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Q & A with Gonzaga women’s basketball player Sunny Greinacher

Sonja “Sunny” Greinacher, 22, is a senior forward, and leading scorer, for the Gonzaga women’s basketball team. The two-time All-West Coast Conference player has already earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in school counseling.

She grew up in Essen, Germany, and agreed to come to the United States as an exchange student for her junior year of high school (2008-09). That year, she led Willamette High School to the Oregon 5A state championship game in which she scored 24 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to claim the title.

Greinacher, who currently averages 14.1 points and 6.1 rebounds a game, also played three years for the German U18 team before she accepted a scholarship to play for Gonzaga.

Zag women’s break is about to end

After playing four games, Kelly Graves and the Gonzaga women's basketball team get a 10-day stretch between games. But the rest ends on Saturday when Gonzaga plays Colgate at 2 p.m. in the McCarthey Athletic Center.

GU beats USD to claim WCC crown

About 20 minutes from tipoff of the Gonzaga men's game against Saint Mary's at the Orleans Arena. We'll see if GU can make it 2 for 2 in title games.

The Gonzaga women shut down San Diego 62-50 earlier Monday to claim the WCC Tournament championship. The Zags are headed to the NCAAs for the fifth straight year.

My unedited game story is below.

In-game updates on the GU-Saint Mary's men at twitter.com/srjimm.

GU women cruise into WCC championship game

Gonzaga's women took control with a 12-2 run late in the first half to build an 11-point lead and the Bulldogs went on to a comfortable 62-43 victory over fourth-seeded BYU in the WCC Tournament semfinals on Saturday at the Orleans Arena.

Shelby Cheslek led GU with 16 points. Kiara Kudron added a season-high eight points, six in Gonzaga's decisive run at the close the first half. The top-seeded Bulldogs will face No. 2 San Diego, which routed No. 3 Saint Mary's, for the championship at 1 Monday.

Taelor Karr, the WCC player of the year, landed hard on her lower back after being fouled by a Cougar player with 7 minutes left in the first half. Karr returned to the game several minutes later and also played in the second half, but she was taken for further medical evaluation following the game.

My unedited game story is below.

Gonzaga's men are about 15 minutes from starting. In-game updates at twitter.com/srjimm.

Gonzaga women defeat Loyola Marymount 79-57

S-R photojournalist Colin Mulvany covered the GU women vs. Loyola game.  Check out a big picture gallery of his photos.

Gonzaga’s Standish invited to Monday’s WNBA draft

When Gonzaga women’s basketball coach Kelly Graves called Kayla Standish a week and a half ago, she thought it was an April fool’s joke.

Graves informed the Gonzaga senior that she was among the top 15 prospects invited to this year’s WNBA draft – which will be held at the ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn – and it wasn’t a joke.

More below the fold.

Graves entertains the crowd again as Zags prepare to dance with second-seeded Kentucky on Sunday

KINGSTON, R.I. - Forget dunking a basketball.

Gonzaga women's basketball coach Kelly Graves' excitement prior to the final practice before his 11th-seeded Bulldogs face No. 2-seeded Kentucky tomorrow was all about Dunkin Donuts. Graves made his first trip to the famed joint last night on a walk.

The press conference remark, which will likely make its way into all the media coverage today, showcased how loose the Zags are during their cross-country trip for their Sweet 16 dance with the Wildcats. One thing about Graves and the Zags - they know how to let the good times roll, as highlighted in this morning's feature on sophomore guard Haiden Palmer.

More coverage later from myself and a picture story from S-R photographer Colin Mulvany.

Gonzaga women advance to the Sweet Sixteen with win over Miami

How sweet it was.

The 11th-seeded Gonzaga women's basketball team earned a third straight trip to the Sweet Sixteen with a victory over No.3 Miami on Monday night in the final game at the McCarthey Athletic Center this season.  

Here's our game story and a notebook from Greg Lee.

Gonzaga will face No. 2 Kentucky on Sunday in Kingston, R.I. (game time TBA). The Zags reached the Elite Eight last season.

How far do you think the Zags can go?

