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WCC Women's Basketball Recaps

Dec. 20, 2006

Saint Mary's - 74
Eastern Washington - 66

Moraga, CA - The Saint Mary's women's basketball team defeated Eastern Washington 74-66 Wednesday night from McKeon Pavilion. Junior guard Lauren Shaughnessy tallied a career-high 17 points while Serena Benavente recorded a team-high 20 with a perfect game from the charity stripe. After the win, SMC now has two in a row to improve to 4-7 on the season.

Benavente led the Gaels with 20 points and was a perfect 14-for-14 from the charity stripe, a new career best.

Shaughnessy was 7-of-11 from the floor to eclipse her previous best of 14 points. Sophomore guard Jontelle Smith added 11 while Maija Lahde had seven points and eight rebounds.

The Gaels kept taking a double-digit lead on the Eagles but EWU kept battling back. Every time the Eagles climbed back into the ballgame though the Gaels had an answer.

Saint Mary's had a 14-5 early lead five minutes into the game, but at the 10-minute mark the Eagles took a 16-14 lead.

The Gaels then went on a 23-13 run to close out the half and go into the intermission with an eight point cushion.

SMC took an 11 point lead with 13 minutes remaining but the Eagles then closed the double-digit lead to one (58-57) with 5:35 left.

The Gaels then closed out the game on a 16-9 run and were paced by eight free throws made by Benavente.

Saint Mary's shot 35 percent (23-for-65) from the floor and 25 percent (3-for-12) from beyond the arc while knocking down 86 (25-for-29) percent of their free throws.

Eastern Washington shot 42 percent (25-for-59) and 36 percent (5-for-14) from downtown. The Eagles shot 65 percent (11-for-17) from the charity stripe.

EWU was led by a game-high 24 points from Joanna Chadd. Katy Baker was the only other Eagle in double-figures with 10.

Eghosa Obaiza led all rebounders with 10 on the evening - her second consecutive double-digit rebound game. Baker and Sydney Benson led the Eagle with eight apiece.

Saint Mary's will return from the Christmas holiday with a road game against Sacramento State. Tip-off is scheduled for Wednesday, December 28 at 7:05 p.m. from the Nest.

San Francisco - 67
Florida State - 64

San Francisco, CA - USF women's basketball played its final game before the holiday break and took a much-needed 67-64 victory against Florida State in non-conference action Wednesday night at War Memorial Gym. It was the third win in the last four meetings against the ACC for the Dons (4-8), who snapped a four-game losing streak, while the Seminoles (10-3) close their West Coast swing at 0-2.

Junior guard Dominique Carter and sophomore guard Shay Rollins each scored a game-high 16 points off the bench. Rollins dished out a career-high seven assists for the Dons who dished out a season best 19 and committed a season-low 12 turnovers. Lisa Olden added 11 points and four rebounds, while junior guard Nykia Peace added four points, six rebounds and matched a career-high with six assists.

"I am very proud of the team's effort tonight," USF head coach Tanya Haave said. "We just fought and fought and fought and got the result we needed. We have been playing better and it is nice to get a big victory against a team that went to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year. We have some things to work on, but this was a big win for us."

San Francisco shot at a .571 (28-49) clip from the floor, while Florida State converted on .424 (25-59) for the contest. The Seminoles held a dominating 38-23 edge, but after collecting just six in the first half, USF snared 17 in the second half.

For the third consecutive game, the Dons went right after Florida State and shot a remarkable .682 (15-22) in the opening period as nine USF players scored at least two points, led by Carter and Rollins with eight apiece. After the Seminoles built a two point edge at 12-10 with 12:28 left, USF went ahead for the rest of the half on a 3-pointer by Shay Rollins at 15-12 with 11:33 on the clock. The Dons led by as many as nine points twice, before Florida State used its post presence pay off in closing the lead to four points, 37-33 at the intermission.

Florida State took its first and only lead of the second half 38-37 on a 3-pointer by sophomore guard Tanae Davis-Cain at the 18:23 mark. Olden countered with a jumper at 18:05 to take a 39-38 edge and the Dons eventually built its biggest lead of the game at 10, 53-43 with 11:02 on the clock courtesy of a Carter lay-up. Unlike the last two games where San Francisco was unable to maintain leads in the second half, the Dons countered each run made by the Seminoles. Florida State went on a 9-3 run inside of 5:40, but after pulling to within one at 65-64 on a bucket by Davis-Caine, USF responded with a Rollins lay-up to seal the win.

San Francisco returns to action when it competes in the 2006 Hawaii Invitational, beginning Friday, December 29 in Honolulu. The Dons take on the host Wahine in the opening round in a tip-off slated for 9:00 PM (PT). Columbia and Oklahoma State round out the tournament field and the consolation game starts at 6:00 PM Saturday, followed by the title game at 8:00 PM (PT) with all games being played in the Stan Sherriff Center.

Davidson - 77
Gonzaga - 69

Spokane, Wash. - The Gonzaga University women's basketball team fell to Davidson College 77-69 Wednesday evening at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

With the loss, the Bulldogs fell to 7-8 on the season while Davidson improved to 11-2 with the victory.

Davidson posted an early 5-3 lead two minutes into the game before a Gonzaga 11-2 streak over the next four minutes to take a 14-7 lead at the 14:15 mark.

