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Thread: #11/10 Gonzaga Closes Regular Season at Portland Saturday

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    Default #11/10 Gonzaga Closes Regular Season at Portland Saturday

    From GoZags:

    #11/10 Gonzaga Closes Regular Season at Portland Saturday
    Bulldogs searching for 17th WCC win, which would tie program record

    #11/10 GONZAGA (27-2, 16-1 WCC) at PORTLAND (18-10, 11-6 WCC)
    FEB. 29 | 2 P.M. | PORTLAND, ORE. | CHILES CENTER
    LIVE VIDEO | LIVE STATS

    THE TIP-OFF
    - Gonzaga secured the outright West Coast Conference title Feb. 20 with a 75-47 victory at Loyola Marymount, the 16th regular-season title in program history.
    - Gonzaga improved to 27-2 overall Saturday following a 64-50 victory at Pepperdine to match its program-best start. The only other season GU stared 27-2 was during the 2004-05 season. That year, GU strung together a program-best 23-game win streak and finished the season 28-4 overall with an unblemished 14-0 mark in WCC play. The Bulldogs advanced to the second round of the WNIT, losing at Missouri State 85-66 to end the season.
    - A win Saturday at Portland would set a new program record for the best start in history with a 28-2 overall record. A victory would also match Gonzaga's best WCC record at 17-1; the last time GU posted a 17-1 mark in WCC play was during the 2017-18 season.
    - With the 53-46 victory over Santa Clara on Feb. 15, the Zags finished undefeated at home for the fourth time in program history and the first time since the 2013-14 season; it also marks the seventh undefeated home conference slate in program history. GU is currently on a 16-game win streak inside The Kennel, the longest streak under Head Coach Lisa Fortier. GU has not lost a game inside McCarthey since Feb. 16, 2019.
    Previously, GU's top mark under Fortier was 12 straight home wins, which occurred from 11/7/18-2/14/19.
    - Gonzaga set a new program record Tuesday as it moved up three spots in the USA Today Sports Top 25 Coaches Poll to No. 10. It's the highest program ranking ever. The Zags rank 11th in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, released on Monday, which ties the program record in that poll. The Bulldogs broke into the Associated Press Top 25 poll at No. 23 following a 76-70 overtime loss at Stanford on Nov. 17.
    - Saturday will mark the fourth time in program history that Gonzaga has played on Leap Day, or Feb. 29. It's the first time since the 1995-96 season that GU has taken the floor on the date; in the last game, Gonzaga fell to Portland 77-60 in the WCC Tournament. The Zags carry a 1-2 overall record on the date.
    - Gonzaga leads the nation in attendance percent capacity at 94.87 percent. That's an average of 5,692 fans inside the McCarthey Athletic Center every game. This season alone, Gonzaga has had six sellouts, including four of the last five home games.
    - The Bulldogs also rank inside the top five in the nation in scoring defense; Gonzaga limits its opponents to 51.6 points per contest to lead the WCC and rank third in the nation.
    - Gonzaga is also among the top three-point shooting teams in the nation. At 39.7 percent shooting from long range, Gonzaga ranks second in the nation. Two players shoot over 40 percent from long range, led by Kaylynne Truong at 44.4 percent, while eight total Zags shoot at least 30.0 percent from beyond-the-arc.
    - The Zags also rank inside the top 30 in the nation in field goal percentage. At 44.7 percent shooting from the floor, GU ranks 27th nationally and second in the WCC.
    - Gonzaga returns two starters and seven letter-winners from last season's squad that claimed the Zags' third consecutive and 15th overall West Coast Conference regular season title.
    - In 2018-19, the Bulldogs advanced to their third-straight NCAA Tournament, advancing to the Second Round.

