GU women outright champs
Whits women lose in NWC semifinals
Vivian Frieson scored 22 points and had seven rebounds as No. 19 Gonzaga cruised to an 83-52 win over Santa Clara (3-25, 1-12) and clinched the outright West Coast Conference women’s basketball title at Santa Clara, Calif., on Thursday night.
Courtney Vandersloot finished with 12 points and 14 assists for the Bulldogs (24-4, 13-0), who hit 12 of their first 14 shots. Frieson was 10 of 14 from the field.
While Santa Clara made just two of its first 12 shots and turned the ball over 13 times in the first 12 minutes, Gonzaga sped out to leads of 13-0 and 31-6.
Heather Bowman, Gonzaga’s leading scorer and second-leading rebounder, didn’t play because of a sprained ankle suffered in practice Wednesday. She’s listed as day to day and could play Saturday against San Francisco.
Vandersloot made the next cut for the Naismith Trophy, presented annually to college basketball’s player of the year. The list has been cut from 50 players to 30.
•Kelsey McKinnis and Claire Ely combined for 38 points as 13th-ranked Puget Sound (23-3) defeated Whitworth 68-55 in the Northwest Conference Tournament semifinals.Cassie Pilkinton led the Pirates (14-12) with 13 points and six rebounds.
Puget Sound will meet fifth-ranked George Fox in Saturday’s title game.
•Tuqce Canitez led four players in double figures with 18 points, and North Idaho (22-6, 13-6 Scenic West Athletic Conference) shot 16 for 16 from the line during an 80-62 win over visiting Eastern Utah (7-22, 3-16).
Taylor Stevens scored 25 points and the North Idaho men clinched the SWAC title at home by rallying past second-place Eastern Utah 87-76.
Stevens hit 7 of 12 3-pointers for the Cardinals (25-4, 15-4), who improved to 16-0 at home and snapped the Golden Eagles’ (20-9, 13-6) seven-game winning streak.