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WCC Women's Basketball Recaps

Feb. 28, 2008

Pepperdine - 65
San Diego - 51

MALIBU, Calif. - Miranda Ayim notched 24 points and 13 rebounds and the Pepperdine women's basketball team extended its winning streak to three games with a 65-51 win over San Diego on Thursday night at Firestone Fieldhouse.

Pepperdine (8-17, 4-9 WCC) shot 45.8% for the game and limited the Toreros to a 33.9% mark en route to the victory. The Waves claimed the win despite being outrebounded 40-37 and committing 16 turnovers to USD's 15.

"We focused on us, we know what we need to do to improve, we need to make our weaknesses our strengths, and our strengths even stronger," Pepperdine Coach Julie Rousseau said.

The Waves came out hot and jumped out to a 15-2 lead nine minutes into the game and finished the half with a 55.2% shooting percentage while the Toreros were held to a 28.6% mark. Ayim nearly had a double-double at the half, as she registered 16 points and seven rebounds at intermission.

Pepperdine cooled off in the second half, shooting 36.7% while the Toreros shot 39.3%. The Waves led by as many as 24 points in the second half, but the Toreros cut the margin to as few as 10 points with just under two minutes left.

Ayim (London, Ont.,Canada/Saunders Secondary) notched her seventh double-double of the season with her effort, Daphanie Kennedy (Oakland, Calif./Kearny HS) recorded 16 points and four rebounds and Teena Wickett (Oakland, Calif./Castlemont HS) notched seven points and eight rebounds. San Diego had two players score in double figures, as Amber Sprague totaled 12 points and nine rebounds and Brianna Estell tallied 11 points.

"We built up momentum from the start and kept it going throughout the game," Kennedy said.

Up next, the Waves host San Francisco in their regular season finale at 2 p.m. at Firestone Fieldhouse. The Waves will honor seniors Teiosha George (Palmdale, Calif./Palmdale HS), Shannon Johnson and Kennedy in a pregame ceremony for Senior Night.

Saint Mary's - 64
Portland - 58

Moraga, CA - Saint Mary's women's basketball recorded a 64-58 win over the Portland Pilots, improving to 14-15 overall and 6-7 in West Coast Conference. The Gaels saw equal distribution throughout the game, as Louella Tomlinson and Lauren Shaughnessy each recorded double-doubles with 19 points and 11 and 10 rebounds respectively. Jontelle Smith joined the two Gaels in double digits, adding 15 points.

Tomlinson also picked up six blocks in the game, increasing her total block count to 145 on the year. Tomlinson is just seven blocks away from tying the NCAA record for blocks in a season, and with 145 blocks has tied the NCAA freshman single season block record.

Shaughnessy was the most efficient Gael of the night, as she went 6-of-8 from the floor, while knocking down 7-of-8 free throws. The senior guard pulled down seven defensive and three offensive rebounds, while adding two assists and two steals.

Prior to the competition both the Pilots and Gaels held a 5-7 mark in the WCC, looking to improve their records prior to the seeding of the WCC tournament. The game proved to be a battle as the score was tied 11 times and the lead was exchanged 10 times. Neither team posted a large advantage in any statistical category. The Gaels shot 36.1 percent to the Pilots' 32.9 percent from the floor, Portland out rebounded Saint Mary's by one, 46 to 45, and each team recorded 21 turnovers.

With the score tied at the 8:33 mark in the second half, the Gaels turned up the heat, grasping the lead on a lay-up by Tomlinson. The two by the Aussie would be the first basket of Saint Mary's 11-3 run, as the Gaels tabbed an eight point lead with 3:44 remaining in the game. The Aussie posted eight of the eleven points in the run, off three consecutive lay-ups and a jumper. From that point Saint Mary's held the advantage, defeating the Pilots 64-58.

Portland was led by Allyson Sievers in the competition, recording a game-high 24 points on 10-of-16 shooting. Laiken Dollente tossed in 18 points for the Pilots, while Rachel Warren added 10.

Saint Mary's returns to action on Saturday, March 1 in their final home appearance of the year. The Gaels will honor their two seniors, Lauren Shaughnessy and Sereana Benavente, in their final game in McKeon Pavilion, as the Saint Mary's faces the Gonzaga Bulldogs at 2:00 PM.

Gonzaga - 80
Santa Clara - 71

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Sophomore Heather Bowman paced the Gonzaga University women's basketball team to an 80-71 victory over Santa Clara University Thursday evening at the Leavey Center in Santa Clara, Calif. Bowman closed out the contest with a double-double of 30 points and 11 rebounds. The Spokane native was only two points shy of tying her career-high of 32 points and also became the first player to hit 14 free throws in a contest since Feb. 20, 1985 when Maria Stack also hit 14 against Central Washington University.

The Bulldogs improved to 12-1 in West Coast Conference with the win and are now 21-7 overall. The Broncos fell to 18-10 overall and 7-6 in conference action.

Gonzaga built an eight-point advantage over Santa Clara at halftime on the strong play of both junior Jami Bjorklund and senior Michelle Elliott. Bjorklund scored a team-high nine points in the opening half on 4-of-6 shooting from the field, while Elliott had an all-around impressive first half, finishing with four points, three assists, three steals, three rebounds and one block.

The Broncos kept the game close in the first half due in large part to Jen Gottschalk who posted a team-leading 12 points. Gottschalk hit 5-of-11 from the field, including hitting 2-of-6 from beyond the three-point arc. She also bought down five rebounds and dished out five assists for SCU. Unfortunately, Gottschalk was saddled with her third foul late in the first stanza.

The Zags largest lead of the first half was 38-28 after Bjorklund hit a jumper with 50 seconds remaining before intermission. Gonzaga, who held a slight two-point advantage at 30-28, rattled off eight-straight points to hold the double-figure lead. Bjorklund scored six of the eight points while junior Elaina Renius had the other two.

It was a slow moving second half until the freshman combo of Courtney Vandersloot and Janelle Bekkering broke the game open for Gonzaga. With the Zags leading only 48-41, Vandersloot and Bekkering combined for the Bulldogs next 11 of 13 points to give GU a 61-41 advantage at 11:06.

Bekkering sank two three-pointers and hit 1-of-2 free throws, while Vandersloot hit two free throws, forced two turnovers and made a fast break layup to give Gonzaga the 20-point lead.

Santa Clara would not fold though as it rattled off a 14-4 run to cut Gonzaga's lead to 65-55 with 7:18 remaining in the contest.

The Broncos continued to pressure the Bulldogs over the final minutes, even slicing the Zags lead to only four with 2:19 left in the contest, but it was Bowman who secured the victory for GU, sinking all 10 of her free throws over the final seven minutes of the contest.

Gonzaga finished the game shooting 43.5% (27-62) from the field, including 25.0% (4-16) on three-pointers, and was 81.5% (22-27) at the charity stripe.

Santa Clara was led by Tracey Walker and Gottschalk who scored 21 and 19 points, respectively. Gottschalk also grabbed 11 rebounds in the setback.

The Bulldogs will close out their regular season slate with a game at Saint Mary's College on Saturday, March 1. Game time is set for 2 p.m.

Loyola Marymount - 65
San Francisco - 41

Story to be posted at a later time.