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WCC Women's Basketball Recaps

Dec. 21, 2007

Gonzaga - 82
Montana State - 68

BOZEMAN, Mont. - The Gonzaga University women's basketball team broke a two-game losing skid with a decisive 82-68 victory over Montana State University Friday night in Bozeman, Mont. Redshirt freshman Janelle Bekkering had a break-out game for the Bulldogs registering her first double-double of her career posting a team-high 16 points and a game and career-high 11 rebounds.

The Zags improved to 7-5 overall in their final contest prior to the Christmas break while the loss broke a three-game winning streak for the Bobcats and dropped them to 5-5 overall.

Four other players finished in double-figure points for Gonzaga, including junior Jami Bjorklund and freshman Courtney Vandersloot who both registered 14 points apiece. Sophomore Tiffanie Shives and freshman Claire Raap both came off the bench to post 13 and 10 points, respectively. The 10 points was a career-high for Raap, who also played a career-high 14 minutes and brought down a career-high four rebounds.

Gonzaga starved off a late Montana State rally to earn the 14-point victory. Leading by 25 points, the Zags largest lead of the contest, with 11:05 remaining in the game, the Bobcats closed the margin to 65-57 at the 5:56 mark on a jumper by Krislyn Wallace of MSU. Gonzaga would not let Montana State get any closer as a three-pointer by senior Michelle Elliott and a layup by Shives broke the Bobcats momentum.

The Bulldogs jumped out to an early 14-7 lead and took a 34-25 advantage into intermission. Gonzaga opened the second stanza with a 7-2 run to take a 14-point margin and break the game open.

Gonzaga closed out the game shooting 48.5% (32-66) from the floor, the Zags tenth game shooting 40.0% or better, and hit 30.4% (7-23) of its three-pointers and was 78.6% (11-14) from the charity stripe. It was the Zags best shooting night from the free throw line in 10 games and the first time in five contests the Bulldogs have hit double-digit free throws.

The Bulldogs held the slight 39-35 edge in rebounds and dished out 14 assists, forced 15 turnovers, had eight steals and blocks two shots.

Gonzaga will be back in action on Saturday, Dec. 29 when it welcomes Eastern Washington University to the McCarthey Athletic Center. Game time is set for 5 p.m.

Portland - 71
Colorado State - 56

PORTLAND, Ore. --- The Portland Pilots outscored the Colorado State Rams by 14 points in the second half en route to a 71-56 non-conference win Friday night at the Chiles Center. Portland sophomore guard Laiken Dollente scored a team-high 21 points.

The Pilots snap a two-game skid to improve to 8-5 on the season, while the Rams fall to 2-10.

Dollente also secured seven rebounds, while handing out four assists. Senior Rachel Warren added 13 points, while junior Karlie Burris scored 12. Both Warren and Burris missed Portland's game at Southern Utah on Monday with an illness.

UP sophomore Kendra Morris matched a career high with six assists.

Portland also received a spark off the bench from freshman Jessica Clemens. In just her second game, Clemens scored four points, grabbed three boards and dished out three assists. Clemens joined the women's basketball team full-time a few weeks ago after playing with the UP volleyball team.

Kandy Beemer paced the Rams with a game-high 23 points. Beemer was money from behind the three-point arc, hitting seven out of 10 attempts. Beemer was the only Colorado State player to score in double figures.

Portland led by as many as seven in the first half before settling for a 30-29 lead. The Pilots came out of the locker room energized and opened the second half by embarking on a 26-12 run covering 10 minutes.

Freshman Tara Cronin gave Portland's its biggest the lead of the game to that point when she hit an open jumper on a feed from Burris. The lead grew to 16 when Morris fed Burris with a perfectly-placed bounce pass from half-court. Burris was able to convert the lay-up to make it 67-51 in Portland's favor with about four minutes remaining. The lead would stand.

Portland junior Allyson Sievers matched a game-high with seven boards. CSU finished with a slim 33-32 edge in rebounds, but the Pilots dominated the paint with a 36-18 advantage in points in the paint.

The Pilots shot 53.3 percent in the second half to finish at 46.7 percent (28-for-60) for the game. Portland also turned the ball over just 10 times, a season low, which led to two points for the Rams. The Pilots were able to convert 18 CSU turnovers into 15 points.

The Pilots next take the court on the road with a game against the Pacific Tigers in Stockton, Calif., on Friday, December 28.

San Diego - 74
Cal State Fullerton - 43

FULLERTON, Calif. - Three Toreros were in double figures paced by Kiva Herman's 16 points to help lead the University of San Diego women's basketball team to a 74-43 win over Cal State Fullerton Friday evening in a non-conference game at Titan Gym.

