Feb. 26, 2009
SPOKANE, Wash. - Lena Gipson had 21 points and a game-high nine rebounds, and Alyssa Shoji added 14 points but the Santa Clara women's basketball team faced another setback with a 92-63 loss at Gonzaga Thursday night.
With the win and a San Diego upset of Portland, Gonzaga (23-6, 11-2 WCC) clinched the West Coast Conference outright title and the top seed in the WCC Tournament. Four Bulldogs posted double-digit points. Vivian Frieson led the game with 26 points, while Courtney Vandersloot added 17 points and had nine assists. Heather Bowman posted 15 points and Claire Raap had 11 points.
SCU (3-25, 1-12 WCC) started things off with a jumper from Elizabeth Doran, 2-0, and then a layup from Maggie Goldenberger, 4-2. However, Janelle Bekkering responded with a three-pointed and the Zags began to pull away. At 16:03, Gonzaga led by seven-points, 11-4, but their rally was interrupted with an 8-2 run from Santa Clara that brought the score within one-point, 13-12. The rally began on the three-pointer from Shoji and ended on a three-point play from Gipson.
The Broncos then took the one-point advantage on a layup from Kathy Willinsky. Yet, Frieson made it her mission to put the Bulldogs back on top. Gonzaga widened the score to 23-14 with eight of the 10 points run coming from Frieson. Santa Clara fought to cut the lead to five points, but Gonzaga claimed a 44-28 halftime lead.
The Bulldogs compiled a 16-0 run early in the second half to claim a 62-34 lead at the 14:40 mark that put the game out of reach for the Broncos. Gonzaga then went on to post a 32-point lead twice. The last time was with 3:11 to play, 90-58, on a jumper from Kelly Bowen.
Santa Clara brings the regular season to a close on Saturday, Feb. 28 at Portland. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Chiles Center.