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WCC Women's Basketball Recaps

Jan. 19, 2008

Gonzaga - 74
San Francisco - 70

San Francisco - Necolia Simmons likes the West Coast Conference. Despite San Francisco's 74-70 loss to Gonzaga on Saturday afternoon at War Memorial Gym, the junior transfer earned her second double-double (23-12) and has now scored 20 or more points in three consecutive games. The Bulldogs (13-6, 4-0 WCC) stay unbeaten in league play, while USF drops to 11-7, 2-1 WCC.

Gonzaga took a commanding lead early, off .563 (18-32) shooting in the first half. The Bulldogs also held the first half rebounding advantage, 26-12. Leading by 15 (35-20) with less than five minutes before half-time, the Dons cut the lead by only two before the buzzer.

Rejuvenated after the break, the Dons made an impressive 25-11 run to bring the score within two points (69-67) with less than two minutes left, but couldn't convert on their last few chances. With .556 (5-9) shooting from behind the line in the second half, the Dons held the overall 3-point advantage .357 (5-14) to .278 (5-18).

Simmons made an impact from the start, scoring all of the Dons first seven points, and nine of their first 16. She is now averaging 22 points-per-game in league play. Junior guard Shay Rollins returned to the line-up, scoring 11 points and senior guard Nykia Peace played a great game, scoring nine points and adding seven rebounds.

Gonzaga's sophomore forward Heather Bowman led the Bulldogs with 23 points and had eight rebounds. Other double figure scorers were junior guard Jami Bjorklund (14) and freshman guard Courtney Vandersloot (11). Sophomore forward Vivian Frieson pulled down 16 rebounds.

USF continues WCC play on Thursday, January, 24 in Moraga. Tip-off against Saint Mary's is 7:00 PM.

Portland - 76
San Diego - 75 OT

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - With a strange turn of events in the final three seconds of overtime, the University of San Diego women's basketball team was defeated, 76-75, by the University of Portland in a West Coast Conference game Saturday afternoon.

With three seconds to go and USD trailing Portland by one at 76-75, the Pilots attempted to inbound the ball in front of the Torero bench, but the ball touched a Pilot player and fell out of bounds to give USD back the ball with a chance to win the game. However, the Toreros could not get the ball inbounds and were called for a five second violation, thus turning the ball back over to Portland, who in turn ran the clock out to escape with the victory.

Amber Sprague notched in her WCC-leading sixth double-double of the season with her team-high 20 points to go along with a game-high 15 rebounds. Amanda Rego was the second of five USD players in double figures, as she had 17 points and added in seven assists. Kiva Herman had 2 points on 4-for-7 shooting from the floor, Morgan Henderson added in 11 points and Sam Child was the final USD player in double figures as she had 10 points. As a team, USD shot 38 percent from the field and out rebounded the Pilots 43-32.

In the first half, the Pilots raced out to a 4-1 lead, but a pair of Sprague free throws ignited a 6-0 Torero run to give USD a three point edge at 7-4 with 15:10 to go in the period. The two teams the appeared to trade basket-for-basket over the next several minutes, until USD held a 14-11 lead, then Sprague scored the next four points to give USD their biggest lead of the game at 18-11 with 10:02 remaining.

After the Pilots launched a 7-0 run to pull even with the Toreros, again the two teams were battling back and forth for a couple of minutes with each taking their turn with the lead. Then with the score at 26-23 in favor if USD, a Allyson Sievers three-pointer sparked a 10-1 Pilot run to give Portland the momentum back and a six-point lead with 2:31 remaining in the frame. The Pilots would hold on to this lead and take an eight-point advantage into the break up 39-31.

In the second half, the Toreros held things close with Portland not allowing the Pilots to get more than eight points ahead, and finally with 4:22 to go, USD began to dig in and go to work to try and win the game. With USD trailing 60-53, Sprague hit a pair of free throws and a lay-up to pull the Toreros back to within two at 60-58. The Pilots then hit a jumper to give them back a four-point lead, but back-to-back lay-ups by Herman and Henderson tied things up at 62 with just 46 seconds remaining in the second half.

Portland then committed a turnover with 34 second remaining in the game, giving USD a chance to take the lead back. Amanda Rego got the inbounds pass on the Portland baseline, waited until there was 10 seconds left on the clock, then drove the length of the court and hit a lay-up to put the Toreros up two with seven seconds left. The Pilots then quickly got the ball up the floor, and at the buzzer Kendra Thomas hit a hanging off balance jumper to force overtime.

In the overtime frame, both teams were playing well, as they traded basket-for-basket over the first couple of minutes of action. Then with USD leading 70-69 with 1:43 remaining, the Pilots ripped off five straight points to grab a four-point edge with 22 seconds left in the game. The Pilots would hold this four-point lead until there was just five seconds left, and Henderson hit a three-pointer to pull USD to within one, setting up the dramatic ending.

The Toreros will return to action on Thursday as they head to Santa Clara to take on the Santa Clara University Broncos in a 7 p.m. WCC game.

