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WCC Women's Basketball Recaps

Nov. 19, 2007

San Francisco - 73
Cal State Fullerton - 63

FULLERTON, CALIF. - San Francisco senior forward Dominique Carter scored 24 points on 11-for-16 shooting and collected 10 rebounds, and the Dons held off a late surge by the hometown Titans to seal a 73-63 victory Monday evening. The game marked the 22nd time Carter has surpassed 20-points in a game during her career.

The win improves San Francisco's record to 2-2 on the year, while Cal State Fullerton falls to 1-2.

San Francisco held as much as a 12-point advantage in the second half following a lay-up by Carter which gave the Dons a 53-41 advantage at 13:33. Cal State Fullerton would close the gap with a 7-0 run and then later tie the game at 62-62 on a three-point by junior Toni Thomas.

USF grabbed their lead back in the final minutes, converting eight of their last ten free throws in a finalizing 11-1 run.

Along with shooting 43 percent from the field compared to Cal State Fullerton's 40 percent, the Dons also held a favorable advantage on the boards, collecting 50 rebounds to 26 by the Titans. USF made the Titans pay with 19 offensive rebounds and 22 second chance points. San Francisco junior Necolia Simmons led all players with 13 boards, six coming off USF clanks.

Senior center Lisa Olden matched a career-high with four blocks on the night. Olden set her mark in the season opener against Northern Colorado. The Beaverton, Ore., product also had 10 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore forward/guard Heidi Heintz rounded out San Francisco's double-digit scorers collecting 14 points on five-for-nine shooting.

Cal State Fullerton was led by Lauren Chow's 21 points. Thomas had 16.

The first half was a back-and-forth affair with five lead changes and a pair of ties, but it was the hot shooting of Carter and the Dons offense in the latter half of the first period that gave USF a four-point halftime lead.

Fullerton led by as many as six points midway through the first half before Carter hit a jumper with 7:02 remaining giving the Dons their first lead of the ball game at 20-19. A basket by Thomas regained the lead for the Titans before an 8-2 run over a two minute span gave San Francisco, which shot 44 percent in the half, a 28-23 lead with 4:03 remaining.

Senior Nykia Peace hit two free throws moments before halftime to give the Dons the 36-32 advantage at the break.

USF hosts the 2007 Odwalla Classic at War Memorial Gym this weekend. San Francisco plays Missouri-Kansas City in their first game of the tournament on Friday at 7 p.m. PT. Villanova and South Alabama will also be attending.

UC Santa Barbara - 79
Loyola Marymount - 69

Los Angeles, CA - LMU overcame a slow start to build an 11-point second half lead but UC Santa Barbara closed the game on a 32-11 run to hand the Lions a 79-69 defeat in their home opener Monday evening at Gersten Pavilion in Los Angeles, CA. The loss snaps the Lions' (2-2) winning streak at two and pulls the Gauchos back to 2-2.

The second half was a simple story that can be broken in half. LMU out-scored UCSB 31-10 over the first 10:30 of the half, only to see the Gauchos recover over the final portion to pull away at the end.

Senior Amanda DeCoud tied her career-high with 19 points, 12 in the second half, and added five steals and five assists. Four days after setting a new career-high with 11 points at Long Beach State, sophomore Jessica Vargas topped that with 17 points on 6-for-9 shooting, adding seven rebounds and two steals. Sophomore Lisa Helmers contributed 12 points and six rebounds while senior Valerie Ogoke had six points and 12 boards.

Sha'Rae Gibbons led four Gauchos in double figures with 19 points. Chisa Ononiwu added 17 points and Jessica Wilson 13. Jenna Green also was in double figures with 14 points, 12 rebounds, and five blocks.

The Lions shot 50% in the second half but just 39.7% (25-for-63) overall. They struggled from the line and from downtown, sinking 54.5% (18-of-33) from the stripe and 9.1% (1-for-11) from three-point range. They overcame those woes on defense and the offensive glass, forcing 23 turnovers and grabbing 19 o-boards. UCSB cooled off from a hot start but still shot 47.4% (27-for-57) overall and held a slim 40-39 total rebounding advantage.

Trailing by nine at the break, DeCoud put the Lions on her back coming out of the half, scoring six straight points to bring LMU back to 37-34. After a layup by Ononiwu, Ogoke had an offensive rebound-put back and completed the three-point play and the Lions were within two. LMU got another stop, which led to a long three-pointer by Helmers to give the Lions their first lead of the game, 40-39, at 16:12.

