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Thread: Gonzaga Hosts Pacific at Noon on Saturday

  1. #26
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    Gonzaga women use big second-, third-quarter runs to topple Pacific for 11th straight win

    By Jim Allen


    Character-building is seldom this much fun.

    The Gonzaga women were tested in many different ways Saturday, but responded with grit, power and waves of energy from the bench in an 88-65 win over Pacific.

    All three qualities were on display in the second and third quarters, as GU outscored the Tigers 60-30 on the way to improving to 15-1 overall and 4-0 in the West Coast Conference.

    The Zags also earned their 11th consecutive win and two days off next week as they host a lone game against Portland on Saturday.

    “They deserve it,” coach Lisa Fortier said.

    Game day – the Zags’ fourth in eight days – began with breakfast and the news that GU is ranked 10th in the latest Ratings Percentage Index.

    That’s heady stuff, but reality sank in shortly after the noon tipoff at the McCarthey Athletic Center. The visiting Tigers made six of their first seven shots from 3-point range and took an 11-point lead into the second quarter.

    “It was really frustrating,” GU forward Jenn Wirth said. “But in those types of games, you have to bank on the fact that they’re not going to keep shooting like that.”

    More important, the Zags could count on a big presence in the paint from Wirth, her twin sister Lee Anne and senior forward Zykera Rice. Together they accounted for 22 rebounds – one more than Pacific’s entire team – 43 points and utter dominance in the paint.

    Compared with the bruising inside battle with Saint Mary’s two nights earlier, this seemed easy. It wasn’t.

    “I was dead tired today, but Pacific really battled, too,” said Jenn Wirth, who came off the bench and scored a career-high 16 points on 6-for-7 shooting.

    A projected starter before the season began, but sidelined early in the year with a broken index finger, Wirth has slowly found her form.

    “She played great,” Fortier said. “Before she got hurt, we were trying to get her to be more aggressive in wanting the ball and demanding it. She really wanted the ball today.”

    Her teammates complied, dishing out 24 assists on the break and in their half-court offense. Point guard Jessie Loera, who like Jenn Wirth missed several games, had eight assists in just 21 minutes on the court.

    Laura Stockton had five more, helping the GU bigs outscore Pacific 52-14 in the paint while outrebounding the Tigers 40-21.

    The Zags had assists on 24 of 34 made field goals this afternoon. Talk about sharing the ball! #UnitedWeZag

    Full recap: https://t.co/vSC9Ei0uQU pic.twitter.com/4AF5Q36MTr
    — Gonzaga WBB (@ZagWBB) January 5, 2019
    Pacific (9-4, 2-1) managed just four offense rebounds and got just seven points from its bench while GU had 39.

    Rice, the WCC Player of the Week after a road sweep last week in Southern California, led the way with 21 points and seven boards.

    The double-digit deficit was finally erased late in the second quarter, as Jenn Wirth broke a 39-all tie with a layup off a fine pass from Stockton.

    GU led the rest of the way – 48-42 at intermission, 74-55 after a lockdown defensive effort in the third quarter and finally by 23.

    Pacific guard Ameela Lee scored 21 points but only three after halftime. Pacific made just 1 of 8 long-range shots in the second half.

    The Zags got 13 points from Jill Townsend and 10 from Katie Campbell, who helped fuel a 25-10 advantage in points scored off turnovers.

    Spokesman-Review Article Link

  2. #27
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    I saw empty seats but in general we had a great vocal crowd...

    in figuring out if there is a "sell out" out" an arena has to be something like 90% full IIRC..

    but no matter the specifics, the crowds have been good an people are really into this Lady Zag team, which they deserve.

    and regarding LS, like I said before, when Jess comes in and does her magic, its a big boost to LS.....LS really picks up her game...

  3. #28
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    I saw empty seats but in general we had a great vocal crowd...

    in figuring out if there is a "sell out" out" an arena has to be something like 90% full IIRC..

    but no matter the specifics, the crowds have been good an people are really into this Lady Zag team, which they deserve.
    Official attendance numbers are based on tickets sold not butts in the seats.

    In reality, since there was no pep band, minimal students and no cheerleaders, the crowd was actually pretty good. If you took the seats reserved for the band and students and move those fans into the rest of the arena, it would have looked really full.

