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WCC Women's Basketball Recaps

Feb. 24, 2007

WCC Tournament Pairings and Game Times
Thursday, March 1

No. 2 San Diego vs. No. 7 San Francisco - 12:00 PM
No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 8 Portland - 2:00 PM
No. 3 Loyola Marymount vs. No. 6 Santa Clara 6:00 PM
No. 4 Saint Mary's vs. No. 5 Pepperdine - 8:00 PM

Gonzaga - 57
San Francisco - 37

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Gonzaga University women's basketball team closed out its 2007 West Coast Conference regular-season on a high note defeating visiting University of San Francisco 57-37 at the McCarthey Athletic Center Saturday afternoon. The Bulldogs, who are WCC regular-season champions for the third year, have won seven-straight games.

Gonzaga closed out the WCC season with a stellar 13-1 record. Overall, the Bulldogs are currently 21-9. Its only the third time is school history the Zags have won 20 or more games, and the second time under head coach Kelly Graves.

Gonzaga played solid on both ends of the court in the first half and went into the locker room with a 27-15 advantage. The Bulldogs finished the half shooting 33.3 percent (11-33) from the floor and was perfect from the charity stripe (4-of-4).

The Zags also forced the Dons to turn the ball over 13 times and scored 15 points off San Francisco's miscues.

Freshman Heather Bowman led the charge in the first stanza for Gonzaga scoring 10 points on 4-for-7 accuracy from the field and 2-of-2 shooting at the free throw line. Bowman helped give the Bulldogs their largest lead of the half at 21-4 after hitting back-to-back jumpers at the 9:41 and 8:53 marks.

The Bulldogs continued to roll in the second half, building their lead to 22 at the 4:55 mark. With the score 44-27, Gonzaga used a 7-2 spurt to gain its largest lead of the contest. Seniors Stephanie Hawk and Katy Ridenour, playing in their last game at the McCarthey Athletic Center, were key during this run. Hawk made two layups, while Ridenour made a layup and sank a free throw.

Hawk, who came into the contest needing three blocks to become the Bulldog career leader, collected three in the second half, including the record breaker just moments before she exited the game for good.

Gonzaga had three players finish in double-digit points, including Hawk who registered her 11th double-double of the year and ninth double-double in WCC action. She scored 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds; both game-highs. Bowman chipped in 12 points and seven rebounds, while Ridenour, who became the GU career leader in games played at 122, added 11.

San Francisco was led by Dominique Carter who scored 12 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out one assist. The Dons did hold the 41-32 advantage in rebounds for the game.

Gonzaga will be back in action on Thursday, March 1 when it begins WCC Tournament action. The Bulldogs, who are the No. 1 seed, will play at 2 p.m.

LMU - 76
Saint Mary's - 61

MORAGA, Calif. - For the third straight week, the Lions pulled out a victory on Senior Day, getting 18 points from Amanda Patton and another double double from senior Ashlee Dunlap for a 76-61 win over Saint Mary's in Moraga, Calif. this afternoon. With the win, the Lions secure the #3 seed in the WCC Tournament, and will face Santa Clara in the first round of the tournament on Thursday.

LMU wins its third straight, improving to 17-11 overall, 9-5 in WCC action. Saint Mary's sees its five game winning streak come to an end, falling to 14-13 overall, 8-6 in conference play.

LMU is now 3-0 on Senior Days, winning its own over San Francisco, and ruining senior celebrations for Pepperdine and now Saint Mary's. The Lions were led by their own seniors Patton and Dunlap in each game.

The Gaels started well, taking a 16-9 lead, but LMU switched to a zone defense that shut down SMC. The Gaels were held scoreless from the 8:20 mark until 2:55, and the Lions were able to rally back and take the lead, 24-23, on a layup by Valerie Ogoke at 6:17. After a free throw gave LMU a 25-23 lead, the Gaels tied it back up with a layup by Eghosa Obaiza at 2:55 to stop the 6-0 LMU run.

A three-pointer by Serena Benavente gave SMC a 28-25 lead but a floater by Kavita Goss cut it to one. A jumper by Benavente extended the SMC lead back to three, 30-27, but LMU used back to back baskets by Jenna Sybmesa to regain the lead, 31-30. A steal and drive to the basket by Jessica Vargas in the closing seconds of the half made it a 33-30 LMU lead at the break.

LMU shot 44.1% freom the field, while the Gaels shot 40%. LMU outrebounded SMC 22-14, led by Dunlap and Ogoke with five each. Ogoke led the Lions with 10 points in the first half, while Benavente led all players with 16 points.

The Lions scored the first eight point of the second half to extend their lead to 41-30. A pair of free throws by Benavente at 16:22 gave the Gaels their first points of the second half. Strong shooting from the Lions gave LMU a 52-36 lead at 12:14 on a jumper by Dunlap. LMU extended its lead to 18 points, 58-40, with a three-pointer by Kavita Goss at 9:16. SMC cut the lead to 11 but strong defense by the Lions held off the Gaels.

