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WCC Women's Basketball Recaps

Nov. 17, 2006

LMU - 56
Toledo - 53

CINCINNATI, Ohio - Despite cold second half shooting, the LMU women's basketball team secured a 56-53 win over Toledo in the first round of the National City Xavier Invitational this evening in Cincinnati, Ohio. Amanda DeCoud matched her career high with 18 points and Jennifer Hall finished with 18 to lead the Lions to the win. LMU will take on the host Muskateers in the Championship Game on Saturday at 1:00pm PST.

After Toledo (0-2) pulled out to an 8-3 lead, LMU (1-1) answered with a 17-2 run of its own, highlighted by DeCoud. The point guard scored LMU's first 11 points of the game, and matched her career-high of 18 in the first half. The Rockets answered back with six points by Kristi Zeller, but the Rockets managed just six points in the final 10 minutes of the half, and LMU finished the first half with a 34-22 lead.

LMU stayed hot on offense, as Jennifer Hall scored eight points in the final 11:27 of the first half. The Lions shot 55.2% from the field, led by DeCoud going 8-for-9. Hall was a perfect 4-for-4 with four rebounds. DeCoud was also outstanding on defense in the opening half, recording four steals which led to several fast break layups. Zeller was Toledo's leading scorer in the first half with six points.

The Lion offense cooled off a bit in the second half, but LMU scored all of its early points in the paint. The Lions held onto a double digit lead for the first 10 minutes of the second half, but Toledo went on a 10-0 run to take a 51-50 lead at 3:29 on a jumper by Diana Reindl. The LMU offense was held scoreless from the 9:21 mark until a pair free throws by Valerie Ogoke at 2:27 broke the scoreless drought.

A pair of free throws by Hall gave the Lions a one point lead, 54-53 at 1:07, but Toledo had the ball back for the final shot of the game. With 22.1 seconds on the clock, the Rockets ran down the clock to four seconds before Reindl turned the ball over. Amanda Patton recovered the turnover and was fouled with 0:00.6 on the clock. She converted both free throws for the final margin of victory.

The Lions' last six points of the game came on free throws, as LMU did not convert a field goal in the final 9:21. However, LMU's defense held the Rockets off for the win.

LMU hit just 21.4% from the field in the second half, while Toledo converted 45.2% of its shots. Danielle Bishop led the Rockets with 15 points.

The Lions outrebounded Toledo, 41-37, led by Ashlee Dunlap's 13 boards.

The Lions will face the host Muskateers in the Championship Game on Saturday at 1:00pm PST. Xavier defeated 79-50 in the first game of the day.

Pepperdine - 75
Rutgers - 73 (OT)

MALIBU, Calif. (AP) - Teena Wickett and Teiosha George scored 21 points apiece Friday as Pepperdine upset No. 14 Rutgers 75-73 in overtime.

Rutgers has opened the season with two-straight losses. The Lady Knights lost to No. 9 Georgia in their opener Sunday.

Wickett added 12 rebounds for the Waves (2-1).

Rutgers led 31-28 at halftime, and the game was tied at 63 at the end of regulation.

Essence Carson led Rutgers (0-2) with 18 points and six assists and Epiphanny Prince scored 15.

Saint Mary's - 69
Miami - 68

Moraga, CA - The Saint Mary's women's basketball team used a 48-point second half to surge past the visiting Miami Hurricanes 69-68 Friday night from McKeon Pavilion. Down 12 at the half, the Gaels rallied past the Hurricanes to hand head coach Paul Thomas his first career victory at the helm. With the win, SMC improves to 1-1 while UM falls to 3-1.

The Gaels used a 17-3 run to start the second half to take a 38-36 lead with 13 minutes remaining. The two point lead at the 13:43 mark was Saint Mary's first lead since the first bucket of the game.

Once the Gaels took control of the lead after the run, they did not relinquish it for the remainder of the game.

The run was sparked by sophomore guard Jontelle Smith who poured in seven of her team-high 17 points during that span. The Gaels took the 38-36 lead when junior forward Monica Mertle scored on a lay in from junior guard Lauren Shaughnessy.

