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WCC Women's Basketball Recaps

Nov. 11, 2007

Loyola Marymount - 61
UNLV - 59

Las Vegas, NV - Senior Amanda DeCoud's layup at the buzzer lifted LMU to a 61-59 victory at UNLV Sunday afternoon at Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, NV. The Lions (1-1) led by as many as 11 points in the first half but overcame a cold second half to notch their first win of the season and send the Rebels (1-1) to their first loss.

DeCoud finished with nine points but none bigger than her buzzer-beater that capped a frantic final five minutes. With the Lions leading by two, DeCoud came up with a big steal to take away what could have been a game-tying layup. She was fouled but, with a chance to put the game away, missed the front end of the bonus. The ball came to UNLV's Sequoia Holmes, who rebounded her own missed shot to lay it in and tie the game for the seventh time with five seconds left.

LMU elected not to take a timeout, inbounding to DeCoud. With a defender on her hip, the senior dribbled the length of the floor, pulling up eight feet out on the left wing and knocking down the shot as time expired.

Junior Cassady Moore led the Lions with 12 points, the only LMU player to reach double figures in a balanced scoring attack. Moore added five rebounds, five assists, and two steals. Along with her nine points, DeCoud pulled down seven rebounds, one shy of her career high, and also had five assists and three steals. Sophomore Lisa Helmers also had nine points, on three three-pointers, and freshman Melanie Ysaguirre turned in another solid performance with eight points off the bench, including two big baskets down the stretch. Redshirt freshman Aleyse Evans continued her strong play inside with a game-high 12 rebounds to go along with six points. Nine of the 10 Lions who played scored.

Holmes had a game-high 18 points, with 14 coming in the second half, as she carried the Rebels back from an 11-point deficit. Holmes added eight rebounds and Brittany Halberg contributed 11 points for the hosts.

The Lions overcame a poor shooting performance in the second half in which they shot just 28.6% (10-for-35), including starting 3-for-17. They finished the game at 35.3% (24-for-68), just a shade better than the Rebels at 34.2% (20-for-58).

The Lions got off to a hot start, forcing two early turnovers and jumping out to a 7-0 lead after a three-pointer from the corner by Helmers. The Rebels answered with a 10-2 run to take its first lead at 13:17. The LMU defense stepped it up to restore its advantage as back-to-back steals by Moore translated into fast break baskets for Moore and junior Jenna Sybesma. LMU's lead grew to as many as eight, 28-20 at 4:14 on another three-pointer by Helmers and DeCoud knocked one down from the corner to make it 33-22 with three minutes left.

UNLV went on another run to start the second half as a lid descended on LMU's basket. The Lions missed 14 of their first 17 shots coming out of the break and UNLV slowly pulled itself back into the game. A basket by Holmes tied it at 44 apiece but Moore found Ysaguirre under the basket to give the lead back to LMU.

Holmes took the game over for the Rebels, scoring 10 of their 12 points during a six minute stretch. After a steal and jumper by Holmes tied it at 50, Ysaguirre and Moore got through for layups to give the Lions at five-point advantage, 54-50, with less than five minutes to go.

UNLV wasn't done, however, going on a 7-0 spurt to take its first lead of the half. Shannon Oberg hit a long three-pointer to make it a one-point game and then knocked down two free throws for a 55-54 advantage. Holmes followed with a fast-break layup for a three-point lead.

The Lions got a big stop and an even bigger three-pointer from Helmers on the next possession to knot it at 57 with 93 seconds left. Holmes missed a jumper, giving the Lions the ball back and Moore turned the corner on a drive for a layup and a 59-57 LMU lead.

UNLV missed at the other end but the Lions could not capitalize, turning the ball over with 17 seconds left. That led to DeCoud's roller coaster ride of the steal, missed free throw, and ultimately, the game-winning shot.

The Lions conclude their season-opening three-game road trip on Wednesday at Long Beach State.

Portland - 83
Idaho - 55

MOSCOW, Idaho --- Portland shot better than 50 percent from the field and sophomore Laiken Dollente scored a game-high 16 points as the Pilots picked up an 83-55 win over the Idaho Vandals in a non-conference women's basketball game at Memorial Gym on Sunday. It's Portland's (2-0) second straight road victory to open the season.

Sophomore Laura Thomas added 15 points for Portland, which shot 29-for-55 (52.7 percent) from the floor. Idaho shot just 34 percent (19-for-55) from the field and opens the season at 0-2.

The Pilots also hit five of 13 from behind the three-point line and converted 20 of 28 free throw attempts.

