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WCC Women's Basketball Recaps

Feb. 7, 2008

Loyola Marymount - 75
Gonzaga - 60

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - LMU outscored Gonzaga 45-20 in the second half to hand the Bulldogs their first West Coast Conference loss, 75-60, Thursday night at Gersten Pavilion. The inspired Lions (13-10, 5-3 WCC) snap a five-game losing streak against the Bulldogs (16-7, 7-1 WCC) while halting the league-leaders' winning streak at eight.

Thursday was "Think Pink Night" at Gersten, where the Lions teamed with the Women's Basketball Coaches Association to raise breast cancer awareness. The LMU players donned pink shoelaces and headbands and passed out pink shirts to the first 500 fans in attendance. The home crowd got behind the Lions, who lifted their play in the second half to overcome a 10-point deficit.

Junior Jenna Sybesma scored a game-high 20 points on 8-for-12 shooting but it was the play of senior Amanda DeCoud that carried the Lions. DeCoud finished with 19 points (on 8-of-12 from the floor), adding seven rebounds, two assists, and three steals as her hustle and fearlessness rubbed off on the rest of the team. Freshman Renahy Young was also in double figures with 10 points and senior Valerie Ogoke chipped in eight points and six rebounds (five offensive).

After scoring seven points in the first half, DeCoud put the Lions on her back to inspire the Lions coming out of the break. LMU mounted a 22-4 run to start the half, with 10 points from their senior captain, to take a 52-46 lead at 12:04. The Lions did it with harassing defense, thrusting their hands in the passing lanes and continually frustrating the Zags. Trailing by 12, 44-32, a three-point play by Young got the Lions rolling. DeCoud followed with a pair of baskets and Young added another to make it a four-point game. A three-point play by junior Cassady Moore pulled the Lions within one and DeCoud gave the Lions the lead with two free throws.

The defensive intensity was echoed on the offensive end, with the Lion guards penetrating to keep the Bulldogs on their heels. Young, DeCoud, and Moore repeatedly split the defense for layups, combining to score the first 20 points of the half as LMU grew its lead to 10, 58-48. When the defense collapsed on the guards, they dumped off for easy baskets by the posts, with Sybesma and freshman Melanie Ysaguirre taking advantage.

Sybesma came on strong down the stretch both offensively and defensively. The junior scored eight straight points to hold off any hopes of a Gonzaga comeback. On defense, she and the rest of the posts combined to hold Bowman to just three points and two field goal attempts in the second half while outscoring the Bulldogs 52-36 in the paint for the game. Free throw shooting was also key for the Lions as they hit 11-of-15 from the line in the second half.

Bowman finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds and four assists to lead the Bulldogs. Courtney Vandersloot added 10 points.

Taking advantage of its penetration, the Lions shot 54.8% in the second half and 45.9% (28-for-61) overall. They needed the inside game as they missed all 11 of their three-point attempts but made up for it by hitting 19-of-32 (59.4%) at the line. Gonzaga shot 40% (26-for-65) overall but just 33.3% (8-for-24) in the second half and was 0-for-6 from three-point range. Gonzaga held a 42-40 advantage on the boards but committed 23 turnovers (14 in the second half) to LMU's 14.

After jumping out big early and cruising to an 81-65 victory in their first meeting this season in Spokane, the Bulldogs opened this game on an 8-2 run but there was no such complacency from the Lions as a pair of free throws from sophomore Lisa Helmers brought LMU back to 12-9. Six straight baskets from Bowman increased the Gonzaga advantage to 18-9 but the Lions responded through Sybesma and DeCoud. Sybesma provided the inside game, spinning to the basket and converting on three occasions and DeCoud added two fastbreak layups to bring the Lions back. A free throw from sophomore Kavita Goss tied the game at 20-all at 7:22 and completed LMU's 11-2 spurt.

The Lions hung close for the next few minutes but went without a basket for the final 4:48 of the half as the Zags' combination of offensive rebounding and Bowman helped them pull away with a 16-3 run over the next six minutes. Bowman was dominant, making six of her first nine shots and grabbing eight rebounds (five offensive) in the first half to take the visitors into the locker room with a 40-30 lead.

Portland - 84
Pepperdine - 83 2OT

MALIBU, Calif. - Portland junior forward Allyson Sievers scored a career-high 22 points and the Pilots needed two overtimes to defeat the Pepperdine Waves 84-83 in a West Coast Conference women's basketball game Thursday night at the Firestone Fieldhouse. It's the first win for the Pilots at Pepperdine since 1997.

It's also the first game to go to double overtime for Portland since the Pilots went three overtimes against Santa Clara in 1988.

Tied at 74-74 after the first overtime, Portland scored the first four points in the second overtime to force the Waves to play catch-up. UP sophomore guard Laiken Dollente scored five points in the second extra period and the Pilots made enough free throws down the stretch to seal the win.

With the Waves down four in the closing seconds of the game, Pepperdine's Daphanie Kennedy hit a three-pointer to make it a one-point game. But Portland was able to in-bound the ball as the clock ran out.

The game nearly didn't reach the extra stanzas as Pepperdine appeared to be on its way to an easy win in the second half. With 8:40 left, Jessica Ross hit an off-balanced thee-pointer to give the Waves their biggest lead of the game at 56-42.

The Pilots responded in a major way. Still down 10 with 6:12 showing on the clock, Portland embarked on a regulation-ending 13-2 run. The Pilots got a couple of clutch field goals and got it done at the free throw line to make it a three-point game with forty seconds left and junior Karlie Burris going to the line for two free throws. She made the first and missed the second, but senior Rachel Warren was there to grab the huge rebound. Warren found Sievers, who converted from point-blank range to tie the game at 65-65

A few possessions later, Kennedy had a chance to win it at the end of regulation for the Waves after a Portland turnover. Kennedy received a perfectly placed three-quarters court pass at the free throw line with three seconds left. She made a spinning move to her left into the lane, shaking the defender, but her running lay-up went in and out.

Portland turned up the heat in the first overtime, seemingly hitting from all over the court. But the Pilots couldn't shake the Waves, who were down just three with possession of the ball in the closing seconds. Kennedy used a pump fake to free herself of the UP defender before drilling the game-tying three from the top of the key. Portland was unable to convert at the other end as the two teams headed for a second extra stanza.

After scoring just two points in the first half, Dollente turned it on after the break and finished with 19 points. She also grabbed eight rebounds and handed out six assists.

The Pilots outrebounded the Waves 53-43, led by Warren with nine boards. Sievers and Burris each finished with seven rebounds. Warren scored 11 points, while Burris continued her offensive surge with 17 points.

Portland shot 43 percent (31-for-73) for the game.

Kennedy finished with a game-high 26 points for Pepperdine, which hit 38 percent (30-for-80) of its shots.