    SCOUTING THE PILOTS
    - Portland carries an 18-10 overall record on the season with an 11-6 record in WCC play, good for fourth place in the current standings.
    - As a squad, the Pilots average 70.4 points per game shooting 45.3 percent from the floor. UP leads the league in both categories.
    - Three players average double-figures for Portland, led by freshman post Alex Fowler at 17.8 points per game; that mark also leads the WCC. Haylee Andrews adds 16.2 points per game (3rd in WCC), while Kate Andersen averages 14.2 points per contest. All three players shoot over 48 percent from the floor, led by Fowler at 54.4 percent which ranks 34th nationally.
    - Portland adds 35.4 rebounds per game, led by Fowler with 7.9 per contest to rank fourth in the WCC. Andrews adds 5.5 rebounds per game while Keeley Frawley adds 4.5.
    - Since the programs last met on Dec. 29, 2019, Portland has strung together two win streaks of four or more games. The Pilots are currently on a four-game win streak and have won five of their last six contests.
    - Portland ranks in the top four in the conference in 10 categories, and it leads the WCC in four: scoring offense, field goal percentage, three-point field goal percentage defense and assists.
    - In the last meeting, Gonzaga overcame a 20-point first-half deficit to defeat Portland 62-57 at home. Portland raced out to a 26-12 first quarter lead and extended that lead to as many as 20 points in the second quarter. GU outscored the Pilots 38-20 in the second half to claw back and claim the win. Jill Townsend netted 18 points, Jenn Wirth added 14 and Katie Campbell finished with 12.

    SERIES REVIEW
    - OVERALL: Gonzaga leads 54-26
    - HOME: 28-9, Gonzaga leads
    - ROAD: 17-15, Portland leads
    - NEUTRAL: 3-2, Portland leads
    - LAST MEETING: Gonzaga won 62-57 in Spokane (12/29/19)
    - FIRST MEETING: Gonzaga won 78-72 during the 1980-81 season
    - STREAK: Gonzaga, Won 22


    DISHIN' ON UP
    With her third assist of the night against Loyola Marymount on Jan. 25, Jessie Loera moved into fifth all-time in career assists, surpassing Jasmine Redmon (400, 2010-14). Loera now has 434 career assists and is six assists shy of surpassing Amy Simpson (439, 1982-86) for fourth place. Loera currently ranks 17th nationally in assists with 143 on the season and 41st nationally in assists per game with 4.9.

    SHARING THE SCORE
    - Through 29 games this season, two players average double-figures for Gonzaga with five players averaging over 7.0 points per contest. The Bulldogs have had seven different top scorers this season, spanning each academic year (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior).
    Jill Townsend leads the Zags in scoring at 12.4 points per game, while Jenn Wirth adds 10.4 points per contest. LeeAnne Wirth adds 8.6, Jessie Loera chips in 7.6 and Melody Kempton adds 7.1 points per contest.

    DEFENSIVE STRENGTH
    Currently, Gonzaga ranks third in the nation in scoring defense at 51.6 points per game. This season alone, Gonzaga has limited 16 opponents to 50 points or fewer and 24 opponents to under 60 points. Ten of the last 12 games, the Zags have held their opponents to under 60 points; only two (Pacific, 65 points; Saint Mary's, 70 points) have scored more than 52 points. On Jan. 23 against Pepperdine, Gonzaga held the Waves to just 36 points, more than 30 points below their season average of 66.4. Pepperdine's 36 points also ties for the fewest points allowed to a WCC opponent under Lisa Fortier. Feb. 13 against San Francisco, GU held the Dons to 38 points.
    Go Zags Link: https://gozags.com/news/2020/2/25/wo...-saturday.aspx

    ZagDad

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    A copy of interesting tidbits in the gozags article above.

    1. Our senior point Jessie Loera has 143 assists, so far, this season which ranks 17th Nationally!
    2. Our senior point Jessie Loera has 143 assists, so far, this season which ranks 11th best Zag season of all time only 1 assist shy of Laura Stockton at @#10 JL can probably move as high as #7 depending on how many games the Lady Zags have left in the season. To pass the #6 best season would require 192 assists which is probably out of reach (49 more assists required).
    3. JL is currently #5 on the career assists record chart with 434 assists as of today. She only needs 6 assists to move into #4 on the list and 26 more assists to move to #3 (displacing Laura Stockton) on the career assists list. JL may need a couple of games in the NCAA tournament to get to #3 but it is very possible.

    Way to go Jessie. Zag fans everywhere are rooting for you. We will be keeping one eye on the game and the other on the stats.

