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Gonzaga women will open West Coast Conference Tournament against Pepperdine

UPDATED: Thu., March 1, 2018, 10:32 p.m.

Gonzaga forward LeeAnne Wirth  lines up a shot as Pepperdine forward Monique Andriuolo  defends during the  Jan. 4 game in the McCarthey Athletic Center. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga forward LeeAnne Wirth lines up a shot as Pepperdine forward Monique Andriuolo defends during the Jan. 4 game in the McCarthey Athletic Center. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

LAS VEGAS – Top-seeded Gonzaga will face No. 8 Pepperdine in the West Coast Conference Tournament quarterfinals at noon at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on Friday.

The Waves defeated Santa Clara 74-63 in the first round of the tournament on Thursday. Junior forward Yasmine Robinson-Bacote led the Waves with game highs of 23 points and 10 rebounds. Junior guard Paige Fecske followed with 20 points, including four of Pepperdine’s 10 3-pointers.

The Zags (24-5) swept the season series against the Waves (10-19) by a combined 41 points. In both showings, Gonzaga dominated inside behind junior forwards Jill Barta and Zykera Rice.

Barta, who leads the Zags with 18.1 points per game this season, led the 73-51 home victory on Jan. 4 with 27 points and 11 rebounds. The Zags outscored the Waves 46-8 in the paint and held Pepperdine’s starting five to four field goals.

Bacote finished with six points on 1-for-7 shooting for Pepperdine. Fecke came off the bench and hit two 3-pointers.

Rice dominated the 67-48 win on Feb. 17 in Malibu, California, with 16 points in 18 minutes. She led another strong performance inside for the Zags, who outscored Pepperdine 30-16 in the paint. Junior guard Laura Stockton had one of her best performances of the season, finishing with 11 points, eight rebounds and nine assists.

Bacote adjusted against the Zags from the first meeting and had 14 points and seven boards.

Bacote joined Barta on the All-WCC first team this season for a second consecutive season. She leads the Waves with 17.9 points per game, third in the conference, and 7.5 rebounds.

Fecske, an All-WCC honorable mention, averages 10.9 points and 2.9 assists, both second highest on the team.

Friday’s winner will advance to the semifinals at noon on Monday to play fifth-seeded San Francisco, which beat No. 4-seed Loyola Marymount 89-76 in the quarterfinals on Thursday.


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