WCC commissioner Lynn Holzman handed out the championship hardware and asked Gonzaga women’s basketball coach Lisa Fortier to address the crowd. Let me take this picture first,” said third-year coach Fortier, staying true to her team-first approach.
Gonzaga earned a spot in the West Coast Conference championship game at 1 p.m. on Tuesday after the top-seeded Zags topped No. 4 San Francisco on Monday 77-46. It’s the first time Gonzaga has made it to the conference’s final matchup in two years.
The Gonzaga women ran out on the Orleans Arena court Friday afternoon with a few chips on their shoulders. For one, the Zags were not going to let this opening matchup slip through their fingers like it did in last year’s West Coast Conference tournament, when the Zags fell to Santa Clara.
The Gonzaga women haven’t forgotten what happened the last time they visited the Orleans Arena. Last March, the Zags fell to Santa Clara in their first game of the West Coast Conference tournament in Las Vegas. It was the second year in a row that Gonzaga had not at least reached the conference championship after making it to the final game for eight straight years.
Kalani Purcell scored 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting and BYU used a 15-0 fourth-quarter run to beat Gonzaga 71-63 on Saturday in Provo, Utah, in the West Coast Conference regular-season finale for both teams.
Although the Gonzaga women’s basketball team has clinched the regular-season championship in the WCC, there is one more stop to make before heading to Las Vegas next week for the WCC conference tournament. The Bulldogs head to Provo, Utah, and will face BYU on Saturday in their final game of the regular season.
The excitement built up from the majority of wins throughout the regular season doesn’t usually linger for long. Sure, the Zags celebrate and they congratulate each other, but there’s no relishing the moment. By the time the clock runs out, they’re already focusing on the next game.
Elle Tinkle’s second senior night went differently than her first. This year, Tinkle was in uniform and she left the McCarthey Athletic Center an outright WCC champion. Following the game, she raised the trophy and helped cut down the net with her teammates.
Elle Tinkle led four in double figures with 14 points and Gonzaga rebounded from its loss to San Francisco on Thursday to down Pacific 74-58 on Saturday in West Coast Conference action in Stockton, California.
ENDANGERED SPECIES -- Wolves have kept Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife field staff busy this suummer, especially in Stevens, Ferry and Asotin counties. Gray wolves are protected in Washington ...