    4. Currently, Gonzaga ranks third in the nation in scoring defense at 51.6 points per game. This season alone, Gonzaga has limited 16 opponents to 50 points or fewer and 24 opponents to under 60 points. Ten of the last 12 games, the Zags have held their opponents to under 60 points; only two (Pacific, 65 points; Saint Mary's, 70 points) have scored more than 52 points. On Jan. 23 against Pepperdine, Gonzaga held the Waves to just 36 points, more than 30 points below their season average of 66.4. Pepperdine's 36 points also ties for the fewest points allowed to a WCC opponent under Lisa Fortier. Feb. 13 against San Francisco, GU held the Dons to 38 points.

    You simply cannot fake defense. If the lady zags play solid defense for four (4) quarters, it is lights out for the opposition. While our ladies have played some brilliant quarters on offense, it has been the defense which is the mountain this team has been built upon.

    Very impressive ladies, great teamwork all around.

    Give us 4 quarters of solid defense and Gonzaga will enter the WCC tournament on a roll.

    Zag Up ladies for the last time in the regular season.

    ZagDad

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    From the Portland Web Site:

    Pilots to Host #10 Gonzaga in Regular Season Finale
    Women's Basketball 2/25/2020 1:59:00 PM

    PORTLAND PILOTS (18-10, 11-6 WCC)
    WEEK 17: vs. #10 Gonzaga (27-2, 16-1 WCC)
    Day: Saturday
    Date: Feb. 29, 2020
    Place: Portland, Ore.
    Time: 2 p.m.
    Gym: Chiles Center
    Online: Video | Stats

    POR vs. GU
    Overall: 27-53 • Last 5/10: 0-5/0-10
    H: 14-23 • A: 10-28 • N: 3-2
    Last: @GON 62, POR 57 (12/29/19)

    THIS WEEK
    • The Pilots conclude the regular season when they host the No. 10 Gonzaga Bulldogs at the Chiles Center on Saturday, with tip-off set for 2 p.m.
    • Portland has clinched at least fourth place in the WCC and they could still finish higher in the standings, but San Diego and BYU both hold tie breakers over the Pilots.
    • The Bulldogs have already won the regular season conference title.
    • Links for a live stream and live stats can be found at PortlandPilots.com.

    PROMOTIONS/TICKETS
    • Saturday is senior day at the Chiles Center, and the Pilots will honor Kate Andersen with a pre-game ceremony.
    • Andersen enters Saturday with 946 career points, and she has games this season of 32 points (at Pacific) and 13 rebounds (at Pepperdine), both career-highs.
    • For information on all fan promotions, please visit PortlandPilots.com/Promotions.
    • Fans can visit PortlandPilots.com/Tickets or call/text 503-943-GoUP for information on tickets.

    LAST WEEK
    • The Pilots swept their two games on the road, edging Pepperdine 64-62 in a thriller on Thursday before pulling away from LMU to win 89-78 on Saturday.
    • During the win in Malibu, the Pilots trailed by 15 in the third quarter and out-scored the Waves 21-9 in the final quarter to claim the win.
    • Haylee Andrews hit two game-winning free throws with four seconds remaining, and she finished with a team-high 14 points.
    • Portland had another big fourth quarter in LA as they out-scored LMU 28-18.
    • Maddie Muhlheim drained seven three's and scored 27 points vs. the Lions, while Alex Fowler also scored 27 points and corralled a career-best 17 boards.
    • Fowler was named the WCC Player of the Week for the third time this year following the dubs.

