March 4, 2007
PORTLAND, Ore. - Gonzaga pulled out to a 34-19 halftime lead and was able to hold off an LMU comeback in the second half to secure a 64-47 win in the West Coast Conference Women's Basketball Championship game this afternoon in the Chiles Center. The Zags shot 69.6% from the field in the first half, and the Lions couldn't recover. Ashlee Dunlap led the Lions with 10 points and 13 rebounds and was named to the All-Tournament team.
The Lions wrap up the season with a 19-12 record, while Gonzaga improves to 24-9 and will participate in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history.
As with all of LMU's tournament games so far, both offenses struggled to get things going. Heather Bowman gave the Zags the first lead of the game with a layup at 18:12, and a 15 foot jumper by Dunlap at 17:05 tied the game. LMU forced three Gonzaga turnovers in the first four minutes of the game.
Both offenses started clicking following the first media timeout, and the teams traded baskets and kept things close. A three-point play by Valerie Ogoke at 12:17 gave LMU its first lead of the game, 11-10. A Stephanie Hawk jumper gave the Bulldogs the lead back, but Ogoke answered with a putback to give the Lions a 13-12 lead at 11:20. Gonzaga scored the next five points to take a 17-13 lead into the second media timeout.
A steal and layup by Cassady Moore cut the lead to 17-15 at 9:49. Gonzaga scored the next six points to take its largest lead of the half, 23-15 at 6:49. Amanda DeCoud drove coast to coast to stop the GU run, but Jami Bjorklund answered with a 12 foot jumper from the wing to extend the lead to back to eight.
A switch to a zone defense at the six minute mark forced two GU misses and a turnover on the next three possessions. But following the media timeout, Gonzaga with a 7-2 run that gave them a 32-19 lead at 2:17. A layup by Hawk at 1:23 would be the final scoring of the half, and Gonzaga took a 34-19 lead into the break.
The Zags dominated the first half from the field, hitting 69.6% of its shots. The Lions made 31% of their shots. GU outrebounded LMU 17-10, led by Hawk who had six. Dunlap led the Lions on the boards with five.
Hawk led all players with nine points, and Bowman had eight in the first half. Ogoke led the Lions with seven points. Gonzaga had nine turnovers in the first half, while LMU had six.
LMU's offensive struggles continued in the second half, but their defense was able to stop Gonzaga and the Lions cut the GU lead to 11 points on a three-point play by Ashlee Dunlap at 13:54.
A three-point play on an offensive rebound and putback by Jessica Vargas at 11:12 cut the GU lead to 42-32. Gonzaga scored the next five points to extend its lead back to 47-32. A free throw by Patton stopped the GU run.
Gonzaga extended its lead to 54-36 but LMU scored five straight points to cut it to 54-41. The first basket of the run was a three-pointer by Patton. The three was the 67th of the season, tying her own single season record for three-pointers.
Two free throws by Patton, and a driving layup by DeCoud cut the Gonzaga lead to single digits for the first time in the second half, 54-45, at 3:09.
Rachel Kane's free throws at 2:26 stopped a 9-0 LMU run and extended the lead back to double digits, 56-45. Bjorklund hit a jumper on the next possession, and Hawk converted two free throws to make it a 60-47 game with 1:26 to go. Hawk hit a layup at 0:47 to make it 62-47, and Bowman hit two free throws for the final 64-47 score.
Dunlap finished her career with her sixth double double in seven games, scoring 10 points with 13 rebounds. Patton and Hall added eight points, and Ogoke chipped in seven.
Hawk led Gonzaga with 17 points and 12 rebounds, and Bowman added 14 points five five rebounds. Kane had eight points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
The Lions outrebounded Gonzaga 21-12 in the second half, but the Bulldogs held the 39-31 margin for the game. Gonzaga shot 36.7% from the field in the second half, and 50.9% for the game.
- GO LIONS! -