Gonzaga was able to hold the lead until 5:05 when the Wildcats knotted the score at 25. The Wildcats' Honna Housley posted a three pointer at the 4:47 mark to give Davidson the 28-25 edge.

Despite a trio of free throws by GU's Jami Bjorklund and a basket by Heather Bowman, GU was unable to regain the lead and ended the half trailing 35-30.

Davidson opened the second stanza with a 15-10 run in the first nine minutes before Gonzaga began to chip away at the Wildcats' advantage. With back-to-back three pointers by Michelle Elliott and Rachel Kane, as well a pair free throws by Stephanie Hawk, the Zags cut Davidon's lead to three, 55-52, at the 8:28 mark.

Gonzaga was unable to maintain the momentum as the Wildcats scored 18 points over the next six minutes. A lay up by Davidson's Mercedes Robinson at 2:19 gave the Wildcats' their largest lead of the game with 13 points, 73-60.

The Bulldogs were unable to overcome the deficit, posting only two baskets from the field over the remainder of the game to drop the eight-point decision.

Gonzaga had three players score in double digits and was led by Elliott with 16. Hawk and Bjorklund each posted 14 points with seven and six rebounds, respectively. Also posting double figures was Bowman with 10.

Danielle Hemerka led Davidson with 15 points, four rebounds, one block and a steal. Katie Hamilton and Jessica Mitchell each added 12 points, while Robinson rounded out the Wildcats double figure scorers with 11 points.

The Zags will return to action on Saturday, Dec. 30 when they host Montana State University at McCarthey Athletic Center. Game time is set for noon.

Utah State - 68
Portland - 58

LOGAN, Utah - The University of Portland women's basketball team dropped a 68-58 decision on the road to the Utah State Aggies Wednesday night. The Pilots fall to 7-6 on the year while Utah State snapped a four-game losing streak to improve to 3-6.

Junior center Rachel Warren shot a perfect 8-of-8 from the field and 2-of-2 from the free throw line led all scorers with 18 points and had a game-high seven rebounds. Freshman guard Laiken Dollente, currently the second-leading scorer in the West Coast Conference, pitched in 17 points, including 10-of-11 from the free throw line. For the season, Dollente is shooting 88 percent from the charity stripe. Sophomore guard Jenn Wassom was the only other Pilot in double-figures with 16 points, sinking 4-of-7 three-pointers.

For the Aggies, junior forward Jenny Gross led the way with 17 points. Junior guard Taylor Richards (10 points) and sophomore guard Anna Pares (10 points) were also in double-digits for Utah State.

Despite the Pilots shooting a solid 47 percent (20-of-43) from the field, the Aggies held the lead for much of the game thanks in part to their hot from behind the arc, hitting 9-of-22 for the game. Portland also committed 21 turnovers, which led to 24 Utah State points.

The Pilots started the game off well, jumping to an early 12-6 lead behind five quick Dollente points. But the Aggies then went on a 17-to-2 tear, hitting four three-pointers during the run to storm to a 23-14 lead. Utah State got up by as much as 13 during the first half as the Pilots struggled to find their offense.

Trailing 34-25 at half time, the Pilots were able to cut the lead to six points at 51-45 after a Wassom three-pointer with 9:26 remaining, but the Aggies then went on a 13-to-2 run to put the game out of reach.

The Pilots now have more than a week off before returning to action on Thursday, Dec. 28 at home at the Chiles Center against Utah Valley State at 7 p.m.

Montana - 98
Santa Clara - 72

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - After a solid first-half Tuesday night, things unraveled quickly for the Santa Clara women's basketball team as the squad fell 98-72 to the Montana Lady Griz at the Leavey Center. Foul shooting made the difference Tuesday night as the Lady Griz sank 38 of their 40 attempts to run away with the game in the second half.

The Broncos will now take the next seven days off for the holidays before returning to the Leavey Center to kick off a Cable Car Classic tripleheader, as they host the Toledo Rockets at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 28.

Anna Martin turned in a career night Wednesday, draining 7-of-12 three-point attempts to finish the night with 21 points. Chandice Cronk added 15 while Jen Gottschalk returned to the lineup to add 11.

But Montana's Mandy Morales, the Big Sky Conference's leading scorer, totaled 35 points on the night, including an 18-for-18 showing from the free-throw line. Britney Lohman (17), Johanna Clossen (15), and Tamara Guardipee (12) rounded out the Montana players scoring in double figures.

It looked like it would be SCU's night at the start of the contest, as Martin drained a trio of threes to put the Broncos up 9-0, and added another three just under two minutes later to account for SCU's first 12 points.

The Bronco lead got to 10 at 19-9 with 11:46 left to play in the first half before the Lady Griz began to make their push. After an Ashley Gonnerman jumper gave SCU a 25-19 lead with 9:12 left in the half, the Broncos did not score for the next 5:07 as the Lady Griz reeled off 10 points, all by Lohman and Closson. But SCU fought back and went into the break trailing by only one at 36-35.

Montana began to stretch their lead over the first eight minutes of the second half, but the Broncos continued to stay with them. But foul trouble caught up with Santa Clara, as the team was whistled for 15 infractions alone in the second half, and 26 total for the game, as opposed to only eight for Montana over the entire contest. The early bonus paid off for the Lady Griz, as Montana sank 24-of-26 from the line to pull away in the final 11:51. Morales, after a rather silent first half, exploded for 27 points in the second, including a 14-of-14 showing from the line.