    ABOUT THE PILOTS
    • The Pilots enter the final week of the regular season with an 18-10 record and an 11-6 mark in the WCC.
    • The 18 wins are the most since Portland also won 18 in 2009-10, and you have to go all the way back to 1996-97 to find a season with more conference wins; that year the Pilots went a perfect 14-0 in league play when the WCC featured just eight teams.
    • Alex Fowler was named the WCC Player of the Week for the third time this season after averaging 19.0 points and 12.0 rebounds during wins at Pepperdine and LMU; Fowler scored 27 points and collected a career-best 17 boards at LMU.
    • The Pilots have claimed a league-high five player of the week awards this season as point guard Haylee Andrews has also nabbed the weekly honor twice.
    • Andrews nabbed the honor last week after averaging 20.5 points, 4.5 assists, and 3.0 rebounds during home wins over Santa Clara and San Francisco.
    • Previously, Andrews was named the WCC's inaugural player of the week after she averaged 23 points and 8.5 rebounds during wins at Utah State and Weber State.
    • Fowler nabbed the WCC's weekly award on Nov. 25 when she averaged 23.5 points and 7.0 rebounds during Portland's games at CSUN and Air Force.
    • She was named the WCC's Player of the Week for the second after averaging 26 points and eight rebounds, and shooting 65 percent from the field during a road sweep at San Francisco and Santa Clara.
    • Fowler exploded for 35 points at Santa Clara (1/18), which are the most scored by a Pilot since 2013; Fowler also became the first Pilot to score at least 30 points since '15.
    • It's the most points scored by a player in the WCC this year.
    • Kate Andersen became the second Pilot this season to score at least 30 points when she poured in a career-high 32 at Pacific (2/8).
    • Andersen shot 11 of 14 from the field, she was nine of 11 on free throws, and she easily surpassed her previous career-best of 24 points, which came in 2018 at Pepperdine.
    • Portland's five-game winning streak earlier this winter was their longest since 09-10.
    • The Pilots swept the regular season series vs. Saint Mary's for the first time since 08-09.
    • On Jan. 4, the Pilots won 57-48 at BYU, ending a 20-game losing streak to the Cougars; it was the first win for Portland over BYU since the 1998-99 season.
    • The wins at USF and SCU (Jan 16-18) marked the first WCC weekend road sweep for the Pilots since 2009-10 (also at USF & SCU).
    • The Pilots lead the league in scoring (70.4), field goal percentage (.453), assists (17.0), and three-point percentage defense (.261), and they're second in margin of victory (+7.6) and steals (10.5).
    • Portland is eighth nationally in three-pointer defense, 16th in assists, 19th in field goal percentage, and 25th in steals,
    • Fowler leads the WCC in scoring (17.8 ppg) and field goal percentage (.544), and she's fourth in rebounds (7.9).
    • Her .544 field goal percentage ranks No. 1 on Portland's all-time single season charts since the Pilots began playing at the NCAA DI level in 1986.
    • Fowler ranks 4th nationally in field goals made (195) and is 25th in scoring.
    • Haylee Andrews leads the conference in assists (5.7), she's third in scoring (16.2), and she's fourth in FG% (.506); she ranks 14th nationally in assists.
    • During wins over Saint Mary's (1/11) and Santa Clara (1/18), Andrews dished a career-best 12 assists.
    • The 12 assists are the most by a Portland player since 2011, and the program record for assists in a game is 13.
    • Portland has just one senior on the roster, local product Kate Andersen (Jesuit HS), who's averaging a career-high 14.2 points; she ranks 22nd nationally in steals (2.9) and has scored 946 career points.
    • Maddie Muhlheim ranks fourth all-time at UP with 173 career three-pointers; last year she set a program single-game record when she hit nine three's against USD.
    • The Pilots are under the guidance of first-year head coach Michael Meek.
    • In nine years at George Fox, Meek led the Bruins to eight NCAA DIII Tournaments, which included national title game appearances in 2012 and 2015.
    • Meek ranks fourth in career winning percentage (.846) among active coaches with five-plus years of experience at all divisions of women's college basketball.
    • First-year assistant coach Sharon Rissmiller ('01) is a UP alum who starred on the court for the Pilots from 1997 to 2001; she still ranks ninth all-time with a .770 career free throw percentage, and she compiled 1,069 career points.

    ABOUT THE OPPONENT
    • The No. 10 Bulldogs have already clinched the WCC regular season title.
    • Gonzaga is holding opponents to just 51.6 points per game, while scoring 68.5.
    • The Bulldogs are second in the country in three-point percentage (.397) and are third in points allowed.
    • Junior guard Jill Townsend leads three Bulldogs scoring in double digits with a 12.4 per game mark.
    • Lisa Fortier is in her sixth season as head coach of the Bulldogs, and she's led GU to four NCAA tournaments.
    Hey Upan8th, I know it doesn't fit your narrative but The Bulldogs are second in the country in three-point percentage (.397) and are third in points allowed but that is not too bad for a WCC team.