    ZagDad

  4. #29
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    so do they count all the sthers plus whoever else comes?...we always swipe our extra ticket if not used, thinking it "counts" for something.....

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    From the Pacific Tiger's web site:

    No. 17 Gonzaga defeats Pacific, 88-65

    Pacific women's basketball (9-4, 2-1 WCC) fell on the road on Saturday night to No. 17/18 Gonzaga (15-1, 4-0 WCC), 88-65.

    Four Tigers scored in double figures and the team shot a red-hot 50% from the field and 60% from three-point range in the first half, but it wasn't enough to hold off a strong and dominant Gonzaga team that shot 54% in the game and had four players of their own in double figures including Zykera Rice who had 21 points. Ameela Li exploded for 18 points in the first half and had 21 for the game while Brooklyn McDavid had 15 and shot 50% from the field. Valerie Higgins had 11 points to extend her double-figure scoring streak to 14 games and Isabel Newman had a career-high 11 points as well.

    Pacific was red hot to start the game shooting 53.3% from the field and a whopping 80% from three-point range to jump out to a 25-14 lead in the first quarter. Ameela Li led the charge to open the game going 4-5 which included a layup that she made with hard contact for an and-one opportunity which she made the most of. The senior guard had 13-points in the first quarter to double the point total of every player apart from Rice who had eight points.
    Pacific stayed hot to start the second making each of its first three shots including back-to-back three-pointers from Newman and Li. Newman had nine to start the game and was 3-3 from three-point range.

    Out of the media timeout in the second quarter, the Tiger shooters cooled. Pacific made two of its final five shots to end the half and did not make a field goal in the final four minutes. Gonzaga took its first lead at the 2:30 mark in the second quarter and would not relinquish it for the remainder of the game.

    Out of the half, the shooting woes continued. Gonzaga started the quarter on a 12-4 run and grew its lead to 19 by the end of the third on the way to the victory. McDavid was the Tiger's bright spot in the third quarter. She went 3-5 from the floor and had eight points. The sophomore scored her 500th career-point just after the 2:30 mark of the quarter. Her 15 points brought her to 501 for her career.

    Pacific returns to the Spanos Center this week for games against BYU on Thursday night and San Diego on Saturday afternoon.

    GAME SUMMARY:

    First Quarter:
    The Tigers were red hot to open the game and jumped out to a 25-14 lead over the nation's No. 17 team. Pacific shot 53% (8-15) from the field and 80% (4-5) from three-point range.
    Ameela Li led the way for the Tigers with 13 points in the quarter thanks to a 4-5 shooting performance with three three-pointers. Isabel Newman had six points and was a perfect 2-2 from three-point range.
    Valerie Higgins had four steals and three assists in the quarter.

    Second Quarter:
    Gonzaga erupted for 34 points in the second quarter to Pacific's 17. Gonzaga's Zykera Rice had eight points in the quarter to lead all scorers.
    Higgins and McDavid both had five points in the quarter. Pacific shot a solid 45% from the field in the quarter. However, Gonzaga shot 66%.

    Third Quarter:
    Gonzaga continued a strong shooting performance with a 60% clip that powered them to a 26-13 scoreline in the quarter. Gonzaga's Jenn Wirth and Brooklyn McDavid both had eight points.

    Fourth Quarter:
    Gonzaga outscored Pacific 14-10 in the quarter.
    Article Link: https://www.pacifictigers.com/sports...20190105w97n25

    I guess there was less (a lot less) to talk about in the 3rd and 4th quarter.

    ZagDad

  6. #31

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    Congrats, Zags. The first quarter was lights out shooting by a Pacific team who really wanted the win and who played really, really well. Thanks for sucking their will to live by the end. Congrats to Jenn on her career high and my favorite play of the game when she went for a fast break. To second Sylean, kudos also out to Laura. Despite not having many points, Jessie was in total control of the second half of the game. Love the effort and the team mentality, keep it rolling.

  7. #32
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    Well can we say we saw the strength in this team...

    The numbers we saw in the paint were over powering both in scoring and rebounding. When the defense kicked in in the second quarter, the offense went off. 34 points... really? The passing was great.. leading to a ton of assists. The footwork of the posts is starting to show... and the timing of the guards feeding the posts is starting to get there. Hence the high scoring production in the paint.

