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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.
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.
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.
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.
Keep reading for more on area women's basketball teams.
The women's basketball news for the day … Washington State has its home opener against Gonzaga, which is now ranked in the coach's Top 25, tonight so we caught up with Cougar senior Rose Tarnowski for our weekly notebook. … Also on the Palouse, Washington visits Idaho. … Surprisingly, both these are doubleheaders with the men, Idaho women are early (before the men play Eastern), the WSU women are late (after the men play Grambling). … Meanwhile, Eastern Washington gets a great win at Portland after the Pilots beat two Big Sky Conference favorites, Montana & Portland State. … Also, Gonzaga senior Kayla Standish (above) is named to the preseason Naismith watch list.
Gonzaga's senior leaders, Kayla Standish and Katelan Redmon lit up Portland State but the Bulldogs had a different supporting cast in a 99-69 win over Portland State Sunday afternoon.
Wondering how the Gonzaga women would do without Courtney Vandersloot?
The Spokane Chiefs and Gonzaga women's basketball team are No. 1.
The Chiefs are No. 1 in a Yahoo poll of junior hockey teams worth checking; as usual, the Bulldogs are favored to win the West Coast Conference again … but it's only the fourth straight time they're favored but they're going for their eighth-straight title.
For the Zags, Kayla Standish and Katelan Redmon, all-WCC as juniors, were voted to the preseason all-league team.
For the Chiefs, not surprisingly, Blake Gal was given a three-game suspension for a boarding major and game misconduct against Tri-Cities on Saturday. He'll miss the Chiefs home games on Saturday and Sunday and the first of back-to-back games at Portland the following weekend.
Eastern Washington was picked to finish in the middle of the pack in the Big Sky Conference and Idaho was voted near the bottom of the Western Athletic Conference in women's basketball polls released on Tuesday.
Big Sky coaches picked EWU seventh and the media had the Eagles sixth. Sherri Murrell's Portland State Vikings were picked first in both polls. Montana and Northern Colorado had the next two spots.
Six teams advance to the league tournament at the home of the regular-season champion. PSU won the tournament two years ago in Cheney and the Grizzlies won it at Portland State last year.
Louisiana Tech has the top spot in the WAC with Idaho tabbed for seventh in the coaches poll and by the media. Utah State and Fresno State also received first-place votes. Utah State's Ashlee Brown was the preseason choice as Player of the Year.
As long as we're on the subject of women's basketball, one website is ranking the top 100 women's programs. It started with 71-100, followed by 41-70. Looks like tomorrow is when it's going to get interesting locally, which is quite a compliment to a program that has sold more than 4,000 season tickets for this season. Yes, that would be Gonzaga.
By the way, the Pan American games are undway, which means Gonzaga is practicing without senior starters Kayla Standish and Katelan Redmon, who are on Team USA. Their first game in Mexico is Friday.
Gonzaga seniors Katelan Redmon (Lewis and Clark) and Kayla Standish (Ellensburg), both first-team All-West Coast Conference last season, have been named to the USA Pan American Games team that will compete in Guadaljara, Mexico next month.
The complete release is below.
Courtney Vandersloot is the West Coast Conference Player of the Year for an unprecedented third-straight year. The senior point guard from Kent averaged a double-double in WCC play, leading the league in scoring at 20.7 while dishing off 10.1 assists.
Vandersloot, who was the league's Freshman of the Year when teammate Heather Bowman was the Player of the Year, made the all-league team for the fourth straight season, something only Bowman and four other players have done. She is joined on the all-league team by Kayla Standish, from Ellensburg, and Katelan Redmon, Bowman's former teammate at Lewis and Clark. Janelle Bekkering earned honorable mention.
Kelly Graves, who has guided the Bulldogs to seven straight WCC regular-season titles, is coach of the year for the second time in a row, fourth time in five years and sixth overall.
The Bulldogs are now ranked 20th in the ESPN coach's poll.
After an emotional Senior Day ceremony before a sold-out crowd of 6,000 at McCarthey Athletic Center Saturday afternoon, Courtney Vandersloot got the Gonzaga Bulldogs off to a fast start before the Zags groundout a 80-58 win over San Diego.
The 23rd-ranked Bulldogs won their 16th straight game, 30th straight in the West Coast Conference as they wrapped up their second-straight perfect league season.
Seniors Vandersloot, Janelle Bekkering, Claire Rapp and Tatri Lorenzo started with junior Kayla Standish.