    ZagDad

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    Nice interview with CLF, JT and JW concerning the upcoming game with Portland on the GU Wbb Facebook page.

    Link: https://www.facebook.com/ZagWBB

    ZagDad

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    From the Spokesman-Review:

    Gonzaga women look to head into WCC Tournament on high note against Portland in regular-season finale
    UPDATED: Fri., Feb. 28, 2020

    By Jim Allen
    jima@spokesman.com
    (509) 459-5437

    There will be plenty at stake Saturday afternoon when the visiting Gonzaga women take on the Portland Pilots. How much? Even more than you think.

    For starters, the 11th-ranked Zags are chasing a 17th West Coast Conference win, which would tie the conference record set two years ago (by GU, of course). They also are pursuing a chance to host first- and second-round NCAA Tournament games.

    There’s more. Next week, the WCC will hand out postseason awards, including coach of the year and player of the year. Gonzaga head coach Lisa Fortier – who also is a contender for national honors – is in the hunt to win her fifth WCC award in just six seasons. So is first-year Portland head coach Michael Meek, whose team is in fourth place after being picked last by his fellow coaches. Also in the mix is Cindy Fisher of San Diego, whose Toreros are in second place after winning just two conference games last year. A win by GU on Saturday might tip the scales to Fortier, who lost three starters to graduation last year and a fourth when Katie Campbell was injured four weeks ago – yet is running away with another WCC title. The Zags are 27-2 overall and 16-1 in the WCC and four games up on second-place San Diego.

    There’s even more intrigue in the race for league MVP. On statistics alone, Valerie Higgins of Pacific would win the award. She averages 16.5 points and 9.1 rebounds to rank second in both categories.
    Meanwhile, no Zag ranks in the top 10. Jill Townsend is 13th in scoring and rebounding, and eighth in field-goal percentage, but she’s second in 3-point shooting at 43%.

    In other words, Townsend has done it all, especially down the stretch after the season-ending injury to Campbell. Last week, she scored 31 points in road wins against Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine.
    The bigger prizes are the WCC Tournament title and a top-four seed in the NCAAs, both of which eluded the Zags last year.

    The game in Portland is the first step, and it won’t be easy.
    You can read the rest of the article here: https://www.spokesman.com/stories/20...ournament-on-/

    ZagDad

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    Todays "narrative:" Ladies being outplayed, outhustled, outcoached, outshot . . . and all the other outs, as well. Not surprising though, is it? Considering last four games. Look at last night's game AZ vs Stanford and tell me either of those teams wouldn't beat today's Zags by thirty.

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    I agree upan8th, this is not a team that is just missing Katie Campbell!

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    "There’s even more intrigue in the race for league MVP. On statistics alone, Valerie Higgins of Pacific would win the award. She averages 16.5 points and 9.1 rebounds to rank second in both categories.
    Meanwhile, no Zag ranks in the top 10. Jill Townsend is 13th in scoring and rebounding, and eighth in field-goal percentage, but she’s second in 3-point shooting at 43%.

    In other words, Townsend has done it all, especially down the stretch after the season-ending injury to Campbell. Last week, she scored 31 points in road wins against Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine."

    JT is an exceptionally fine player. She fits the Zag 'team' mold... MVP.... isn't really the best player on the court...in some minds. They give 'Team' awards for the best team... why not give players the POY award, for best performance on the court???
    Val Higgins stats, dominates almost anyone you put up against her.
    16.5 points/9.1 rebounds/98 assists/98 steals/ 22 blocks and has not played in the last two Pacific games and will miss the final one today!

    JT has 12.4 Points avg./5.9 RB/ 'only 41 assists/ 'only36 steals/ 3 blocks. She is a phenomenal 3 pt shooter! Both are hard nosed basketball players.

    My guess, is JT wins the award on Gonzaga's success.

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    Considering how bad the offense has played in the 1st half and the defensive breakdowns, being down only 1 at half is not bad at all.

    Considerably better result at half than the 1st game against Portland.

    Why do the Wirths do the turnaround jumper from the elbow without dribbling, but feed them the ball under the basket and they insist on dribbling? Why?

    Alex Fowler is the leading scorer for Portland, Lady Zag bigs keep losing track of her. Maybe an idea for improving defense is not to lose Fowler, and not to leave her wide open.

