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WCC Women's Basketball Recaps

Nov. 12, 2006

Gonzaga - 73
UC Davis - 70

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Gonzaga University women's basketball team earned its second-straight victory by defeating visiting UC Davis 73-70 this afternoon at the McCarthey Athletic Center. Senior Stephanie Hawk was spectacular for the Bulldogs; scoring 24 points, grabbing nine rebounds, dishing out seven assists, and blocking four shots; all game highs. She also had a team-high four steals for GU. With the win the Zags improved to 2-0 on the season, while the Aggies dropped to 0-2 on the year.

"I give UC Davis a lot of credit; they play a tough style of game," said head coach Kelly Graves. "They execute well and are a difficult match-up for everybody. Stephanie Hawk played a great game. Her line this afternoon may have been one of the best lines I've ever seen. Twenty-four points, nine rebounds, seven assists, four blocks and four steals, that's a big-time line. She carried us but we were able to get some big shots down the stretch at helped us get the win. We play to win the game, but I thought UC Davis out played us a majority of the game."

It was junior classmates Michelle Elliott and Rachel Kane who helped Gonzaga secure the close-contest win. Elliott and Kane combed for the final nine Bulldog points.

With GU leading only by one, 64-63, with 3:30 remaining in the contest, Elliott drained her third three-pointer of the game to give the Zags a slight four-point cushion. After two free throws by Kristen Commins of UC Davis cut the lead to two, Kane hit two free throws of her own to give GU some breathing room. The Aggies continued to fight as Heather Bates hit a jumper to again make it a one possession game, but Kane hit her second three-pointer of the contest to give Gonzaga the 72-67 edge with 1:39 left on the clock.

One free throw by UC Davis' Anna Harp put the score at 72-68, but that is as close as the Aggies could get as Elliott grabbed two defensive rebounds in the final minute of play and hit one of two free throws to secure the three-point victory.

It was Hawk who dominated the first half, scoring 16 of her 24 points, including the first five points of the contest. She was an impressive 5-for-7 from the field, including a perfect 1-for-1 from behind the three-point arc, and 5-for-6 from the charity stripe.

An old fashion three-point play by Hawk, along with a three-pointer by Kane doubled up UC Davis's score at 24-12 with 7:54 left in the first stanza.

UC Davis got back in the game when, with the score 34-21, the Aggies held the Bulldogs scoreless and rattled off 10-straight points of their own to come with in three points of the lead with 1:08 remaining before intermission. A layup by Elliott broke-up UC Davis' run and gave Gonzaga the 36-31 halftime lead.

Besides Hawk, the Bulldogs had two other players finish in double-figure points. Elliott scored 14 points, and added three rebounds, one block and one steal, and senior Katy Ridenour tallied 11 points, three assists, one rebound and one steal. Gonzaga closed out the game shooting 48.0% (24-50) from the floor, including 47.4% (9-19) on three-pointers, and was 84.2% (16-19) from the free throw line.

The Aggies had five players finish in double-digit points, including Haylee Donaghe who scored a team-high 17. Also scoring double-figure points was Genevieve Costello (15), Bates (13), Paige Mintun (12) and Commins (10). UC Davis closed out the game shooting 48.2% (27-56) from the field, including 30.8% (4-13) on three-pointers, and 75.0% (12-16) from the charity stripe.

Gonzaga will be back in action this Thursday, Nov. 16 when it welcomes Sacramento State University to the McCarthey Center. The game is slated to begin at 5 p.m.

Pepperdine - 57
UNLV - 42

MALIBU, Calif. - The Pepperdine women's basketball team picked up its first victory of the season Sunday afternoon as it downed UNLV 57-42 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nev. The Waves led 31-15 at the half and never looked back in moving to 1-1 on the season.

Pepperdine was led by Jessica Ross and Teiosha George who scored 12 points apiece. Ross was 5-for-6 from the floor, while George was 3-for-5 from the floor and hit on all six free throw attempts. Both players scored all their points in the first half. Freshman Miranda Ayim added 11 points for Pepperdine which shot 42 percent from the floor for the game (23-for-55).