    Think of the different styles of play that the team has had to adapt to in just the last four games...

    Last note... has anyone else noticed Chandler dealing with a foot/ankle injury... has me concerned.

    Congratulations GU WBB !

    A week of rest and healing...

    Don’t look past a good Portland team...

    Go Zags!!

  8. #33
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    Well...……

    Let's not sugar coat the 1st period. Finally, somebody made the Zags pay for their "Hope they Miss" defense when their rotations are slow and the guards keep insisting on triple teaming the posts leaving their person totally unguarded. This is not the first time the Ladies have played poorly like this on defense, it is just the first time this year somebody made them pay for their indifferent level of play. Combine this with their insistence to pass to the post no matter how many bodies are in the key or to be lackadaisical with their dribbling against a quick-handed team and you end with 6 turnovers (5 steals) in the first period. When you combine bad defense with bad offense, you get 25-14 after 1 period. It was bad, really bad, on both sides of the ball and Pacific was good enough to take advantage of it. That is the only credit I am willing to give to Pacific. We handed them dinner on a platter and they took it.

    In the interviews, Jenn Wirth said she was really, really tired at the start of the game and I think this may have led to the level of play Gonzaga had today in the first period. It is no excuse, but it is understandable. The entire team played like they had just woken up in that 1st period.

    As much as I was critical of CLF and her staff with dealing with Megan McKay (or should I say not dealing with her) on Thursday, today, whatever was in that can of Whup A** she opened up between quarters, she ought to bottle and sell it. The ladies played as good of basketball as they have all year in the 2nd and 3rd quarters with only a minimal drop-off in the 4th. They did exactly what all good teams do when they find themselves down by a bunch. Win the next play. Win the battle to the next TV timeout. Win the quarter. Repeat each quarter until the end of the game. The ladies put their collective heads down and played as a "team" to show Pacific how to play basketball. After giving up 25 points in the 1st quarter, Pacific generated 17, 13 & 10 the rest of the way and the 10 was against no starters for the last 5 minutes and included a meaningless Li 3 at the buzzer. When the Lady Zags buckled down on defense, it was lights out for the tigers.

    Li, the preseason all WCC player dominated the first period with her 3-point shooting and leading of her team and she ended the period with 15 points. The following 3 periods she would only get one (3) pointer in the 2nd and a late 3 pointer at the ending buzzer. She had 5 turnovers today to go with her 3 assists. Newman was deadly in the first period hitting all three of her wide (and I do mean wide) open 3s she was given. The rest of the game would result in only 2 more points. The vaunted Higgens was certainly a pest with 4 steals and 6 points in the first half, but she only ended up with 2 more steals and 5 points the rest of the way. The lady zag defense was a complete and total shutdown of the Pacific offense in the 2nd half.

    Let's not forget to compliment that offense. After the 1st period, the ladies quit forcing the ball to post. The girls picked up on the high screen pick and roll and the bigs finally pushed their defenders out sufficiently to leave adequate space to lob the ball into the big over the head of the defender. I wonder if watching Megan McKay to this to them time after time on Thursday had some influence on today's offense.

    I was very proud of the 2nd team for coming in for the last 5 minutes and continuing to run the offense and play stifling defense. LF and GB don't get in very often and it was nice to see them get a chance to run our normal offense and typical defense against a very proud Pacific team. While LF missed a couple of shots, it was great to see her shoot without hesitation and take it to the hoop against the bigs. She needs the time and experience to get better and there will be a time we will need her this year. I admit it was a little unusual to see our resident cattle wrestler (JT) acting as the calming adult when running the offense in the last part of the game.

    I have to mention the officiating. It did not really factor into the game, but the GU players were getting mugged under our basket and if any of the 2 or 3 players around touched the ball, all the body checks, arm slaps were totally ignored while everything was being called against the Zags. Congrats to the Ladies for not losing their cool under the basket. My daughter mentioned that after "Z" had taken a particularly vicious elbow under the basket, if this was Freshman "Z", the opponent would have received an equal elbow with interest next time down the court. Today, "Z" just shook it off and kept playing. My little enforcer has all grow'd up.

    If the lady zags play offense and defense like they did the last 3 quarters today, if I was a head basketball coach for a Wbb team in the WCC, I would be afraid, very afraid when the Lady Zags show up on the schedule.

