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Zags Defeat Portland 96-71 to Reach Finals of WCC Tournament

Mar. 6 2011

Day 2 Recap

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Las Vegas- Top seed No. 20/22 Gonzaga University took a 96-71 decision over No. 4 seed University of Portland in the semifinal of the Zappos.com West Coast Conference women's basketball Championships Sunday. The Bulldogs, who had five players score in double figures, improved to 27-4 overall with the victory, while the Pilots fell to 16-15 overall.

Four of the five starters tallied double-digits, while five players came off the bench to chip in some scoring for the Zags. Gonzaga was led by junior Kayla Standish who finished with a game-high 23 points. Senior Courtney Vandersloot closed out the contest adding 16 points and 14 assists, with the assist mark becoming the single-game West Coast Conference record.

Gonzaga used a 25-8 run in the meat of the first half to turn a one-point deficit into 22-point advantage at 34-12 with 6:51 left in the half. Bekkering had eight points in the all-important spurt, including two of her three first half 3-pointers. Senior Claire Raap also came off the bench to score eight points in the run.

Bekkering, who needed 12 points to become the 16th player in Gonzaga history to eclipse the 1,000 point plateau, hit the mark with 5:24 left in the half, draining a 3-pointer to put the score at 37-14. Bekkering added two more points in the half, to finish with 15 points.

The Bulldogs continued to roll and went into the locker room with the 44-21 advantage. The Zags hit 57.6 percent (19-of-33) from the floor, including 44.4 percent (4-of-9) on 3-pointers, and were 2-of-3 at the charity stripe.

Gonzaga forced Portland to turn the ball over 12 times and capitalized off the miscues, scoring 16 points off them.

Vandersloot, who was named West Coast Conference Player of the Year for the third-consecutive year Tuesday, dished out nine assists in the first 20 minutes and added six points and three steals.

The second half belonged to Standish. The Ellensburg, Wash. product, who scored four points in the opening half, poured in 19 in the final 20 minutes; hitting 8-of-11 from the floor and 3-of-4 free throws.

Gonzaga's largest lead of the game was 88-58 at the 5:09 mark of the second half. Sophomore Meghan Winters drained a 3-pointer to give the Zags the 30-point advantage.

The Bulldogs closed out the game hitting 56.9 percent (41-of 72) from the floor, 38.5 percent (5-of-13) on 3-pointers and was only 9-of-14 at the free throw line. They held the 42-26 rebounding advantage, forced the Pilots to turn the ball over 17 times and had 50 points in the paint.

Portland was led by ReZina TecleMariam, the twin sister of former Bulldog Ariam TecleMariam, with 14 points.

Gonzaga will now play the winner of the No. 2 Saint Mary's versus No. 7 University of San Diego contest in the championship game Monday. The game is set for a Noon tip and can been seen on ESPNU.

Courtesy of GU Sports Information