Game day for Gonzaga women in NCAA tournament: Round Two

We're back courtside at the McCarthey Athletic Center for the second round of the women's NCAA basketball tournament where the 11th-seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs and No. 3 Miami Hurricanes will tipoff in a little over a half hour. Vince Grippi will have an online story posted immediately following the game, and my story will follow along with a notebook from Greg Lee and myself.

In case you missed our advance, here's a story focusing on the Hurricanes that ran in this morning's sports section. And if you want a refresher, here's our game story from Gonzaga's win over Rutgers in the first round of the tournament and Greg Lee's story on Miami's victory over Idaho State.

Game day for Gonzaga women in NCAA tournament opener

We're sitting courtside at the McCarthey Athletic Center ready for tipoff between the Gonzaga women's basketball team and Rutgers in the opening round of the women's NCAA tournament. In case you missed it, here's an advance story on the long journey the Scarlet Knights took to Spokane. 

Following the GU-Rutgers game, No. 3 Miami and No. 14 Idaho State will play. Here's our advance from Greg Lee and an overview.

The overview for the GU-Rugers game is below.

Zag women will face Rutgers in first round of NCAA Tournament

The Gonzaga women's basketball team learned their fate on Monday evening. As a No. 11 seed, they'll dance with No. 6 Rutgers on Saturday at 1:15 p.m. at the McCarthey Athletic Center - where the first and second rounds will be played. Also coming to Spokane are No. 3 Miami and No. 14 Idaho State. For more details on the bracket, follow this link.

We'll have extended coverage throughout the week, but to get you started I've pasted my story for tomorrow's paper below.

To view the complete bracket, follow this link.

Four Zags honored as All-WCC women’s team announced

Following the Gonzaga University women’s basketball team’s eighth straight West Coast Conference title victory, the individual accolades started flowing in. Read on to find out which of the Zags made the All-West Coast Conference team and what's in store this week for Washington State, Eastern Washington and Idaho this week.

A few Gonzaga women’s notes

Following their 77-60 win over Brigham Young on Saturday to clinch their eighth consecutive West Coast Conference title, the Gonzaga women's basketball team moved up three spots to No. 22 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll on Monday. Also, seniors Katelan Redmon and Shannon Reader were honored.

Redmon was named WCC Player of the Week  for the second time this season after finishing with 28 points and seven rebounds in Gonzaga's win over BYU, while Reader was named to the WCC women’s basketball All-Academic Team. Reader, who has played in 21 games, holds a 3.26 GPA in public relations.

Gonzaga heads to the WCC tournament in Las Vegas as the No. 1 seed and will play Saturday at noon against No. 4 Saint Mary’s College, No. 5 Pepperdine University, No. 8 University of San Francisco, or No. 9 Loyola Marymount University.

Gonzaga women win eighth straight West Coast Conference title

It was the final West Coast Conference regular-season contest for the No. 25 Gonzaga women’s basketball team on Saturday afternoon, and in fighting for outright ownership of the title they had won for the previous seven years against a team that defeated them by 30 points earlier this month, the Bulldogs scored a 77-60 win over Brigham Young to capture their eighth consecutive WCC championship in front of a sold-out crowd of 6,000 at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

You can read my game story here.

Zag women back in Top 25, Bowen named Player of the Week

A week after dropping out of the Associated Press Top 25 poll, the Gonzaga University women’s basketball team returned to the poll at No. 25. The Bulldogs received 75 votes. Also announced on Monday, senior forward Kelly Bowen was named West Coast Conference Player of the Week for the first time in her career at Gonzaga. More below.

Postgame: Zags roll past Waves

The Gonzaga women shook off a slow start and pushed ahead in the second half to score a 66-40 victory over Pepperdine on Saturday afternoon. You can read about the game here.

Pregame from McCarthey

Less than an hour until the Gonzaga women's basketball team and Pepperdine Waves (12-12, 7-6 WCC) tip-off at the Kennel. One piece of good news, aside from the Bulldogs' 87-55 win over Santa Clara on Thursday, was last-place San Francisco's victory over BYU this week - leaving the Bulldogs in sole possession of first place in the WCC standings. 