    Great Job ladies.

    Take the next couple of days off, rest and heal and get ready for a Portland team that appears like they can really light it up. We may need some more of that defense come next Saturday.

    Skip, I saw Chandler hurt her knew/leg/ankle near the end of the first half. I was really surprised that she came out and played in the second half (she was not really needed). I assume that the injury was not that serious (bruise??) and she could not hurt it any more by playing on it. She definitely was not as fleet of foot in the 2nd half. She can really use the next week to rest up.

    Go Zags,

    ZagDad

  9. #34
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    Thanks ZD on Chandler... actually saw her limping after the SMC game. But when I saw her start the Pacific game, I thought she was okay... hopefully the rest and rehab will be the trick.

    With this team, I wouldn’t call the team on the floor at end of game the second team... maybe the non starters. And yes they are good at running the plays... although they were trying to get the ball to GB to give her a chance to score.

    I liked your call on the first quarter... the team still waking up... a little sleep in the eyes. And CLF lighting them up between quarters.

    As for Zee... that is part of learning the game. And game by game, she is accepting the hard play and learning to play within it. The Wirths had last year to learn the speed and contact of college ball. And they have learned well... they are becoming a big part of this team. Sat next to their parents the past two games... great people.
    MK is still in the learning... lots of fouls. But will get there.

    This team feels they can play with any team...any style and they can.

    Go Zags!!

  10. #35

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    Thank you for your great comments Skip Zag. This is one team the starters and the bench are interchangeable, their is no drop off. I value each Lady Zag, and they are all valuable to our team. Each night different players step up. But the other players play important rolls in assisting the Lady Zags making the baskets. Last game was a perfect example 24 assists lots of others great feeds, steals, created turnovers. Perfect example last game Jessie might not have scored a lot of points but boy did she contribute by shutting down Li in the 2nd half along with Katie, and creating havoc with hustle. Jessie had 8 assists, steals, etc. This is the deepest team I ever saw for the Lady ZAGS.

    Skip Zag you were also spot on about Chandler, notice she was stepping lightly the whole game. CLF was looking out for her IE one time she walked gingerly towards the bench, and was instantly subbed out. CLF is using her talent wisely giving them all minutes using their talents and keeping everyone fresh. IE Zykera is at her best when you keep her fresh and giving her breathers, and CLF makes sure she does this. Yes Chandler needs the week off, but many of the other players have some bumps and bruises that need healing also, good timing for having this breather agree.

    As far as Pacific that is their MO they start out fast out of the gate in the 1st quarter, check out their previous games. Most teams don't have the intestinal fortitude to comeback after being hammered in the 1st quarter. This Lady Zags Team does they motivate and support each other in a way I never saw before from a Lady Zags Team.

    On a funny note we need to keep Laura from landing on her bench mates during the games (LOL).
    Last edited by ZAGS ATTACK BASKET; 01-06-2019 at 06:58 PM.

  11. #36
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    For those that did not get the intent of the following comment and insist on bolding it:

    I was very proud of the 2nd team for coming in for the last 5 minutes and continuing to run the offense and play stifling defense. LF and GB don't get in very often and it was nice to see them get a chance to run our normal offense and typical defense against a very proud Pacific team. While LF missed a couple of shots, it was great to see her shoot without hesitation and take it to the hoop against the bigs. She needs the time and experience to get better and there will be a time we will need her this year. I admit it was a little unusual to see our resident cattle wrestler (JT) acting as the calming adult when running the offense in the last part of the game.
    2nd team = non-starters and in no way, shape or form indicates a reduced presence or value to the "team" and in fact two (2) of the current "2nd team" were either starters earlier this year or were anticipated as starters this year and are simply on the "2nd team" due to their injuries. The intent of the above statement was to address particularly LF and to a smaller effect GB and NOT (emphasis added for ZAB) JT, JL, JW or any other team member who routinely gets double digit minutes. LF routinely gets clean-up minutes or is left in the game for relatively short periods of time and rarely gets a chance to run the GU standard offense and defense particularly against the other team's 1st string players. It was nice to see her get some extended time on the court and get a chance to work on our standard offense and defense.

    I apologize to any reader who got the supposition that I intended to classify the non-starters as less valuable then any other member of the team as this was not my intent.