UNLV (0-1) received 10 points from Kisha Lee and shot 33 percent from the floor (15-for-46) in dropping its season opener.

The Waves jumped out to a 9-0 lead with Ross and George accounting for all Pepperdine's points over the first five minutes of play. A George layup with 3:07 remaining in the half put the Waves up by 18, 31-13 as Pepperdine carried a 16-point lead into the half.

Pepperdine's bench outscored the Lady Rebels' bench by a 22-7 margin.

The Waves will host the Timeout for HIV/AIDs Classic next weekend in Malibu. Pepperdine will open the two-day tournament against Rutgers at 7:30 p.m. PT on Friday and face either Cal or Florida on Saturday at the same time.

Portland - 74
Pacific - 60

PORTLAND, Ore. - Portland freshman guard Laiken Dollente scored a game-high 22 points and dished out seven assists as the Pilots defeated the Pacific (Calif.) Tigers 74-60 in a non-conference women's basketball game at the Chiles Center on Sunday. Dollente made 16 free throws for the game, one off of a UP record.

The Pilots begin the season 1-0, while the Tigers open at 0-1.

Dollente just missed a school record with eight steals and converted 16 of 17 free throw attempts.

"That's a pretty good line for a freshman," head coach Jim Sollars said. "We haven't had a game like that from a freshman in a long time."

Junior center Rachel Warren chipped in 12 points for Portland, while senior forward Anne Graner and sophomore forward Jennifer Wassom each scored ten. Wassom hit four of her five shots and was two for three from behind the three-point arc. All of her points came in the second half.

Warren also grabbed a team-high nine boards and blocked five shots, as the Pilots won their first season-opener since 2001.

"We showed that we can pull it together at crunch time and win," said Sollars. "That's a huge improvement from last year when we lost so many close games.

"Give Pacific a lot of credit. They really pressure you and get after you."

Jake Kelly led the Tigers with 18 points, while Karen Dawkins had a game-high 18 rebounds. Dawkins scored 10 points for the double-double. Kelsey Lavender scored 16 and Whitney Price grabbed 13 rebounds.

Neither team was able to gain much of an advantage in the first half, but the Tigers went into the locker room with a 32-28 lead.

After the break, Kelly drilled a three-pointer to open Pacific's biggest lead at 37-30.

Portland responded with nine straight points, five courtesy Jen Wassom, to take a 39-37 lead. Pacific briefly regained the lead, on a Kelly three-pointer, before Portland built a 45-40 advantage with 10:24 on the clock.

After a Lavender three-pointer tied the game at 49-49, Portland went on a 15-5 run to build a ten-point advantage with 1:24 left. Dollente scored six points during the run, which was capped off by a jumper from sophomore forward Allyson Sievers.

Dollente then made nine free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.

"Our young players really played with a lot of enthusiasm," Sollars said. "They didn't always play with composure, but they got it together at the end and that's a really good sign."

Both teams had trouble holding on to the ball, as Pacific totaled 35 turnovers and Portland made 26. The Pilots held the Tigers to just 27 percent shooting (19 for 69). Pacific hit seven of 31 three-point attempts (23 percent).

The Pilots shot 40 percent (22 for 55) for the game and hit three of 12 (25 percent) three-pointers. Portland made 27 free-throws, while the Tigers converted 15.

Freshman guard Kendra Morris scored six points with six rebounds and Sievers finished with seven points. The Tigers outrebounded Portland 51-45, but the Pilots outscored Pacific 26-18 in the paint.

The Pilots next host Idaho on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. at the Chiles Center.

Santa Clara - 76
Long Beach State - 67

LONG BEACH, Calif. - The Santa Clara women's basketball team showed that they are still just as deadly as ever from beyond the arc Sunday afternoon, hitting 10-of-24 attempts on the way to a 76-67 victory over the Long Beach State 49ers in the 2006-07 season opener at the Pyramid in Long Beach. Guards Chandice Cronk and Ashley Graham each drained four three-pointers to lead the Broncos to their first season-opening win since the 2002-03 season.