For the second straight game, Portland opened up a huge lead in the first half before cruising to the easy victory. The Pilots outscored the Vandals 48-23 in the first stanza. During Portland's 70-40 win at Washington State on Friday, the Pilots took a 37-16 advantage into the locker room.

Against the Vandals, Portland junior Allyson Sievers hit a jumper to cap a 7-0 run to open the game. Moments later, a lay-up from Thomas gave UP its first double-digit lead at 17-6 with 14:00 minutes left in the first half. From there, Portland embarked on a 23-9 run covering the next eight minutes to build the lead up to 25.

Thomas had a game-high 12 points at the half.

The Pilots outscored the Vandals 35-32 in the second half en route to the win.

Junior Meagan Bermingham chipped in 10 points for the Pilots. Freshman Tara Cronin turned in her second consecutive solid performance with eight points and a team-high seven rebounds. Fellow freshman Laura Angel scored nine, while senior Rachel Warren netted eight. Dollente handed out a game-high four assists.

Therese Riedel posted a double-double for Idaho with 16 points and a game-high 13 boards. Charlotte Otero scored 10.

Portland outrebounded its second straight opponent with a 40-34 advantage on the glass against the Vandals. UP forced 24 Idaho turnovers, leading to 29 points. Idaho scored just 11 points off of 20 Portland turnovers.

Portland also held a huge advantage in bench scoring with a 43-13 edge. Idaho connected on just one of six three-pointers and went 16-for-25 from the line.

The Pilots next look to make it three straight wins on the road with a game against the Arizona Wildcats in Tucson, Ariz., on Friday at 6:00 p.m.

Saint Mary's - 87
Howard - 65

Waco, TX - The Saint Mary's women's basketball team took down the Howard Bison, 87-65, in their final game of the Basketball Traveler's Tip-Off. The Gaels came out ready to play, as they took a 20-0 lead over the Bison in the first seven minutes of the game. Senior forward Maija Lahde led the way for Saint Mary's, as she scored a game-high 19 points, pulled down 12 rebounds, passed out eight assists, and picked up four steals.

"I think it is a step in the right direction for our team to travel half way across the country, play three very good teams, and come out with two wins," said head coach Paul Thomas. "We asked Maija to come out with a higher level of intensity and focus and she responded with two assists shy of a triple-double. I am a very proud of her performance today."

The Gaels began the game with their full court press in full effect, keeping the Bison from scoring until 12:32 left in the first half. Lahde and Benavente chipped in five points apiece, while four other Gaels contributed to the 20-0 Gael run. Asha Santee would end the drought for the Bison, hitting a jumper with 12.32 left to go in the first half.

Saint Mary's full court press would continue to bother the Bison's offense, keeping Howard to 33% shooting percentage from the floor. The Gaels would end the first half with a 16 point advantage over the Howard Bison. Saint Mary's scored 20 points in the paint in the first half to Howard's eight. The Gaels did a good job of capitalizing on their defense pressure, scoring 28 points of Bison turnovers.

Lahde recorded nine points, five assists, and four boards in the first half. Tomlinson and Shaughnessy added eight apiece for the Gaels, while Benevente and Smith chipped in seven and six respectively.

The Gaels would not let up in the second half, as they continued to cause Howard problems offensively. Lahde would score the first Gael points of the second half, followed by a Shaughnessy lay-up. Saint Mary's would hold onto their lead the rest of the way out, defeating the Howard Bison 87-65.

Aggressive defensive pressure forced the Bison into 32 turnovers in the game, while the Gaels picked up 11 steals. Saint Mary's was 26-of-67 from the floor, shooting 43.8% for the game. Lahde led the team in points, rebounds, and assists in 25 minutes of action.

Saint Mary's women's basketball returns to action on Saturday, November 17 at 2:05 PM in McKeon Pavilion. The Gaels will host the visiting San Diego State Aztecs, in their true home opener of the 2007-08 season.

San Diego - 79
Cal State Northridge - 50

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Junior center Amber Sprague's game and season-high 25 points helped pace the University of San Diego women's basketball team (1-1) to a 79-50 win over visiting Cal State Northridge (0-2) in a non-conference game Sunday afternoon at USD's Jenny Craig Pavilion.

Sprague led all players with her 25 points on 12-of-17 shooting from the floor to go along with eight rebounds. Sophomore forward Morgan Henderson was he second Torero in double figures as she had 15 points and freshman forward Sam Child looked impressive in her home debut for USD, adding in 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the floor. Senior guard Amanda Rego had a game-high nine assists and Kiva Herman had a team-best 11 rebounds to go along with nine points. As a team, USD out rebounded the Matadors 52-40 and shot 40 percent from the floor.

