While watchng Baylor and Tennessee to kick off a women's Sweet 16 ... ooo Lady Vols lose, should be interesting reading - the comments, more than the stories, on Sunday.
Onward with Gonzaga-Xavier, tonight at Arco Arena.
The Sacramento Bee capsules.
Coach: Kevin McGuff
Top scorer: Amber Harris, 15.9
Top rebounder: Ta’Shia Phillips, 11.6
Keys to victory: 1. Make a 3. If the Mustakeers give the Bulldogs a reason to extend their defense it makes it more difficult to help inside on the 6-6 Phillips and 6-5 Harris, who combined for 33 double-doubles this season. Phillips averaged 14 points and Harris 9.6 boards. They also went 1-2 in the Atlantic 10 in shooting, 61.7 percent for Phillips, 56.3 percent for Harris. Lost in that one-two inside punch is freshman reserve Katie Rutan, who shot 41 percent from behind the arc with 81 makes. 2. Own the basketball. Grab every rebound and minimize turnovers to limit Gonzaga’s opportunities to run. The Mustakeers were only out-rebound twice all season, both losses, and are plus-11 on the boards. 3. Slow it down. There’s no better way to frustrate a running team, plus X only goes seven deep in tight games.
Coach: Kelly Graves
Top scorer: Heather Bowman, 15.7
Top rebounder: Vivian Frieson, 7.5
Keys to victory: 1. Make a 3. If the Bulldogs, Tiffany Shives in particular, don’t knock down a couple of outside shots, Bowman and Frieson aren’t going to have as much room to use their quickness against the taller Muskateers. 2. Run. The Bulldogs need to push the tempo at every opportunity, that’s when they’re at their best. It wouldn’t hurt if the Muskateers got a little tired and committed a few fouls while trying to keep up. It says something that Xavier shoots 44.8 percent with Harris and Phillips while the Zags shoot 47.7. 3. Rebound, rebound, rebound. It’s hard to run without the ball and it’s going to take a commitment from every player to crash the boards. X won the rebound battle by 10 last year but lost the game, so that would seem to be a reasonable goal to match.