    10 turnovers in the first half, guards, particularly JL, you have to value the ball, quit making poor choices with your passes.

    Yeah 8th, about that game between Arizona or Stanford, do you remember the score at half? That would have been 28 - 28. Not exactly world beating. Remember the Arizona game that they played just before last night's game? That would have been against Colorado where Arizona scored a sum total of 38 points for the entire game.

    Consider giving the Lady Zags the 2nd half before you lecture us on how bad they are, or not.

    ZagDad

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kemo 1966 View Post
    "There’s even more intrigue in the race for league MVP. On statistics alone, Valerie Higgins of Pacific would win the award. She averages 16.5 points and 9.1 rebounds to rank second in both categories.
    Meanwhile, no Zag ranks in the top 10. Jill Townsend is 13th in scoring and rebounding, and eighth in field-goal percentage, but she’s second in 3-point shooting at 43%.

    In other words, Townsend has done it all, especially down the stretch after the season-ending injury to Campbell. Last week, she scored 31 points in road wins against Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine."

    JT is an exceptionally fine player. She fits the Zag 'team' mold... MVP.... isn't really the best player on the court...in some minds. They give 'Team' awards for the best team... why not give players the POY award, for best performance on the court???
    Val Higgins stats, dominates almost anyone you put up against her.
    16.5 points/9.1 rebounds/98 assists/98 steals/ 22 blocks and has not played in the last two Pacific games and will miss the final one today!

    JT has 12.4 Points avg./5.9 RB/ 'only 41 assists/ 'only36 steals/ 3 blocks. She is a phenomenal 3 pt shooter! Both are hard nosed basketball players.

    My guess, is JT wins the award on Gonzaga's success.
    I hear you Kemo,

    MVP awards are always hard because the voters have different opinions on what it means. Is it the best player on the best team, the player with the best offensive stats, How do the number of minutes played per point/steal/assist figure into the vote, if at all? What about a player that significantly ups their game with another starter goes down with an injury? Would you consider giving the award to a freshman or do you vote for upperclassman that have a history (more than 1 year of stats) to consider?

    In the end I agree with you in that I would not give the conference MVP to JT. Now VH would certainly be in the conversation and maybe the leader in the clubhouse, but Alex Fowler is having something to say so far as well.

    ZagDad

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    What the heck is goin on with Jesse? She's acting like the UPS driver ran over her dog.

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    Looks like it is all over. 17-1 a fine finish. Good luck the rest of the way. [Not sure how you possibly could have lost to SMC???]

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kemo 1966 View Post
    [Not sure how you possibly could have lost to SMC???]
    SMC shot 56.7% overall and 66.7% from 3.

    ZagDad

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    Gonzaga defeats Portland 56-42...

    Lady Zags improve to 28-2 overall and 17-1 in the WCC...

    Lady Zags out score the Lady Pilots 33-18 in the 2nd half...

    LeeAnne Wirth and Jenn Wirth lead the Lady Zags with 14 points each...

    Jenn Wirth also finishes with 12 rebounds for a double-double...

    Gonzaga out scores the Portland bench 14 to 2...

    Lady Zags finish with 14 steals to 5 for the Lady Pilots...

    http://stats.statbroadcast.com/broadcast/?id=285297

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    Quote Originally Posted by upan8th View Post
    Todays "narrative:" Ladies being outplayed, outhustled, outcoached, outshot . . . and all the other outs, as well. Not surprising though, is it? Considering last four games.
    Yeah, about those last 4, now last 5 games:

    - 5 victories
    - 4 victories by double digits
    - Sole Ownership of Conference Championship
    - #1 seed in conference tournament with bye to the semi-finals
    - #10/#11 ranked team in the country

    Sorry, it is not good enough for you 8th, but I will take it any day of the week. Just remember 8th, Arizona and Stanford are both teams essentially ranked in the Top-12 & Top-5. We will likely not have to play a team as good as Arizona or Stanford until the sweet-16. If we can get to the sweet 16, then I will take whatever the ladies can provide.

    On to Vegas Baby.

    Great Job ladies, won the 2nd half 33-18, well done.