SCU (1-0) now returns home to the Leavey Center for the 2006-07 home opener Wednesday night, Nov. 8. The Broncos will host the Miami Hurricanes at 7 p.m., and continue the week with a 7 p.m. home game against the Cal Poly Mustangs Friday night, Nov. 17. Tickets are available by calling (408) 554-4660 or by clicking here.

Cronk, behind 4-of-9 shooting on her three-point attempts and 7-of-15 shooting overall, led the Broncos with a career-high total of 24 points in the game, and also grabbed five rebounds. Graham rode her four treys to a 17-point effort, adding four assists and a pair of steals. Tracey Walker led the team Sunday with six rebounds while also contributing eight points and four assists, and Ashley Gonnerman added nine points, four rebounds and a pair of blocks underneath.

"I thought we did a pretty good job with our shot selection and moving the ball around today," said head coach Michelle Bento-Jackson. "One thing that we really did well tonight was take care of the ball. Our decision-making was really good and we valued each possession, and that along with solid shooting really made a difference."

A strong finish to the opening half gave the Broncos room to weather a Long Beach State rally to begin the second, as an 11-point lead was whittled down to two with 15 minutes to play. But consistent shooting and tough defense carried the Broncos to the eventual win.

After SCU fell behind 13-9 in the game's first seven-and-a-half minutes, Cronk put the Broncos ahead by a pair with consecutive threes. Two free throws soonafter by Long Beach State's Lauren Sims gave the 49ers a short-lived 17-15 lead with 7:21 left in the half, but Cronk answered by driving her way to the line and tying things up with a pair of free throws. Her three-pointer following a 49er turnover the next time down gave SCU a 20-17 lead, and from that point the Broncos never trailed again the rest of the way.

Long Beach tied it at 22-apiece with five minutes to go in the half, but another three, this time from Walker, gave the Broncos the lead that they would never relinquish, and a three from Graham a couple of possessions later made it a four-point lead.

After a 49er score cut the lead to two at 28-26, the Broncos closed the final two minutes with a flourish as Elizabeth Doran's jumper ignited a 9-0 run to end the half. A pair of Gonnerman free throws were followed by a steal and fast-break layup by Jen Gottschalk, who scored five points and grabbed three boards in her return to the court after a two-year layoff. Gonnerman then finished off the run with a three of her own with 28 seconds left to send SCU into the locker room with an 11-point lead at 37-26.

A shaky start to the second half allowed Long Beach to make a 14-5 surge to cut things to two at 42-40, but freshman Maggie Goldenberger and senior Kasey Monteith entered the contest and quickly made a difference to help thwart the rally. Goldenberger immediately hit a jumper to stop the run, and Monteith scored all six of her points and made a clutch steal in the ensuing six-plus minute stretch that saw SCU outscore the 49ers 17-8 to rebuild the lead to 11 at 59-48.

"Kasey really gave us solid minutes on both ends of the court, and Maggie gave us instant energy, she did a lot of little things out there that don't show up on the box score, but were important in helping us get out of the brief lull we fell into there," Bento-Jackson said about the play of the two post players.

Even after a 7-0 run by the 49ers cut things back down to four, the Broncos remained calm behind the play of Graham, who hit a pair of threes to spark a 9-2 stretch which saw the lead balloon back to 11 at 68-57 with 3:54 to go.

The 49ers never got back to within less than six the rest of the way, and a pair of Anna Martin free throws put SCU up 73-64 with 42 seconds to play, essentially putting the game on ice.

California - 71
Saint Mary's - 56

Berkeley, CA - The Saint Mary's women's basketball team began the Paul Thomas era with a 71-56 loss to No. 21-ranked California Sunday afternoon from Haas Pavilion. The Gaels controlled the first 13 minutes of the contest and scrapped back early in the second half before eventually falling to the nationally ranked Bears. After the day, the Gaels start the season 0-1 while the Bears begin 1-0.