The Gaels shot 57 percent (16-for-28) from the floor in the second half and held the high scoring Hurricanes to just a 14 percent mark in the half.

SMC got it done at the line down the stretch, shooting 75 percent (12-for-16) from the charity stripe. Shaughnessy went 6-for-8 from the line in the second half and finished the game with 10 points and a game-high four assists.

Mertle chipped in with 14 points on 6-for-14 shooting and grabbed five boards while junior Maija Lahde added 10 points and four rebounds.

Renee Taylor led the Hurricanes with a game-high 22 points on 6-of-17 shooting. Maurita Reid tallied 13 points while Albrey Grimsley finished with 10.

The Gaels won the battle at the boards with a 42-38 advantage. SMC also took care of business at the free-throw line, shooting 75 percent for the game.

Shaughnessy and freshman Sierra Chambers made key defensive plays down the stretch as both finished with three steals a piece. Chambers added seven points and five rebounds.

With the victory, Paul Thomas earns his first win at the helm. It came against a Miami team that sported a perfect 3-0 record including a win against West Coast Conference rival Santa Clara.

Saint Mary's will continue its homestand when it hosts the Hilton Concord Thanksgiving Classic. The Gaels will begin classic play against Cal State Northridge at on Friday, November 24 at 7:05 p.m. from McKeon Pavilion.

San Francisco - 62
Colorado State - 51

San Francisco, CA - USF women's basketball bounced back from a slow start to roll past Colorado State 62-51 in the 2006-07 home opener Friday night in non-conference action at War Memorial Gym. The Dons (1-2) help head coach Tanya Haave pick up her first career victory and snap a three-game losing streak against the Rams (1-1).

Senior forward Nickie Warren pulled down a career-high 21 rebounds, 10 off the offensive glass to go along with 10 points for her fourth career double-double performance. The 21 rebounds were the most for San Francisco since Mary Jane Krueger (1999-05) collected 21 against New Mexico December 11, 2003 and ranks tied for the fifth highest single-game tally in program history. Freshman guard Katie Mihalco scored a game-high 22 points, converting on 7-of-13 from the field, including a remarkable 5-of-6 from beyond the arc in 31 minutes of action off the bench.

Junior center Lisa Olden turned in the first double-double of her career scoring 10 points to go along with a career-high 13 rebounds, eight offensive. The Dons held a 48-41 rebound edge, but dominated the offensive glass, 21-14. Junior guard Nykia Peace turned in a solid night with nine points, seven rebounds and five assists in 39 minutes.

Colorado State came out firing and burst out to an 11 point lead before freshman guard Heidi Heintz made a free throw at 15:57 to get the Dons on the score board. USF roared back on a 10-2 run to pull within two, 13-11 with 12:43 remaining. San Francisco took its first lead with 5:14 remaining before intermission on an Olden lay-up and the Dons would not trail the remainder of the game.

USF pushed its lead to as many as 17 in the second period. The Dons converted on .344 (22-64) from the field, but connected on .583 (7-12) from 3-point range. The Rams connected on .339 (19-56) from the floor and .290 (9-31) in the second half.

Freshman guard Kelly Jo Mullaney led Colorado State with 17 points. Senior guard Molly Nohr added 12, while junior guard Sara Hunter chipped in with 10 for Colorado State.

USF returns to action Sunday, November 19 when it hosts Miami in non-conference action. Tip-off against the Hurricanes is set for 2:00 PM at War Memorial Gym.

Santa Clara - 73
Cal Poly - 54

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - A solid night from the backcourt trio of Chandice Cronk, Ashley Graham, and Anna Martin, who combined for 56 points, was turned in Friday night as the Santa Clara women's basketball team continued its high-scoring ways with a 73-54 win over the Cal Poly Mustangs at the Leavey Center.

With the win, the Broncos improve their record to 2-1, and will hit the road next week for a pair of tests, playing at Boise State at 6 p.m. Pacific time on Monday, Nov. 20, and a 3:30 p.m. contest on Wed., Nov. 22 against No. 18 BYU.

Cronk again led the way for the Bronco offense, scoring 21 in the game, while Graham was right behind her with 20, and Martin, making her first start of the season, added 15 on 5-of-6 shooting, including a perfect 3-for-3 from behind the arc. Graham also passed out six assists, while underneath, Kasey Monteith grabbed six rebounds and made a pair of blocks.

