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WCC Women's Basketball Recaps

Nov. 26, 2006

San Diego - 59
Air Force - 55

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - For the second consecutive game, key free throw shooting and pressure defense down the stretch helped lift the University of San Diego women's basketball team (5-0) to their fifth consecutive win, as they chalked up a 59-55 non-conference victory over the Air Force Academy (2-3) Sunday afternoon at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.

San Diego knocked down five free throws in the first three minutes of the second period to gain its first lead of the half and then closed the game with five free throws in the final 16 seconds of the game to hold on and claim the win to continue their best start in program history. San Diego held the Falcons to just 25 percent shooting in the second period.

"I was excited about the win. It wasn't a pretty win, but it was a great win for us. It was good to beat an Air Force team that will scrap and claw until the very end, and I was just proud of the effort we made in the last couple of minutes," said head coach Cindy Fisher. "I just thought Amanda Rego had an outstanding night for us. I thought she showed great composure, in trying to bring everyone together."

Rego scored a game-high 16 points, pulled down five boards, dished out five assists and only committed one turnover to help lead the Toreros to victory. Sabine Loewe was the second Torero in double figures as the senior center racked up 14 points and pulled down seven rebounds. San Diego shot 43 percent from the floor, while Air Force out rebounded USD 42-32.

The first half as a story of runs, as each tem took their turn with the lead by going on scoring runs. Air Force jumped out to the early lead as they opened the frame with a 7-3 run, before the Toreros responded with a 9-0 run sparked by a Ashley Voisinet lay-up and capped by a Rego lay-up, giving the Toreros a 12-7 advantage.

Air Force then responded with a 12-1 run to regain control of the game. The two teams then sea-sawed back and forth for the remainder of the period and Air Force took a three-point lead going into the break at 34-31.

In the second half, the Toreros used a 7-4 run to take the lead at 40-38, but then neither team could score a basket for the next 3:25 until the Falcons ended the scoring drought with a pair of free throws by Dawn Higginbotham to even the score at 40-40.

The teams then were again involved in a sea-saw battle with neither team taking a lead bigger then one until San Diego pushed the lead to three on a Loewe free throw with 6:27 remaining. San Diego would not look back on the lead they outscored the Falcons the remainder of the way.

The Toreros will head return to action on Friday as they head to Stockton, Calif. for a 7 p.m. showdown with the University of the Pacific in a non-conference game. San Diego will then head to the Pacific Northwest for a 2 p.m. meeting with the Boise State University Broncos in Boise, Idaho.

Hawai'i - 68
Gonzaga - 57

HONOLULU, HI - The Gonzaga University women's basketball team dropped a 68-57 decision to the University of Hawaii in the third place contest of the Hawaiian Airlines Rainbow Wahine Tournament Sunday evening. The Bulldogs finished the tournament with a 1-2 record and now hold a 5-3 overall record. The Rainbow Wahine improved to 3-2 overall with the win.

Gonzaga started the game off sluggish and Hawaii was able to capitalize, building a 13-1 lead at 11:51. The Rainbow Wahine, who held the Zags to 0-11 shooting from the field over the first eight minutes, built its lead on the strength of Pam Tambini who sank two free throws, made a layup and drained a three-pointer.

Hawaii pushed its lead to 22-8 with 8:14 remaining in the first half after Brittany Grice sank her fourth and fifth free throw of the half. Senior Stephanie Hawk gave the Bulldogs some life hitting a three-pointer and two free throws to slice the Rainbow Wahine lead to only nine, but Hawaii used a 9-4 run to extend its advantage to 31-17 with less than two minutes to play in the half. Grice scored five points for UH, while Janevia Taylor had the other four.

Hawk, who received a pass from junior Michelle Elliott, scored a fast break layup as the buzzer went off to put the halftime score at 30-19.

Hawaii continued to dominate early in the second half. After Hawk hit a jumper for GU, the Rainbow Wahine went on an 11-3 run to hold a 41-24 lead at 16:10. Tambini capped off Hawaii's run hitting her second three-pointer of the day.

A layup by Dita Liepkalne and a three-pointer by Iwona Zagrobelna gave Hawaii a 52-31 lead at 10:50; its largest lead of the game, but Gonzaga woke up and strung together 10-straight points to dwindle the Rainbow Wahine lead to 11 with a little over eight minutes remaining. Hawk converted an old fashion three-point play and sank two free throws; sophomore Jami Bjoklund hit a three-pointer, and Elliott made a layup to put the Bulldogs back into the game.

A 13-4 run by Hawaii squashed Gonzaga's momentum and gave the Rainbow Wahine a 20 point lead with 4:17 remaining. A layup by sophomore Sasha Polishchuk and back-to-back three-pointers by Elliott sparked the Bulldogs, but it wasn't enough as Hawaii pulled out the 68-57 victory.

Hawk led the Bulldogs with 21 points, while Elliott chipped in 19. The Zags finished the game shooting 34.5% (20-58), including 35.7% (5-14) on three-pointers, and was 66.7% (12-18) from the line.

Tambini and Grice both finished with double-doubles for Hawaii. Tambini had 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Grice had 18 points and 10 rebounds. The Rainbow Wahine closed out the game shooting 42.6% (26-61) from the field, including 40.0% (4-10) on three-pointers and was 75.0% (12-16) from the charity stripe.

Gonzaga will be back in action Thursday, Nov. 30 when it welcomes Seattle Pacific to the McCarthey Athletic Center. Game time is set for 8 p.m.