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WCC Women's Basketball Recaps

Feb. 24, 2008

Gonzaga - 87
Portland - 67

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Gonzaga University women's basketball squad captured its fourth-straight West Coast Conference regular-season title with an 87-67 victory at the University of Portland Saturday afternoon. The Bulldogs has now become the first program to win four straight regular season titles since Santa Clara University captured four straight from 1991-94.

With the win, Gonzaga improved its record to 20-7 on the season and are now 11-1 in conference play. Portland dropped its record to 15-12 overall, 5-7 in the WCC.

It was a complete team effort for Gonzaga in the 20-point victory. Ten of the eleven Bulldogs scored in the lopsided win, including four who closed out the contest in double-figure points. Gonzaga was led by sophomore Heather Bowman and sophomore Tiffanie Shives. Bowman posted her seventh double-double of the season with a 20 point, 10 rebound performance. Shives on the other hand scored a career-high 19 points, sinking 7-of-11 from the field and 3-of-5 from behind the three-point arc.

Courtney Vandersloot, the court leader for Gonzaga, dished out a career-high 11 assists in the game, including nine coming in the second half. Vandersloot also grabbed a career-high eight rebounds and scored nine points.

The Zags finished the game shooting 50.0 percent (34-68) from the field, including 50.0 percent (5-10) on three-pointers, and was 77.8 percent (14-18) at the charity stripe. Gonzaga out rebounded Portland 47-36 and also had a season-high eight blocks.

Gonzaga went into the locker room with the slight 34-29 advantage. Eight of ten players scored for the Bulldogs in the opening half, including junior Jami Bjorklund who sank two three-pointers and finished the half with a team-leading eight points. Junior Elaina Renius came off the bench to contribute six points for the Zags, while Vandersloot posted seven points.

The Pilots bullied the Bulldogs down low in the first half, scoring 20 of their 29 points in the paint. Karlie Burris scored seven points while Rachel Warren and Lauren Angel both scored four points to keep UP in the contest.

Gonzaga exploded in the second half, outscoring the Portland 53-38. The Bulldogs used a strong 17-7 run, after leading by just seven at the 15:59 mark, to overtake the Pilots 66-41 with 9:29 left in the contest. Bowman and Shives were huge for Gonzaga, as Bowman scored eight-straight at one point, while Shives drained one huge three-pointer and made two jumpers.

The Zags pushed their lead to 26, their largest of the contest, after Shives hit her third three-pointer of the contest with 2:30 remaining.

Gonzaga, who clinched the number one seed in the WCC Tournament, will be back in action on Thursday, Feb. 28 at Santa Clara University. Game time is set for 7 p.m.

Pepperdine - 60
Loyola Marymount - 49

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Following the lead of a victorious Pepperdine men's team, the women's team defeated cross-town rivals Loyola Marymount, 60-49, at Gersten Pavilion, in Los Angeles, Calif.

The first half began with Pepperdine (8-17, 3-9) and LMU (14-13, 6-6) trading baskets for the first nine minutes of the game. The Waves surged ahead after making six-of-six free throws. With 9:34 left in the half, Pepperdine was leading,19-16.

Alisha Bryant ( Pacoima, Calif. / Chatsworth HS) was responsible for eight points in the first ten minutes of the game. However, an eight point scoring run by the Lions, ending with :42 left in the first half, saw LMU take the lead, 29-26. Daphanie Kennedy (Oakland, Calif. / Kearney HS) responded with a two point field goal to bring Pepperdine within a point at the end of the half, 29-28.

The second half got underway with a three point basket by LMU's Lisa Helmers, to put the Lions at 32-28. Kennedy responded with a three pointer of her own, to bring the Waves back to a one point deficit, 32-31. Baskets were traded, Bryant gave the lead back to the Waves after making a two point field goal 35-34. Katie Menton (Coarsegold, Calif. / Yosemite HS) came into the game and made a shot from beyond the arc, opening up the lead for the Waves, 38-34.

A controversial intentional foul called on Bryant gave the Lions a point from a free shot, followed by another foul called on Kennedy to bring the score to 38-36.

Teiosha George (Palmdale, Calif. / Palmdale HS) made a lay-up followed by two free shots, 42-36 to give the Waves it's largest lead of the game, with 13:20 left in the game.

A six point scoring run by LMU, ending with 10:58 left in the half, tied the game 42-42. Menton made a three pointer, then followed-up with two free throws, giving Pepperdine back the lead 45-42.

The Waves went on an eight point scoring run of their own to increase the lead to 51-42, with 6:43 remaining in the game.