"Chandice, Ashley, and Anna are three really good ballplayers and tonight they did a great job of keeping their composure even though Cal Poly was putting a lot of full-court pressure on us tonight," said head coach Michelle Bento-Jackson. "Ashley was steady the entire game and had an extremely solid performance for us tonight."

The night started slowly for the Broncos as the offense struggled to find a rhythm in falling behind 8-2 in the first three and a half minutes. Cal Poly also was slow to come around, as the teams went scoreless for a stretch of two and a half minutes, until a Martin three at the 13:56 mark energized the Bronco attack.

Graham followed up with a three of her own to tie the game at 8-8, and from there the Broncos went on a 17-4 run that put them ahead to stay at 19-12.

From there, Santa Clara calmed down and tightened up the defense, holding Cal Poly scoreless for almost four minutes and scoring eight in a row to build a 32-17 lead with just over three minutes to play in the first half on the way to a 36-23 halftime lead.

"[In Wednesday's loss to Miami], we gave up too many transition layups, and tonight we were focused on taking that away and I think we did a much better job of that," Bento-Jackson noted on the team's defensive effort. "We still have to continue to work hard on the defensive boards, but for the most part I thought our half-court defense was pretty efficient tonight."

The Broncos extended the lead to 17 at 43-26 within three minutes of the start of the second half, as a lay-up from Jen Gottschalk and a Graham jumper kept the Broncos hot. Cal Poly managed to trim the lead to nine with 11:12 to play, but Cronk and Graham responded by accounting for all 11 Bronco points in an 11-3 run over the next five minutes that rebuilt the lead to 17 and snuffed out any comeback hopes the Mustangs may have harbored.

From there the lead never got to less than 13, as Cronk, Graham, and Martin combined for 10 of SCU's last 14 points to cap the team's second win.

"The two early wins certainly give us confidence, especially heading into two very tough challenges this upcoming week in Boise State and BYU," Bento-Jackson said.

Boise State - 72
Portland - 62

BOISE, Idaho - The University of Portland women's basketball team fell 72-62 on the road to Boise State Saturday night. Junior center Rachel Warren led the way with a game high 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Pilots while freshman guard Laiken Dollente continued her excellent early season play, chipping in 16 points. For Boise State, Tasha Harris scored 16 to lead four Broncos in double digits.

Portland falls to 2-1 on the year while Boise State improves to 2-0.

The Broncos took control in the first half, taking advantage of a Pilot cold spell to go on a 22-5 run and build a 20 point lead at 34-14. Portland rattled off six straight points to cut the half-time score to 34-20 but was unable to get any closer than seven points for the rest of the game.

Boise State pushed the lead back to 20 at 42-22 early in the second half before the Pilots went on a 22-11 run to cut the deficit to nine points at 53-44 with 11 minutes to go. But the Broncos withstood the Portland pressure and used a 14-6 run to get back to a solid 67-50 advantage at the five minute mark.

The Pilots made things interesting, using a pair of three pointers to key a 12-2 run that trimmed the lead to seven points with a minute left, but ran out of time as Boise State held on for the 72-62 win.

Portland outshot Boise State 40 percent to 35 percent, but the Broncos up for the difference at the charity stripe, making 25 of 33 free throws compared to Portland's 12 of 14. The Pilots were whistled for 24 fouls for the game while the Broncos were charged for 13.

Turnovers also hurt Portland as they committed 25 to Boise State's 14. The Broncos narrowly outrebounded the Pilots 40-38.

Senior Anne Graner had five assists to lead the Pilots and also pitched in seven points and five rebounds while sophomore Jennifer Wassom was a perfect 2-2 from behind the arc to add six points.

For the Broncos, Jessica Thompson went 9-11 from the free throw line en route to scoring 15 points. Michelle Hessing added 11 points and Nadia Begay hit a pair of three-pointers while scoring 10 points.

Portland now heads back to the Chiles Center to host Southern Utah on Nov. 20, the first of three home games in six days before hitting the road again to play Oregon on Nov. 28.