March 14, 2011
SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga University's women's basketball team will take a No. 11 seed into the NCAA Tournament, facing No. 6 University of Iowa of the Big Ten Conference Saturday at 1:10 p.m. Pacific Time in the McCarthey Athletic Center in one half of the Spokane Regional bracket.
The other first-round match-up will have No. 3 UCLA of the Pacific-10 Conference facing Big Sky Conference champion and No. 14 seed University of Montana 30 minutes following the Gonzaga-Iowa game.
Saturday's winners meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday for the right to advance to the Spokane Regional to be held at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena March 26-28.
Iowa brings a 22-8 record to Spokane after falling to Ohio State University 71-61 in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament. The Hawkeyes were 10-6 in the Big Ten and earned the No. 4 seed into the conference tournament.
The Hawkeyes are paced by 5-9 senior guard Kachine "Kash" Alexander who is averaging 14.3 ppg, 9.5 rpg and 3.3 assists/game. Her 9.5 rpg are the most by any guard in the country. She was a first-team All-Big Ten selection and was named to the Big Ten All-Defensive team. She became the first Iowa player and just the fifth in Big Ten history to score 1,000 career points, grab 800 career rebounds and dish out 300 assists. The native of Minneapolis, Minn., was on the Wade Trophy Watch List. Last season she was a State Farm Coaches and Associated press honorable mention All-America pick and was named to the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) All-Region 6 first-team.
Jaime Printy, a 5-11 sophomore guard, from Marion, Iowa, leads the team in scoring at 16.5 ppg, averages 4.3 rpg and 3.5 assists/game. She leads the team in 3-point field goal shooting among the regulars, connecting on 65-of-172 for 37.8 percent. She also shoots 87.3 percent from the free throw line on 110-for-126.
The Hawkeyes are coached by Lisa Bluder in her 11th season at Iowa and her 27th year overall. This is Iowa's 10th post-season appearance and their eighth NCAA appearance in Bluder's tenure. Iowa is in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth straight year.
The dean of Big Ten coaches, Bluder has posted a 211-131 record at Iowa and 567-273 overall in her 27 years on the bench. Her 211 wins at Iowa are the second-most of any Hawkeye women's basketball coach, behind Hall of Famer C. Vivian Stringer with 269.
UCLA, ranked seventh nationally, comes to Spokane with a 27-4 overall record after falling to Stanford University 64-55 in the title game of the Pac-10 Tournament. UCLA had three leads of 11 points only to see Stanford rally each time. The Bruins went 16-2 in Pac-10 play, both losses to Stanford.
Darxia Morris, a 5-8 senior guard from Pasadena, Calif., Jasmine Dixon, a 6-0 forward from Long Beach, Calif., and Doreena Campbell, a 5-10 senior guard from Alexandria, Va., were named to the All-Pac-10 first team.
Campbell became the fourth Bruin to earn All-Pac-10 honors all four years and became the fourth Bruin to record at least 1,000 points, 400 rebounds and 400 assists for a career. She averaged 9.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg and 3.0 assists/game this season. Morris leads the team in scoring at 12.3 ppg while Dixon is second at 11.8 ppg. The duo each had 20 double-figure scoring games (20) and three 20-point games. The Bruins are coached by Nikki Caldwell in her third year. The Bruins won 25 games a year ago.
Fourth seeded Montana surprised host and top-seeded Portland State University 62-58 to win the Big Sky crown and unseat the defending tournament champions. The Lady Griz are 18-14 entering the NCAA Tournament., the 19th trip for veteran coach Robin Selvig.
Katie Baker paces the Lady Griz at 11.9 ppg, the 6-0 sophomore from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, the only double-digit scorer on the team. She also averages 7.4 rpg. Sarah Ena, a 5-11 senior forward averages 8.9 ppg and 4.8 rpg.