With 4:57 left, Kennedy made a jump shot and a free shot, to give Pepperdine a 12 point lead, 56-54.

The Waves appeared unstoppable with 1:58 left in the game and a lay-up shot by Kennedy to make the score 58-45. A three pointer by LMU closed the gap by nine, 58-47. Shannon Johnson (Highland Village, TX. / Marcus HS) made two free shots for the final Pepperdine points.

Pepperdine finished the game with a 40% field goal average to LMU's 29%. The Waves made 14-of-15 free throws. Kennedy was the game high scorer with 18 points and nine rebounds.

The Waves return to Malibu to play University of San Diego, Thurs., Feb. 28, at 7 p.m.NCAA BOX LMU

San Diego - 81
Saint Mary's - 71

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Senior point guard Amanda Rego was shinning in her final regular-season home game as she paced the University of San Diego women's basketball team to an 81-71 win over Saint Mary's College.

With the win, the Toreros improve to 15-11 overall and move to 6-6 in the WCC. With the loss, the Gaels fall to 13-15 overall and 5-7 in the WCC.

Rego was spectacular, as she recorded a double-double with 14 points and set a new single-game record with her 16 assists. Sam Child led all USD scorers with a 20-point performance on 10-for-14 shooting. The third USD player to record double-figures was Amber Sprague as she had 13 points, while going a perfect 6-for-6 from the field. Kiva Herman was the final USD player in double figures as she put up 16 points and pulled down six rebounds. As a team, USD hit on 59 percent of their shots, and out rebounded Saint Mary's 40-28.

After the Gaels had scorched USD in the first half hitting on 9-of-12 from beyond the arc and hit 50 percent of their shots to take a 14-point lead going into the break, the Toreros had a complete switch of momentum in the second half. USD began the frame with a pair of Rego free throws to ignite a 16-0 Torero run to take a two point lead at 49-47 with just 14:27 to go.

San Diego then kept the pedal to the medal as they continued with the momentum and went on a 14-5 run to complete a 30-5 USD run to and give USD a 63-52 lead on a Child jumper. USD would go on to build their lead up to as many as 14 before settling for a 10-point win.

In the first half, the Gaels were red hot as they jumped out to a 14-4 lead. Jontelle Smith looked very impressive for the Gaels in the first half as she scored 19 points, including going 4-for-5 from beyond the arc. The Gaels would go on to build up the lead to 14 going into the break as they hit 9 of their 12 three pointers.

The Toreros will return to action on Thursday as they head to Malibu for a 7 p.m. game against Pepperdine University.

San Francisco - 88
Santa Clara - 73

San Francisco, CA - It was an electric night on the Hilltop as San Francisco Women's Basketball earned a thrilling 88-73 victory over Bay Area and West Coast Conference rival Santa Clara on Saturday. The last time the Dons (14-13, 5-7 WCC) scored 88 points or more in a conference game was February 10, 2001 when they defeated Gonzaga at home 88-60.

USF got the night started with a good foul shot by sophomore forward Heidi Heintz with less than 30 seconds off the clock. Four lead changes and 15 minutes later, the Dons overtook the Broncos (18-9, 7-5 WCC) 27-26, and never looked back, leading by eight (42-34) going into the break. The Dons kept a large lead throughout the second half, going ahead by as much as 19 (79-60) with five minutes remaining in the game.

Five Dons scored in double figures, including three with double-doubles. Leading the way for USF was senior forward Dominique Carter who scored 26 on the night, along with seven rebounds and three assists. Carter moved past Saint Mary's Cheree Tappin (1987-91/1,742) for fourth place all time on the WCC Charts with 1,765 points. She needs 34 points to pass Santa Clara's Melissa King (1990-93/1,798) for third.

Senior guard Nykia Peace earned her second career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Junior guard Shay Rollins also earned her second career double-double with 11 rebounds and tied her career high with 23 points. Junior forward Necolia Simmons earned her fifth double-double of the year with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Also in double figure scoring was Heintz with 11 points.

USF led in field goal percentage .582 (32-55) to .409 (27-66); 3-Point field goal percentage .579 (11-19) to .323 (10-31) and nearly doubled the Broncos rebound total, 46-25. Santa Clara had the slim advantage in free throw percentage .600 (9-15) to .591 (13-22) and turned the ball over half as much as the Dons (8-16).

SCU's senior guard Tracy Walker led the Broncos with 21 points.

USF takes its final road trip of the regular season, taking on the Lions at Loyola Marymount on Thursday in Los Angeles.