Right from the get-go, the Toreros looked sharp as they opened the game with a 10-2 run. A Child lay-up got things started for San Diego and the run was capped on jumper from Sprague.

After a Northridge bucket, the Toreros used a 5-0 run to gain a 11-point lead. CSUN however came back as they went on a 10-2 run of their own to pull with in three at 17-14, but that is as close as the Toreros would let them get. A Herman free throw only ignited a 8-2 run for the Toreros that gave USD back all the momentum. San Diego would go on to build their lead up to 19 going into the break at 42-23.

In the second half, it was more of the same as San Diego continued to show their dominance. In the early going, Northridge was hanging point-for-point with the Toreros, but with the score at 49-29 in favor of USD, the Toreros would go on a 10-5 run, sparked on a Emily Hatch jumper and capped on a Henderson lay-up to give the Toreros a 59-35 advantage with 9:53 remaining. USD would build their lead up to as many as 31 at 79-48, before CSUN hit a jumper with 18 seconds remaining to move the margin back to under 30 points.

For the Matadors, Crystal Hahs led the team in scoring as she was the lone member of the team in double digits with 12 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the floor. As a team, CSUN hit 38 percent of their shots.

San Diego will return to action on Friday as they travel to the East Coast to compete in the Seaton Hall Tournament. Friday's opponent will be Toledo in a 5 p.m. game.

Iowa State - 70
Pepperdine - 59

AMES, Iowa - Freshman Katie Menton (Coarsegold, Calif. / Yosemite HS) scored a season-high 15 points for the Pepperdine women's basketball team, yet it wasn't enough to hold off Iowa State. Pepperdine suffered its first loss of the season 70-59 Sunday afternoon at the Hilton Coliseum.

The Waves (1-1) appeared sluggish the first half of the game shooting 17.4% from the field compared to Iowa's 45.2%. Shooting 14.3% from the three-point line, Pepperdine was down 38-12 at half-time.

"We couldn't buy a basket the first half of the game," said head coach Julie Rousseau. "I don't think we were prepared for the physicality, yet we came back and fought hard the second half and proved we are a capable team. It was a great learning experience and a good effort. I'm proud of the team."

Pepperdine's offense picked up dramatically the second half as its shooting percentage increased to 47.1% compared to Iowa State's 41.7%. The Waves scored 47 points in the second half compared to Iowa State's 32. Pepperdine out shot Iowa State from the three-point line 47.1% to 25.0%.Senior Daphanie Kennedy (Oakland, Calif. / Kearny HS) led the offense with 13 of her 17 points shot in the second half. Menton added 12 points including three three-pointers.

Sophomore Teena Wickett (Vallejo, Calif. / Castlemont HS) posted 10 points and nine rebounds, while senior Teiosha George (Palmdale, Calif. / Palmdale HS) registered seven points and three rebounds.

Up next, the Waves play Cal State Bakersfield at home on Friday, November 26, in the Firestone Fieldhouse.

Northern Colorado - 75
San Francisco - 51

GREELEY, COLO. - San Francisco was unable to overcome an early run by Northern Colorado as the Bears defeated the Dons in the 2007 season opener for both schools, 75-51.

The Bears opened the game with a 25-4 run which USF could not overcome. Northern Colorado's Whitney Cox had the hot hand for the Bears scoring 13 points on 6-for-11 shooting in the first half.

At the half the score was 38-14. The Dons' shot 20 percent in the frame, while Northern Colorado hit at a 45 percent clip. USF was also out-rebounded 29-17.

On the positive, USF's Lisa Olden had six points, six rebounds and three blocks through the first 20 minutes.

To start the second half, San Francisco's Shay Rollins and Heidi Heintz hit back-to-back threes. However, Cox continued to be the thorn in the Dons' sides helping to maintain the Bears big lead with a variety of lay-ups and shots. She would finish with a game high 25 points to go along with 10 rebounds.

Senior Dominique Carter fueled a Dons' 9-0 run in the second half beginning at the 10:30 mark. Carter finished with 18 points in the second half, 23 points total.

"It's disappointing to drop the season opener," Head Coach Tanya Haave said. "We're not going to make any excuses. We got out played. We just need to go back to the drawing board and rebound quickly to get ready for Colorado State Tuesday."

USF faces Colorado State Tuesday at 7 p.m. from Fort Collins, Colo.