Gonzaga is one of 28 schools with both its men’s and women’s basketball teams in the NCAA tournament.
Keep reading for the advance for tomorrow’s game.
Gonzaga women’s basketball coach Kelly
Just how well the 6-foot-5 former
“The good thing and bad thing about this week was that I got a chance to play,”
“The other side of that is I am not very good, and certainly not as good as Ta’Shia.”
Phillips is fourth in the nation in shooting (61.3 percent) and rebounding (11.9 per game) and leads fifth-seeded Xavier (25-6) in scoring (13.5).
“I have to do all the little things,” 6-2 Gonzaga center Heather Bowman, said. “I have to be physical, I have to be fundamental, block out, position, all those things. I might be a little more concerned on the defensive end just because I think I think it will be easier on offense to use my quickness to get around her. But it’s going to be a huge challenge on both ends.”
Bowman led the West Coast Conference in scoring at 19.5, which is 18th in the nation, and was third in shooting (51.6 percent) and fifth in rebounding (7.6).
The game starts 30 minutes after fourth-seeded
“She has great hands, she really uses her body well and is super strong,”
There is also a concern that 6-5 junior Amber Harris, who reached 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and almost 300 blocked shots in two seasons but has missed this season with a knee injury, could see spot duty.
“She’s a great player,”
There is more of a difference between the teams than size in the middle. Xavier is seventh in the nation in defense, allowing 53.1points a game, and Gonzaga is 12th on offense at 75 points a game.
“Gonzaga is a terrific offensive team,” Xavier coach Kevin McGuff said. “They are really good in transition and have a really good point guard and a good post player. I think our biggest thing is making sure we get back in transition, defensively, and just being at our best on the defensive end.
“We’ve had a lot of terrific wins this year and the common theme with all of them is that you can point to field goal percentage defense and rebounding margin. When we win those battles we’re at our best.”
Xavier leads the nation in field goal defense (32.2 percent) and is a plus-11.3 in rebounding, third in the nation, averaging 44.5 boards a game.
Gonzaga shoots 44 percent a game and grabs 39.8 rebounds, a plus-3.4.
“We’re not going to change what we do offensively,”
“If there is one thing we have to well it’s rebound. Quite frankly that’s been an Achilles heel of ours, even though we’re a plus rebound margin. They really take it to a whole different level. If we can rebound with them then we have a chance.”