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Thread: Lady Zags Sweet 16 Game Thread

  1. #1
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    Post Lady Zags Sweet 16 Game Thread

    Gonzaga women enjoying surprise setting — at home for NCAA’s Sweet 16

    First-year head coach Lisa Fortier continues her successful initial season at the helm


    SPOKANE — Lisa Fortier looked around the press room in the bowels of Spokane Arena and called the occasion a “happy accident.”

    This was totally unexpected a year ago. The NCAA tournament women’s regional originally was slated for Sacramento, Calif., but moved to Spokane in July due to a scheduling conflict. Gonzaga, with Fortier in her first season as head coach, wasn’t expected to be a postseason participant either. But her No. 11-seeded team (26-7) upset third-seeded Oregon State in Corvallis last Sunday to advance to the Sweet 16.

    So, there Fortier sat comfortably in happenstance.

    “We’ll take it,” said Fortier, a longtime Gonzaga assistant coach under Kelly Graves, who left for a similar position at Oregon last April.

    The reward for Gonzaga is second-seeded Tennessee (29-5) in a 4 p.m. matchup Saturday. Officials said about 8,000 tickets have been sold for the two games, which begin with top-seeded Maryland against fourth-seeded Duke at 1:30 p.m.

    Facing Tennessee in the NCAA tournament could be daunting for some coaches in their first season.

    As part of Graves’ staff, Fortier designed the defensive schemes, worked with the guards, and recruited many of the current players. Zags athletic director Mike Roth needed only a week last spring to decide to promote Fortier to head coach.

    “I applaud Gonzaga for moving her up,” said Tennessee coach Holly Warlick, who was a longtime Pat Summitt assistant before replacing the Hall of Fame coach in 2012. “Not too many universities and programs do that. They always think you have to go get a head coach. That’s not necessarily so. When somebody has a love for the program, has lived it — that’s an intangible that you can’t measure in X’s and O’s. There becomes a love in the program and a love at what you do … I absolutely love what I do, where I’m at, and I’m positive that’s how Lisa feels.”

    Under Fortier, the Zags lost to American in November and then to No. 17 Iowa in a tournament in Las Vegas.

    At that point, Gonzaga tinkered with its system.

    Emerging from that work was freshman center Emma Wolfram, who scored a career-high 17 points off the bench against OSU, and junior guard Elle Tinkle, who moved into the starting lineup in December to replace injured sharpshooter Lindsay Sherbert (knee).

    They’ll join noted defender Keani Albanez, a senior guard, and senior forward Sunny Greinacher, who averages a team-high 13.8 points, as keys to countering Tennessee’s quick, deep and talented roster.

    “All of us were more confident that she (Lisa) was going to be able to take this team and do something special with us,” Tinkle said. “And she’s been able to do so, so far. All of us have committed, and it was really (a) pretty seamless (transition).”

    While Gonzaga is in a comfortable setting, compiling a 5-2 overall record in NCAA tournament games played in Spokane, the Vols have appeared in all 34 NCAA tournaments and won eight titles.

    Tennessee advanced by defeating Boise State and Pittsburgh in the first two rounds. Vols junior forward Bashaara Graves led the way, averaging 22.5 points and 9.5 rebounds in the victories.

    “I didn’t know how good we were going to be and, as a first-time head coach, I tried to set myself up for success by keeping our goals (small),” Fortier said. “We had a bumpy start with how we were playing, but we’re finally starting to hit our stride.”

    Seattle Times Article Link

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    Default GU in rare company

    By my count, only 5 schools (GU, Duke, ND, UNC, Lou) have both MBB and WBB teams in S16.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zag365 View Post
    By my count, only 5 schools (GU, Duke, ND, UNC, Lou) have both MBB and WBB teams in S16.
    Hopefully we'll have both the men's and women's in the elite 8 too! As a bonus, we could both be playing Duke! lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by adoptedzag View Post
    Hopefully we'll have both the men's and women's in the elite 8 too! As a bonus, we could both be playing Duke! lol

    lets stay hopeful...these girls when they play within their abilities are very very good.....and besides, if we manage to beat Tenn. remember that Duke has been beaten on that same floor by MV conference team years ago...

    anything is doable......everything is possible.

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    Default Reminder: Ladies taking on Vols on ESPN

    4:05.

    Big crowd in the Spokane Arena.
    The Kennel: "You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy."

  6. #6

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    I like the Gray unis - interesting that we haven't seen those on the men's team.
    History has its eyes on you.

    Sage of the GU Message Board

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    Wolfram is developing fast!

    So far, so good. Great D by Zags.
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    Doing well on both ends!

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    18-12 Zags, at media TO.

    Zags have a German, Aussie, Canadian and two Americans on the court now.
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    Emma Stach could be a bit overmatched.

    Stirton in.

    Wolfram is beastmode.

    20-15 - 8:30
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    Tinkle playing tough, adds 3 quick points. Zags stretching lead to 6.
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    Zags doing well so far...

    Is Gonzaga the surprise team in the NCAA Tournament so far?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BobZag View Post
    Tinkle playing tough, adds 3 quick points. Zags stretching lead to 6.
    And now 8 and shooting in the bonus. Go Zags!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TerpZag View Post
    Zags doing well so far...

    Is Gonzaga the surprise team in the NCAA Tournament so far?
    I'd say yes, depends on this game. Dayton doing well but a 7 seed.

    Zags by 9.
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    Both teams battling all-out.

    Vols close gap to 2 at 3:42.
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    Vols are not the caliber of Pat Summit Vols but still far better than GW and OSU.

    Defense breakdowns and giving up O rebounds hurting Zags.
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    Looking solid in the paint. Keep it up!

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    Stirton so open for a layup, she was shocked and missed.

    Vols hit two big 3s and tie the game at half.
    The Kennel: "You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy."

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    How old is Sonny's brother in Germany and does he ball?
    'I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay… small acts of kindness and love.'
    - Gandalf the Grey

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    Foo Time

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    The "money half" about to begin. Vols look athletic and talented. Zags are finesse on O and tough on D.

    2nd-half will be interesting. Who wants it more?
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    Stirton needs help. Vols swarming now.
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    Zags by 7
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    Sunny Greinacher playing very well on the boards and in scoring...

    Go Lady Zags!

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    Zags D is playing awesome.

    TO Vols.

    Zags by 7. Keani with a 3, Greinacher with a 2. Sunny has the best mid-range game on the court.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TerpZag View Post
    Sunny Greinacher playing very well on the boards and in scoring...

    Go Lady Zags!
    Impressive so far.
    The Kennel: "You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy."

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