    ZagDad

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    Whatever else you might say about this team, there is no quit in this group. Great job on the road against a team that believes it can beat you, ladies. 17-1 is a great accomplishment. Now take it to Vegas and get it done!

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    Zags Snag 56-42 Victory in the City of Roses

    Wirth twins lead the way with 14 points each

    Gonzaga 56 - Portland 42 Final Box Score Link


    PORTLAND – The #11/10 Gonzaga women's basketball team battled its way to a 56-42 victory at Portland Saturday afternoon inside the Chiles Center in Portland, Ore. With the win, Gonzaga finishes WCC play with a conference record-tying 17 wins while extending the program's best start ever to 28-2.

    Gonzaga (28-2, 17-1 WCC) was led in scoring by Jenn Wirth and LeeAnne Wirth who each finished with 14 points. Jenn Wirth logged her sixth double-double of the season with a game-high 12 rebounds to go along with her game-high 14 points.

    The Bulldogs controlled the glass 36-32 and edged the Pilots 30-26 in points in the paint. Portland's 42 points are the fewest scored by the Pilots this season and 28.4 points under its season average of 70.4 points per contest.

    The Zags opened the game with a quick 7-2 run to take the early lead, but a quick 6-0 Portland run over the next two minutes put GU behind by one, 8-7. Portland (18-11, 11-7 WCC) held a four-point lead for most of the remainder of the first half, but GU closed the gap to head into the locker room down one, 24-23.

    The Bulldogs shot 33.3 percent in the opening half while limiting UP to 35.7 percent shooting. Both teams committed 10 turnovers in the opening half, but Gonzaga claimed an 18-16 edge on the glass.

    Jenn Wirth opened the scoring for the second in the third stanza, hitting a jumper in the paint 19 seconds into play. A pair of free throws from Jill Townsend a minute later, followed by a jumper from Kaylynne Truong with just under six minutes to go gave the Zags a four-point lead (32-28). Portland twice cut the lead to two points in the third, but a 6-3 run to close the period gave Gonzaga a six-point buffer (40-35).

    Kayleigh Truong kicked off a quick 6-0 Bulldog run to open the fourth period with a layup, and LeeAnne Wirth finished with a pair of free throws to extend the lead to 11 (46-35), the largest of the afternoon thus far. A bucket by LeeAnne Wirth a minute later put GU up by 12 (50-38). Four unanswered Portland points cut the lead to single digits (50-42) with 2:54 remaining, but Gonzaga finished on a 6-0 run to seal the 56-42 win.

    "The difference [in the second half] was that we defended the paint much better, and we didn't settle for crazy early shots," head coach Lisa Fortier said. "We worked the offense a little bit, we got ball reversals; our percentages go up and up and up the more ball reversals we get."

    Portland was led by Kate Andersen and Haylee Andrews with 10 points each. Andrews added 10 rebounds and four assists.

    Gonzaga is set to open the WCC Championships in Las Vegas in the first semifinal of the tournament on Monday, March 9. Tipoff is 12 p.m. inside The Orleans Arena.

    Gonzaga Article Link

  18. #18
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    Pilots Battle with #10 Bulldogs, Fall in Regular Season Finale

    PORTLAND, Ore. --- Portland's Haylee Andrews grabbed a double-double and Kate Andersen scored 10 points in her final home game as a Pilot, in a hard-fought match against the No. 10 Gonzaga Bulldogs. Going into the fourth quarter up six, Gonzaga would outscore Portland 16-7 in the fourth to take the game 56-42 at the Chiles Center.

    The Pilots (18-11, 11-7 WCC), thanks to a buzzer beating three at the end of the clock from Andersen, went into the second quarter tied at 11-11. A back and forth ten minutes ensued, with a lob pass over the top of the Zags D from Alex Fowler to Andrews giving Portland a 24-23 lead. Fowler & Maddie Muhlheim each finished the game with eight points.

    Gonzaga (28-2, 17-1 WCC) continued to grind out the game defensively, forcing 21 Pilot turnovers throughout the game. Sisters Jenn & LeeAnne Wirth were the driving force for the Bulldogs all afternoon, the duo combining for eight points, seven rebounds and two steals in the third quarter to swing the momentum for the Zags.