Dunlap and Amanda Patton hit key shots in the second half, as SMC shot just 37.9%. The Lions shot 48.5% in the second half, outscoring 43-31 in the period.

Patton led the way with 18 points, and Dunlap and Ogoke added 13 points. Amanda DeCoud finished with 12 points, six assists and four steals. She also pulled down five rebounds and blocked a shot. Dunlap led all players with 11 rebounds, marking her third double double of the year.

Benavente finished with 22, and Jontelle Smith added 10 points.

The Lions earn the third seed in the WCC Tournament and will face Santa Clara in the first round on Thursday. Game times will be announced later this week.

Pepperdine - 77
Santa Clara - 69

MALIBU, Calif. - Teiosha George's career high of 23 points helped Pepperdine end the regular season on a high note as it defeated the Santa Clara Broncos 77-69 on Saturday afternoon in a West Coast Conference (WCC) finale in Santa Clara, Calif. With the win, the Waves secured the No. 5 seed in the WCC tournament and will face Saint Mary's for the third straight year in the first round on Thursday.

Pepperdine improved to 13-16 overall and 6-8 in league play, while Santa Clara fell to 13-16 and 5-9 in the WCC.

George was 8-of-12 for the game and went 7-for-7 at the free throw line. Sherriel Boyd added 10 points, while Taylor Smith had nine points. Teena Wickett led all players with seven boards and chipped in eight points.

A Wickett basket tied the game at 33-all at the start of the second half and sparked the Waves to a 7-0 run to lead by eight. A three-pointer by Jessica Ross set up by George's steal ignited another strong run by the visiting team as it took its largest lead of the game at the 11:31 mark with 16 points.

Just when it looked like Pepperdine would run away with the victory, the Broncos pulled within two, 66-64, down the stretch as Anna Martin and Chandice Cronk each added a three-pointer after Cronk's jumper.

The Waves answered by making seven of their last 10 free throws to pull ahead for the victory.

The first half proved to be a tightly contested game as the score was tied on five occasions with neither team leading by more than four points.

Santa Clara took its largest lead of the game at the 7:10 mark when Claire Goins scored her only two points on a layup to give the home team the 17-14 advantage. The lead would not last long as Smith tied the game for the fourth time on a three-pointer.

After the Broncos went ahead by two, Smith made true on her second basket beyond the arc before she and George made back-to-back baskets to give the Waves a 28-23 lead. A jumper by Ashley Gonnerman cut the lead to three as Pepperdine led 30-27 at the break.

Cronk led the Broncos with 17 points, while Ashley Graham and Martin also scored in the double digits with 13 and 11 points, respectively.

George surpassed her previous career high of 21 points which she recorded on Nov. 17 when Pepperdine upset then-No. 14 ranked Rutgers in overtime.

San Diego - 81
Portland - 75 (OT)

PORTLAND, Ore. - Behind freshman Morgan Henderson's career-high 28 points, the University of San Diego women's basketball team captured an exciting 81-75 overtime win over the University of Portland in both teams' regular season finale inside the Chiles Center Saturday afternoon.

With the score tied at 75-75 with 1:42 remaining, the Toreros hit key free throws down the stretch to claim the six-point win and move to 21-7 overall and 10-4 in the WCC. With the loss, the Pilots fall to 10-19 overall and 2-12 in the WCC.

Henderson scored her 28 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the three-point line, and she was a perfect 7-for-7 from the charity stripe, while also pulling down seven rebounds. Amanda Rego posted her eighth double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 assists. Amber Sprague was the final USD player in double figures as she scored 17 points and pulled down seven rebounds. As a team, USD shot 36.1 percent from the field and were out rebounded 46-39.

In the first half, both teams took their turn with the lead and USD would take their biggest lead of the first half at 19-14, thanks to a Henderson three-pointer with 12:03 remaining.

Portland responded with a 7-2 run sparked by a Kendra Morris jumper and capped with a pair of Morris free throws, moving the score to 21-21.

Then with the score at 23-23, the Pilots would use a 5-0 run to continue their momentum and eventually would build their lead up to as many as seven at 37-30 on a Nicole Rowe lay-up.

The Toreros would able to close that gap to four going into the break on a free throw by Rego.

In the second half, the Toreros game out on fire as they opened the frame with a 5-0 run sparked by a Kelly Winther jumper and capped by a Sprague free throw.

The two teams then battled back and forth over the next several minutes with neither team taking a lead bigger then four, but Portland was in control of the lead for the remainder of the half until Sprague hit a pair of free throws with 26 seconds remaining to even the score at 69-69 and sent it into overtime.

In the overtime period, again the teams kept things close as each team took their turn with the lead. Then with the score at 75-75, Rego hit a lay-up, followed by a pair of free throws and Sprague capped the scoring with as pair of free throws to give USD the six-point win.

The Toreros will now await the WCC conference office to announce the conference tournament pairing and time slots. USD will open play in the tournament on Thursday against the University of San Francisco, but the time slots have yet to be determined.