With the win, the Toreros improve to 7-4 overall and have won three consecutive games for the first time this season. With the loss, the Titans fall to 1-8 overall and have now dropped seven consecutive contests.

Amanda Rego was the lone player to post a double-double as she recorded 11 points and a game-high 11 assists to go along with five rebounds. Amber Sprague was the second Torero in double figures as she had 10 points on 5-for-9 shooting from the field and Herman had a game-high 16 points on 6-for-10 shooting to go along with a game-high eight rebounds. As a team, USD shot a season-best 59 percent from the field and out rebounded the Titans 48-30.

Right out of the gates, the Toreros jumped on the home team as they opened the game with a 9-1 run sparked on a Herman free-throw and capped on a Rego lay-up.

After a Titan three pointer, a Sprague jumper ignited a 10-2 Torero run that gave USD their biggest lead of the half at 19-6 with just 13:11 remaining. During this run, four different USD players recorded a basket.

With the score at 23-8 in favor of USD, the Titans put together a 13-2 run to pull back to within four at 25-21 with 4:11 remaining, but the Toreros would then be able to push their lead back to seven going into the break.

Out of the break, the Toreros went on an 18-3 run sparked by a Rego lay-up and maintained by inspired play by freshman guard Brianna Estell. Estell came off the bench to score eight points in the second half and led this Torero run to give USD complete control of the game at 48-26 with 12:46 remaining.

The Toreros would go on to build their lead up to as many as 26 at 60-34 on a Herman lay-up off an assist from Rego and they never looked back.

For the Titans, Lauren Chow led the offensive attack with her team-best 12 points and the only other CSF player in double figures was Toni Thomas who had 10 and pulled down a team-best eight rebounds.

The Toreros will return to action on Friday as they begin play in the Maggie Dixon Surf `N Slam Classic against Appalachian State University at 6 p.m. inside the Jenny Craig Pavilion.

Santa Clara - 78
San Jose State - 58

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Three Broncos netted double-figure points while Sara Majors and Jen Gottschalk posted double-doubles to give Santa Clara a 78-58 victory over San Jose State in Rivalry Series action Friday night at the Leavey Center. Chandice Cronk was the third player to post double-figures, leading the game with 21 points and six assists. With the triumph, SCU improved its win steak to four games and now owns an 8-3 overall record, while the Spartans dropped to 1-11 on the season.

"In the first half, we came out and executed really well," said head coach Michelle Bento-Jackson. "At times in the second half the environment as a whole was flat and we just kept telling the team to keep their intensity and execute. The trouble in the second half was that we put them on the free throw line way too much. Yet, our attitude is to improve each and every game and we did a good job tonight."

Majors pulled down a game-high and career-best 14 rebounds and registered 13 points to post her first career double-double, while Gottschalk netted 17 points and tallied 13 rebounds for her second double-double of the season. She also recorded a game-high three steals.

Both teams fought hard in the first half to gain control of the scoreboard. Santa Clara gained a three point lead on a jumper from Gottschalk, 9-6, but the San Jose State quickly tied the score, 9-9, on three point goal from Natalie White. Elizabeth Doran put the Broncos back up by two but once again White posted a traditional three point play to give the Spartans a one-point edge. With 14:16 remaining, a layup for Majors gave the Broncos the jolt they needed to take control of the game.

SCU then produced a 9-0 run that featured back-to-back treys from Cronk and Majors to gain a 20-12 lead. With 5:39 left in the first half, the Broncos opened a 14-point gap on a free throw from Maggie Goldenberger, 34-20. Santa Clara continued to push ahead on a 13-7 run to end the first half with a 20-point lead, 47-27.

Coming back from halftime, the Broncos picked up right where they left off and created a 25-point advantage twice, 52-27 and 57-32. However, the Spartans found new energy and began to chip away at the lead. They rallied to bring the score within 13 points twice in the late second half. Beginning the run for San Jose State was Brittany Powell, who scored all her 10 points in the second half. SJSU compiled a 15-3 run fueled by jumpers and free throws to make the score, 62-49, with 8:11 remaining.

The Spartans came within 13-points for the second and final time on a three-point goal from Emily Nichols, 71-58, with 3:40 left in regulation. However, that was the closest San Jose State would get, as the Broncos went on a 7-0 run and closed out the game with a layup from Kimee Goeggel, 78-58.

For the Spartans, Myosha Barnes registered 16 points, while White added 14 points and Powell had 10 points.

The Broncos return to action on Saturday, Dec. 29 against the Lumberjacks of Northern Arizona. Tip off is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Leavey Center.