    Not to be outdone on her senior day, Andersen hit a corner three with eight seconds left in the third to cut the Bulldogs lead to 40-35.

    Entering the fourth, both squads continued to go toe for toe on defense, but once again the Bulldogs would strike first. Gonzaga opened the final quarter of play with a 6-0 run, with LeeAnne Wirth scoring all six with back to back mid-range jumpers and a pair of free throws.

    The Pilots refused to give in, as Andrews would lead a 4-0 Portland run with four straight points, cutting into the Zags lead to make it 50-42 Gonzaga.

    With Portland knocking on the door, Jenn Wirth would take the scoring duties from her sister to score six straight points, effectively closing out the game, the final score 56-42 Gonzaga.

    The Wirth sisters led the Bulldogs in points with 14 each, while Jenn Wirth recorded a double-double as well with 12 boards.

    The Pilots return to action next week competing in the WCC Tournament, which will take place from March 5-10 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.

    Portland Article Link

  19. #19
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  20. #20
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    I see lots of people I know, one I'm married to, and I'm in there someplace between people......it was a great Zag crowd and Portland had a good crowd too......but for that many people to travel...by car or plane...just amazing......very proud of our Zag fans....

    Wirths got early fouls and I heard CLF say "you're just going to have to play with 2 fouls".....

    so impressed with the Truongs....one play where one twin made a great pass to the other Truong resulting in a basket....they were beaming.....

    everyone did well, mistakes yes, but overcame and the result is a great win on enemy territory......


    very impressed with the coaching job this year.....they seem to know how to right the ship at just the right time...we have a great bunch of players who can listen and adapt.......

  21. #21
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    " [Not sure how you possibly could have lost to SMC???]"

    it was pretty easy actually......

  22. #22
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    From Spokesman Review:

    Jenn Wirth, LeeAnne Wirth help No. 11 Gonzaga women down Portland 56-42
    UPDATED: Sat., Feb. 29, 2020

    By Jim Allen
    jima@spokesman.com
    (509) 459-5437

    With another strong second half Saturday afternoon, the Gonzaga women put the finishing touches on the best regular season in program history. Down one point at intermission, the visiting Zags put on a clinic after the break to beat Portland 56-42 and win their 28th game in 30 tries. That’s one game better than the previous record set last year, and sends the Zags into the West Coast Conference Tournament on a five-game winning streak. The Zags also finished 17-1 in the WCC, tying the record set by many of the same players who repeated that feat on Saturday at the Chiles Center in Portland.
    GU finished four games ahead of San Diego and BYU, who will be on the other side of the bracket in the WCC Tournament. Portland, which took GU to the limit in their first meeting, finished fourth and could face the Zags in the semifinals on March 9 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.

    “We didn’t follow the game plan very well in the first half, and the second half was much more like what we were trying to accomplish,” Fortier said. “The difference was that we defended the paint much better and we didn’t settle for crazy early shots.”

    The Zags struggled on offense in the first half, including 3-for-10 shooting from long range. That was a far sight better, however, than the teams’ first meeting, when GU was down by 20 points early in the second quarter before pulling out a 62-57 win. This time the hole was never more than four points, and GU crawled out of it early in the second half. A layup from Jenn Wirth gave the Zags the lead for good, at 25-24.

    GU led 40-35 going into the fourth, but took control with a 3-pointer from Kayleigh Truong, another layup from Jenn Wirth and two foul shots from LeeAnne Wirth to give the Zags a 46-35 advantage with 5:45 to play. Portland (18-11, 11-7) got to within eight with 3 minutes left, but GU pulled away from there. The final score was GU biggest lead.

    The Zags shot 45% (14 for 31) in the second half while holding Portland to 30% (7 for 24).
    Entire Article can be read here: https://www.spokesman.com/stories/20...ortland-56-42/

    ZagDad

  23. #23
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    In the lead-up to the game, ZAB asked "How to Beat the Pilots"?

    My response last sunday, was:

    Play exactly the same way we did in the last three (3) quarters of game #1 when Portland scored 31 points in the last 3 quarters.

    ZagDad
    In consideration of Upan8ths objection to my excessive use of words, instead of my normal post-game analysis, I will simply say......……..

    Yeah what he said^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    ZagDad

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