"It was exciting to coach the Saint Mary's women's basketball team for the first time," Thomas said. "The team competed well at times, we just need to work at consistency in all facets of the game."

Alexis Gray-Lawson scored 22 points, grabbed six rebounds and handed out three assists to lead the Bears past the Gaels.

Ashley Walker scored 15 points for the Bears while Lauren Greif and Krista Foster each had 11. Junior Monica Mertle led Saint Mary's with 14 points and junior Maija Lahde had 13.

In just 14 minutes of action, senior Eghosa Obaiza grabbed a game-high eight rebounds and tallied four blocks on the day.

The Bears, who entered the game with a preseason ranking for the first time, took 37 free throws to just 13 for Saint Mary's and converted 31 of those attempts.

Saint Mary's led through much of the early part of the game, with Cal hitting just four of its first 16.

The Gaels held the Bears to just 34-percent shooting (18-for-53) but the 84-percent from the charity strip enabled Cal to increase the cushion.

SMC buckled down in the second half, holding Cal to just 30-percent (7for-23) from the floor. The Gaels shot 40-percent (23-for-57) in the contest and 44-percent (11-for-25) in the second half.

The Gaels came out strong early and led 16-12 when junior Lauren Shaughnessy tallied her first of three steals. After the takeaway, the junior found Lahde for the easy lay-in.

SMC cut the 12-point Cal first half lead to 43-36 when Mertle converted two free-throws and Obaiza followed up a rebound with a tough lay-in.

The Gaels were more active in the paint than the Bears with a 28-20 point margin. Saint Mary's also out-scored California 19-8 on second chance points and 13-4 on fast break points.

Saint Mary's will continue its non-conference slate when they return home to face the University of Miami. The 2006 McKeon Pavilion opener is scheduled for Friday, November 17 with tip-off slated for 7:05 p.m.

Wyoming - 71
San Francisco - 58

Laramie, WY - USF women's basketball concluded its 2006-07 season opening road trip with a 71-58 setback at Wyoming Sunday afternoon at Arena Auditorium. The Dons (0-2) made nearly half of their field goals in the contest, but the Cowgirls (1-0) connected on 23 field goals with 10 3-pointers.

Senior center Nickie Warren scored a game-high 18 points on 9-of-16 from the field and pulled down four rebounds in 36 minutes. Junior guard Dominique Carter chipped in 16 points for the Dons who shot at a .491 (26-53) clip from the field, .5000 (4-8) from 3-point range. Junior guard Nykia Peace scored nine points to go with six rebounds and three assists, while junior center Lisa Olden added eight points.

Wyoming connected on .407 (22-54) from the field but were deadly beyond the arc, converting on .357 (10-28). The Cowgirls got to the line early and often, going 17-for-20 (.850). The Dons only attempted six free throws in the entire game, all by Carter.

"We had a few mental errors and it was a tough environment to play in against a veteran team," USF head coach Tanya Haave said. "They ran their offense really well, but given the circumstances I thought we responded well. Now we just have to make adjustments before we take on Colorado State at home."

San Francisco jumped out of the gate, taking its only lead of the ballgame on a 3-pointer from freshman guard Randi Richardson. The Dons trailed by 10, 31-21 with 3:45 remaining in the first half but two jumpers by Peace and one from Warren, pulled USF to within six, 33-27 at the intermission.

Wyoming built another 10-point lead in the early going of the second half, 39-29, but the Dons stormed back behind back-to-back 3-pointers from Carter and lay-ups from Warren and Carter to tie the score at 41-41 with 13:34 left in regulation. The Cowgirls eased ahead and after a Warren jumper closed the Dons to within two at 47-45 with 10:22 left, Wyoming pulled away for the win.

Junior forward Haana Zavecz led four Cowgirls in double-digit scoring with 15 points and six rebounds, while junior guard Jodi Bolerjack added 12 points.

USF returns to the City where it will host Colorado State, Friday November 17 in its 2006-07 home opener. Tip-off against the Rams is set for 6:00 PM and will be the first game of a doubleheader with men's basketball, who will host Fresno State immediately following the women's contest.