The DeCoud show continued as she followed with a free throw, a three-point play, and another layup. Offensive rebounding also aided the Lions as Helmers came untouched from the top of the key to gather her own missed three-pointer and lay it back in to complete a 19-2 Lion run for a 48-41 lead with 13:19 to go. DeCoud was the catalyst, scoring 12 points with two steals in the first seven minutes of the half.

LMU's lead grew to 58-47 with 9:30 to go but there was still plenty of time for the Gauchos to respond. Respond they did, with a 14-2 spurt that included three-pointers by Ononiwu and Wilson and was capped by a triple by Gibbons that gave UCSB a 61-60 lead with 5:49 left.

The next few minutes resembled a heavyweight fight as the teams battled back and forth. The Lions answered the Gauchos' run, finding junior Jenna Sybesma for a layup but the Gauchos came right back with two free throws by Whitney Warren to reclaim the lead. Kat Suderman followed with a jumper and the Lions turned it over on its next three possessions. That proved critical as Wilson made a steal and a layup, Green had a jump-hook, and Wilson sank a layup and was fouled to make it 71-65 and essentially put the game away. Free throws down the stretch provided the winning margin as UCSB went 10-for-11 at the line over the final four minutes.

The story of the game early was opposite ends of the shooting spectrum. UCSB made its first five shots, including three from three-point range, while the Lions missed on their first seven despite forcing six turnovers. At the 14-minute mark, the Gauchos led 13-4 but back-to-back baskets by redshirt freshman Aleyse Evans and a fastbreak jumper by Vargas pulled LMU back to 13-10 with 12:20 left.

Fouls on the Gauchos helped the Lions, who were shooting in the bonus at the 12-minute mark. Unfortunately, LMU could not convert, sinking just seven of its 14 attempts and UCSB began to pull away. The Gauchos picked up the pace, running off a 16-4 run keyed by six points by Sha'Rae Gibbons and four by Ariana Gnekow to take its largest lead, 29-17, with 6:30 remaining.

The Gauchos stayed hot, shooting nearly 60% from the floor for the first half to take a 37-28 advantage into the locker room. UCSB went 57.7% (15-for-26) while LMU, on the other hand, sank 27.6% (8-for-29) of its shots from the field and was just 12-for-24 at the line.

LMU remains at Gersten this weekend as it hosts the 11th annual Ayres Hotel Thanksgiving Tournament. The tournament will open Friday with Indiana State versus San Diego State, followed by the Lions against Jackson State. The consolation game and championship games are Saturday. Games for both days are scheduled for 2 and 4 p.m.

Gonzaga - 87
Montana - 69

SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga University women's basketball continued to fire on all cylinders as it easily defeated the University of Montana 87-69 Monday evening in front of nearly 2,000 fans at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

The win kept the Bulldogs perfect on the season at 3-0 while the loss dropped the Grizzlies to 1-2 overall.

Reigning West Coast Conference Player of the Week Heather Bowman registered her sixth career double-double and second in a row for the Bulldogs finishing with 25 points and 11 rebounds; both game-highs. Junior Jami Bjorklund posted 17 points and freshman Courtney Vandersloot added 11 as Gonzaga nearly hit the 90-point plateau for the third-straight contest.

It was Bjorklund and Bowman leading the charge for Gonzaga in the first stanza. Bjorklund scored all of her 17 points in the first half on 7-of-8 shooting from the field, including draining one three-pointer and connecting on both of her free throw opportunities. The Spokane native also had four rebounds, three offensive in the opening half. Bowman added 12 points on 4-of-10 shooting, while hitting 4-of-4 from the free throw line.

Montana held a 12-10 lead over Gonzaga early in the contest, but the Bulldogs scored 11-striaght to build a 21-12 advantage with 9:08 remaining in the first half. Montana stayed strong cutting Gonzaga's lead to 36-34 on a three-pointer by Mandy Morales with 2:32 left before halftime, but Bowman and the Zags turned their game up a notch scoring the final 10 points of the half to hold the 46-34 advantage at intermission. Bowman scored six points during the final run for GU.

Gonzaga blew the game open early in the second half exploding for 35 points over the first 12 minutes, while limiting Montana to just 13 to grab an 81-47 lead; it's largest of the contest. Bowman scored 13 over this period while senior Rachel Kane, sophomore Tiffanie Shives and Vandersloot each drained a three-pointer.

The Bulldog had their third-straight contest with 20+ assists as they dished out 21 during the win. Kane and Vandersloot each passed out four to lead the way.

Gonzaga closed out the game shooting an impressive 46.5 percent (33-71) from the floor and held its counterpart to 34.8 percent (24-69) shooting from the field.

The Bulldogs will close out its opening four-game homestand on Friday, Nov. 23 when it welcomes Marquette University to the McCarthey Athletic Center. Game is set for 7 p.m.