    ZagDad

  12. #37
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    No apology needed for me...

    With 8 players on this team that had around 20 minutes of playing time and a FR with around 15, one could look at the starting unit as just that... starting of a rotation that gives all of them a chance for a breather. How great is that... CLF even commented on how it should help the team through the long season.

    There is nothing wrong with 2nd team... but it has been given the sense of... well 2nd team and with this team, there is no second team. How lucky are we... and I say that with respect to all 2nd teamers.

    Go Zags!!

  13. #38
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    Thanks Skip,

    I normally ignore ZAB, but I refuse to put him on ignore (just not my style), but I figured if he misconstrued my intent (like usual) somebody else may have done so, I clarified it.

    Back to basketball,

    ZagDad

  14. #39
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    When I see one of our players being subbed in, I think to myself, "boy, are they gonna get it now(the other team).

    we do have a strong team and LF would fit right in if she had to play significant minutes.....Gillian is no slacker either.

    yrs ago, we used to carry a larger roster..15..I think I counted 17 for one yr...

    but I like this smaller roster....maybe its not by design, because we should have had JB and Kylee....but the smaller roster gives good minutes to many players...they're more cohesive...more of a team.....its almost seems more professional....."these are our 10 players and this is our team".....
    ..

  15. #40

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    Totally agree with you Sylean can't wait for the first players brought in off the bench, and keeping players fresh. Advantage us big time.

  16. #41
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    Yes Sylean (and you to ZAB), the smaller roster that we have today is (and has been so far) great.

    Most people are getting minutes every game, players are happy and the team is winning. No complaints.

    Just don't forget the injury plagued 2015/2016 season where we ended up 19-14, 5th in the WCC and lost in the 2nd round of the WNIT. We had season ending injuries to players to whom we did not have equivalent replacement players.

    On this year's lady zag's squad, we have had one (1) season ending injury (KG) and that happened to a player who plays the position the Lady Zags are most deep at (wing). If the Lady Zags have an injury or two to players at positions that we are less deep (particularly point guard), the small roster could end up being a detriment. Yes KC, CS and JT can play "some" point guard, certainly bring different aspects to the position and can substitute as a point guard in an emergency (like they did when JL was out), but nobody handles the ball or plays the point guard position equal to LS & JL. With a season ending injury to either LS or JL, the Lady Zags are notably less effective than they are today. Not 19-14 less effective, but probably not a Top-20 or -25 team.

    Where the small roster is great at providing the opportunity for lots of playing time for most of the players, the small roster also does not provide the luxury of great depth at all positions. This year Lady Zag's are set up better than most teams to cover a catastrophic injury, but an additional player or two particularly at the point position would not be unwelcome.

    ZagDad

  17. #42

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    We have a great roster this year their are no weak links period!!!

    WCC is always tough physical basketball and you can never overlook any team. You always have to be prepared for each team you face, and know their strengths. Never under estimate any team in the WCC.

    Everyone in the WCC is gunning for us we are the measuring stick. Never rest on your past laurels it means nothing.

    On to the next game, go get Portland Lady Zags.

  18. #43
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    ZAB,

    Why are you always YELLING!!!, we can hear (read) you just fine.

    You seem to take great offense if anybody (particularly me) presents anything that "could" or "might be" better than the status quo. I personally don't recall anywhere where somebody said there are weak links in this year's rotation, but simply that an additional player or two to provide backup in case of injury might be desired. Since you seem to think the current roster is "perfect" here is a serious question for you.

    Would this year's lady zag squad be a "better" team if Kylee did not have a season ending injury and was eligible to play? Would you want her in the rotation, want her to redshirt, how would you use her?

    Similarly, would this year's team be a "better" team if Anna could play this year and not have to sit out this year? Would you want to add her to the current roster or have her sit out this year? How would you use her in this year's squad?

    You can define "better" in any way you want, deeper, more reserves, taller, impacts team chemistry, etc.

    Does adding quality players to an already very good roster, detract, or add to the viability of this team both as it currently stands and as a prevention against injury?

    O'k ZAB, your on the clock,

    ZagDad

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  20. #45
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    I tried.

    I guess it is impossible to have an intelligent conversation with an unarmed person.

    ZagDad

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