Loyola Marymount - 73
Saint Mary's - 71

Los Angeles, CA - Mikaela Cowles of Saint Mary's missed two free throws with 0.1 seconds left as LMU survived for a 73-71 West Coast Conference victory Saturday afternoon at Gersten Pavilion. Freshman Renahy Young led three Lions in double figures as LMU (10-9, 2-2 WCC) snaps a two-game home and overall losing streak while handing the Gaels (9-10, 1-2 WCC) its second straight defeat.

A tight contest throughout came down to the absolute end as Saint Mary's rallied from a five-point deficit with 2:06 left. The Lions had opportunities to ice the game from the free throw line, just as the Gaels had their chances with possessions down the stretch. LMU shot just 8-for-21 from the line in the second half but it was enough to hold off the Gaels.

Two free throws by Jontelle Smith with 53 seconds on the clock made it a two-point LMU lead, 71-69. After Young made one of two free throws, Serena Benavente was fouled and hit both to bring SMC within one with 29 ticks left. The Gaels pressed the Lions, forcing senior Amanda DeCoud into a turnover to get the ball back with a chance to win. SMC went inside to Louella Tomlinson, who traveled as she laid the ball in, wiping off the go-ahead basket and giving the ball back to LMU. Senior Bronwyn Evans was fouled on the ensuing inbound, making one of two. Lauren Shaughnessy grabbed the rebound and went the length of the floor, pulling up for a three-pointer looking for the win. Her shot was off target but Cowles grabbed the offensive rebound and was fouled by DeCoud she tried to go back up. With 0.1 showing on the clock, Cowles' first free throw hit every part of the rim but did not go down, essentially ending the game. Needing to intentionally miss the second, her foul shot missed the rim for a violation, giving the ball back to the Lions, who inbounded for the victory.

Young remains outstanding in conference play, leading the Lions for the fourth straight game with 17 points. DeCoud added 15 points, a career-high nine assists, five rebounds, and three steals, while sophomore Lisa Helmers poured in 10 points, all in the first half. Two days after lacking for points off the bench, the Lions got a solid team effort, with Bronwyn Evans, senior Valerie Ogoke, and redshirt freshman Aleyse Evans all contributing eight points. Aleyse Evans and Ogoke each barely missed double-doubles, grabbing 15 and 12 rebounds, respectively. Making her first start in over a month, Evans' tally was a new career-high, as were her four blocked shots.

Tomlinson just missed a triple-double with 18 points, 13 rebounds, and nine blocked shots but committed seven turnovers, including the crucial one in the final minute. Shaughnessy had a double-double with 12 points and a game-high 17 rebounds while Smitth added 15 points and Sierra Chambers 13 and five assists.

Neither team shot particularly well, with the Lions at 32.5% (26-for-80) overall and the Gaels at 31.2% (24-for-77). The teams were relatively even from three-point range with LMU at 33.3% (8-for-24) and SMC at 31.6% (6-for-19). The up-tempo game and missed shots led to a plethora of rebounds, with SMC holding a 65-59 advantage and the teams combining for 46 offensive boards. LMU also forced 19 Gael turnovers while committing 14 themselves.

Having gotten off to slow starts in each of their last two games, both losses, LMU came out firing on Saturday, with their first four field goals, and six of their first nine, coming from three-point range. The Gaels countered by going inside to Tomlinson, who had 11 points in the first half, and hitting the boards, grabbing 17 offensive rebounds. Still, the Lions led 37-35 at the break.

After grabbing the lead at the 11:37 mark of the first half, LMU maintained its advantage until a 7-0 Gael run gave the visitors a 51-50 lead on a layup by Tomlinson with 14:12 to go. The Lions answered right back with a three-pointer by Young and never relinquished its lead, going up by as many as seven, 68-61 with 6:50 remaining before the Gaels slowly climbed back.

LMU takes to the road for the next three games, starting with a trip to local rival Pepperdine on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. in the first game of a women's/men's double header.

Santa Clara - 71
Pepperdine - 66

MALIBU, Calif. - The Pepperdine women's team fell short in a tightly contested game against Santa Clara on Saturday afternoon, dropping a 71-66 decision to the Broncos in a West Coast Conference game at Firestone Fieldhouse

Pepperdine (6-11, 1-2 WCC) out shot Santa Clara (13-4, 2-1 WCC) 42.4% to 37.7%, but committed 22 turnovers to the Broncos 13. The Broncos also made 17 free throws compared to the Waves nine, and scored 18 points off turnovers. The teams exchanged the lead 13 times.

The Waves shot 40.7% in the first half compared to a 36.7% mark for the Broncos and held a 31-29 lead. The Broncos outscored the Waves 42-35 in the second half despite shooting only 38.7% to the Waves 43.8% mark.

Daphanie Kennedy (Oakland, Calif./Kearny HS) led the Waves with 22 points and five rebounds, Miranda Ayim (London, Ont., Canada (Saunders Secondary) notched 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting, and Teiosha George (Palmdale, Calif./Palmdale HS) recorded 10 points and five rebounds.

The Broncos had four players score in double figures, with Jen Gottschalk recording a double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Tracey Walker registered 14 points, Elizabeth Doran posted 13 points and Chandice Cronk notched 12 points.