Some quick hits between the Bulldogs and Waves:

  • The all-time series between the two teams is tied 28-28.
  • Gonzaga has won 17 of the last 21 games between the two, going back to the 2004 season.
  • In the teams' previous meeting - Gonzaga pounded Pepperdine 79-50 on Jan. 5. I'd expect today's matchup to be a little tighter than the last.
  • The last times the teams met, seniors Katelan Redmon and Kelly Bowen finished with double-doubles. Redmon had 14 points and 12 rebounds, and Bowen had 12 points and a career-high 13 rebounds.
  • Pepperdine last beat Gonzaga 72-62 on Feb. 21, 2009.

Up next: game time. We'll see you on the other side, or you can keep up with the game on twitter @jbrown_srsports.

Area women’s basketball roundup

Local NCAA Division I women's basketball teams had a successful Saturday - with the exception of Washington State, which lost at UCLA

We were at Gonzaga today, where the Bulldogs turned up the heat in the second half and beat a defensive San Diego team. John Blanchette wrote this column on the Zag women in the post-Courtney Vandersloot era, Jesse Tinsley told the game story through his photo lens, and here's the link to my game story.

The Eastern Washington women continued their quest for a Big Sky Conference title with a win at Sacramento State and the Idaho women picked up their second Western Athletic Conference win in a late game at San Jose State.

Golden sparkles in Gonzaga women’s win over LMU

Stephanie Golden had a career-high 15 points and the No. 22 Gonzaga women's basketball team earned a 79-61 win over Loyola Marymount at the McCarthey Athletic Center on Thursday night. As you'll see in my story, I overheard a fan throw out a horrendously obvious pun after the game. I'd like to thank that fan. After he said it, I couldn't get it out of my head. Hence, the first couple paragraphs.

Oh well.

Keep reading for more on area women's basketball teams.

Area women’s basketball teams look to rebound after tough week

June Daugherty summed it up quite simply.

“We have to be able to rebound,” the Washington State women’s basketball coach said in a press conference Tuesday afternoon.

Daughtery was speaking literally, of course, about rebounding in order to get more looks at second and third shots in an effort to jumpstart the Cougars’offense – which has been out of sync and is still adjusting after losing guard Ireti Amojo, a key component to WSU’s offense.  

It’s not just the Cougars that need to rebound, however. After last week, all area Division I women’s basketball teams are looking to bounce back from losses – some more surprising than others. Read on for the rest of my unedited area college women's basketball notebook, which will run in tomorrow's paper.

Pepperdine upends No. 2 Saint Mary’s

Gonzaga’s opponent in the WCC women’s tournament championship will be third-seeded Pepperdine, which rallied from nine down in the second half to defeat No. 2 Saint Mary’s 62-56.

Miranda Ayim led four Waves (20-10) in double figures with 13 points, including a jumper with 17.5 seconds left to put Pepperdine in front 60-56.

Gonzaga crushed Pepperdine 107-64 and 87-45 during the regular season. Tipoff is at noon.

“I think it’s a mental thing,” guard Lauren Bell said of the title matchup. “Gonzaga has always been the team to beat and I think a lot of teams are intimidated by them, I think if we come out ready to play and know who we are, then we’ll be fine.”.

Added Waves coach Julie Rousseau: “Every time we’ve played them we have not played well. It’s going to take every bit of mental toughenss and belief in ourselves that we can get the job done. We know how great a team Gonzaga is and we know our work is cut out for us. … We’re not going to forfeit the game. We’ve got to play it and we’re excited about being there.”

Gonzaga runs away from SCU

Back with the unedited game story from Gonzaga’s 87-47 blowout over Santa Clara. Read on.

Gonzaga rolls 87-47

Gonzaga coasted to an 87-47 win over Santa Clara in the WCC women’s tournament semifinals. The Bulldogs (26-4) will face the winner of Pepperdine-Saint Mary’s, which tips in about 35 minutes.

GU led 46-23 at half and continued to pull away. Heather Bowman led GU with 18 points. Vivian Frieson added 12 points and five rebounds.

Game story in about 90 minutes.