the Dons, to go along with nine rebounds. Nickie Warren added 14 points and six rebounds.

The game was a back-and-forth battle with neither team able to gain much of a lead. San Francisco enjoyed its biggest lead at 24-18 with 3:54 left in the first half. Portland responded by scoring the half's final six points to tie the game at 24-24 at the break.

In the second half, Portland enjoyed its biggest lead after Sievers scored seven straight points to help give the Pilots a five-point lead at 45-40 with 7:47 left in the game.

The lead was still five three minutes later after Warren hit a lay-up to make it 47-42 with 4:22 on the clock.

Carter then hit a jumper, a three-pointer and two free throws to give the lead back to San Francisco at 49-47 with 1:40 left.

Sievers followed with a clutch three-pointer from the top of the key to give the lead back to Portland. Carter tried to reclaim the lead for the Dons, but her shot was off the mark at the other end.

On Portland's ensuing possession, Dollente's jumper was off the mark, but she was able to grab the rebound before being fouled. The top free-throw shooter in the conference made both attempts from the line to make it 52-49 in Portland's favor with 22 ticks left.

Shay Rollins then hit a three from deep in the left corner to tie the game with only 15 seconds showing on the clock. Portland called a time out before Sievers' game-winning shot.

The Pilots shot 38 percent for the game (21-for-55) and had 14 total assists. Portland hit four three's and converted eight of 10 from the free throw line.

The Pilots scored 10 points off of 17 USF turnovers, while the Dons turned 16 UP turnovers into 16 points. Portland scored 11 second chance points, while San Francisco scored just three. The Pilot bench outscored that of USF 21-8.

San Francisco shot 37 percent (20-for-54) from the floor, hit three of 10 three-pointers and went nine-for14 from the line.

The Pilots next host the San Diego Toreros at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday for the final regular season home game at the Chiles Center. Portland will honor its two seniors, Anne Graner and Nicole Rowe, before the game.

Saint Mary's - 70
Pepperdine - 64

Moraga, CA - The Saint Mary's women's basketball team used a 19-2 run early in the second half to earn a 70-64 victory over Pepperdine Thursday night from McKeon Pavilion. Junior Maija Lahde paced the Gaels with a career-high 22 points as SMC remains in third with an 8-5 conference record and a 14-12 overall mark.

The Gaels were down 25-10 with eight minutes left in the first half but then got things going to head into the locker room down 37-32.

SMC then erupted for 38 points in the second half aided by a 19-2 run to clip the Waves. Lahde was impressive in all facets of the game as the junior tallied nine rebounds, a career-high seven steals on top of her career-best 22 points.

Lahde shot 6-of-12 from the floor, a perfect 3-for-3 from three and 7-of-9 from the charity stripe.

Senior Eghosa Obaiza followed with a double-double. The senior tallied 10 points and grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds. Sophomore Jontelle Smith recorded 14 points with two treys and a 4-for-5 clip from the line.

Lauren Shaughnessy returned to the lineup for SMC and tallied eight points on 4-of-7 shooting, while adding three rebounds and three assists.

Teiosha George led the Waves with 11 points while Shannon Johnson chipped in with 10 - all in the first half. Teena Wickett led Pepperdine on the glass with nine rebounds.

Saint Mary's shot 42 percent (21-of-50) from the floor, 46 percent (5-of-11) from beyond the arc and 62 percent (23-of-37) from the free throw line.

Pepperdine shot 41 percent (24-of-59) from the floor, 44 percent (8-of-18) from three and 62 percent (8-of-13) from the charity stripe.

The win marks the fourth in a row for the Gaels which ties the longest streak on the season when SMC ran off four wins right before conference play. The last time SMC rallied off four straight conference wins was in the 2001-02 season.

With the win the Gaels earn their most wins in conference since the 2001-02 season. LMU defeated Santa Clara so the two teams remained tied for third place with both teams facing off on Saturday.

Saint Mary's will face LMU on Saturday, February 24 for senior day. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. from McKeon Pavilion.