Vandersloot finished with 20 points and six assists, 13 and 3 coming in the first 9 minutes. Standish and junior Katelan Redmon, who ceded her starting spot, had 16 apiece and Bekkering 10. Standish also had 10 rebounds for her 12th double-double.
Gonzaga was, quite simply, senasational.
The 23rd-ranked Zags, the nation’s top-scoring women's basketball team, broke 100 for the seventh time, running their winning steak to 15 games, by routing second-place Saint Mary's 106-66.
Janelle Bekkering had 22 points, Standish had 19 points and 13 rebounds for her ninth double-double and Katelan Redmon had 15 points.
But once again All-Ameircan Courtney Vandersloot stole the show with 22 points, 13 assists, no turnovers, 6 rebounds and 6 steals.
Gonzaga senior Courtney Vandersloot took the suspense out early in her march to 1,000 career assists but the Bulldogs had a much tougher time with Pepperdine Saturday afternoon.
Vandersloot notched her third assist of the day and 1,00th of her career just 3:32 into the game to become the seventh NCAA D-I player with a grand, the fourth woman, on an inbounds play to Kayla Standish. But after opening a 16-6 lead the Zags went ice cold and it was a battle the rest of the way.
In the end, the Zags pulled it out, using a 13-0 run to erase a nine-point deficit in the second half and then slowing inching away to win their 12th straight game, 25th straight in the West Coast Conference 73-59.
There was addition concern as Vandersloot went down with 45 seconds left and was very slow to get up. Also, in the first half Claire Rapp went out with a left ankle injury, spending the second half on crutches.
Kayla Standish had a monster game with 24 points and 19 rebounds, one shy of the school record and Vandersloot had 17 points and nine assists and Katelan Redmon had 17 points.
We're approaching this game a little differently, columnist John Blanchette is writing about Vandersloot's milestone. I'll post the link to his story and the photos when they're available.
Portland got a couple of licks in … such as Natalie Day's uncalled whack to Janelle Bekkering's nose in the Dan Pelle photo above (check out all the photos) - but not near enough to slow down the Gonzaga women's basketball team.
Courtney Vandersloot got her 11th double-double with 25 points and 14 assists, Katelan Redmon had 22 points and Kayla Standish had her fourth double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds as Gonzaga won its 24th-straight West Coast Conference game by rolling Portland 87-67 Friday night.
A crowd of 4,917, fourth largest ever for the women at McCarthey (behind the Tennessee and Stanford sellouts and senior night against Portland the year the building open) saw the Zags run their winning streak to 10, 24 in WCC games.
The Idaho women's basketball team is going for the 500th win in program history tonight at home when defending WAC champion Fresno State visits. The Vandals are coming off an exciting road win at Nevada to open conference play.
The Vandals are 8-5 overall, 3-0 at home. Six of the next seven games are at home. Fresno State leads the nation by making more than 9 3-pointes a game.
I'll update throughout they day when the Top 25 comes out (my vote below) or players receive honors. Don't recalling linking Gonzaga's Kayla Standish named the WCC Player of the Month for December.
When it comes to Gonzaga women's basketball, recognition starts at point guard with Courtney Vandersloot leading the NCAA in assists again. But as Graham Hays of ESPN.com points out, it's the seamless transition that Katelan Redmon and Kayla Standish have made to convert those passes that has the Bulldogs rolling along.
The Gonzaga women’s basketball team won the Inland Empire title with a 93-62 win over Idaho Friday night after earlier beating Eastern Washing by 27 and Washington State by 18. The Bulldogs distributed the ball well, shot better, dominated the boards and took advantage of every Vandal miscue in winning their sixth straight. The big three of Courtney Vandersloot, Katelan Redmon and Kayla Stadish were unstoppable. Next up a home game against BYU on Tuesday.
We’re here to catch you up on the weekend’s women’s basketball news, which includes this week’s Top 25 vote.
Updated with honors for Kayla Standish (No. 32, left, in photo), Kate Loper and Angie Bjorklund. And as long as we’re stumbling around, here’s tons of information on the Tennessee at Baylor game, with the UT site including an video interview with Bjorklund.
Katelan Redmon had 26 points, Kayla Standish had 22 while filling up the stat sheet and Courtney Vanderloot had a double double with 13 points and 14 assists as Gonzaga beat Washington State 93-75 in women’s basketball Saturday afternoon before 3,908 fans.