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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Plenty of women’s basketball news

Sorry for the delay in posting information - it's holiday time.

Below is the unedited notebook I filed for Wednesday's paper and my vote for the AP top 25.

A couple of links for you enjoyment. A look at the Las Vegas tournament Gonzaga just play, which described the Zags as a one-and-done NCAA team (the story by Charlie Creme, ESPN's bracketologist, seems to forget this same group won a game last year). UConn and Stanford stories for Wednesday afternoon's big showdown (2:30 p.m., ESPN2). Also, U-Hi's Angie Bjorklund takes leadership responsibility in Tennessee's loss at Stanford, while Lady Vol's coach Pat Summitt also took some blame and was still looking back two days later. The Left Coast women's hoops blog looks at LV and UT-Stanford.

By Dave Trimmer; (509) 927-2154

Kelly Graves didn’t sugarcoat the results but given a little time he preferred to accentuate the positive of his basketball team’s foray into the land of the giants, literally and figuratively.

The Gonzaga women’s basketball team lost 70-49 to now 5th-ranked Baylor on Saturday night and trailed No. 10  Texas A&M by 20 with less than 10 minutes to go Sunday before losing 80-76 in the Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic.

“Obviously we’re disappointed we lost both games,” he said. “We wanted to win, no question. I thought we did some good things. There are some areas to at least build on.”

The positives out of the Baylor game included few turnovers (22-17), holding the Bears to 14 points below their average on 45 percent shooting (six percent below their average). But in the end, with 6-foot-8 freshman Brittney Griner guarding the middle, the Zags couldn’t shoot, 31 percent. That was reflected in the free throws as well with GU going 2-2 to Baylor’s 22-25.

Griner had 18 points, 12 rebounds and eight blocks.

“Her biggest impact … our players didn’t feel like we could take it in the lane against them,” Graves said.

Against the relentless defensive pressure of Texas A&M the Bulldogs had a miserable first half but when all was said and done, the GU had the ball, down three, with less than a half-minute left. Unfortunately there was a turnover.

“Hopefully we’ll build on that,” Graves said. “After the way we came back and dominated the second half the kids went away feeling good,” Graves said. “If we play hard and play well, we can play with anybody. Texas A&M beat Duke by 18.”

Slow starts haven’t generally been a problem for the Bulldogs and the biggest worry Graves came away with was shooting.

“We have not been able to shoot from perimeter, I don’t know why,” Graves said. “We have good shooters, for whatever reason it’s not working.”

Texas A&M beat then No. 13 Arizona State 72-62 and Baylor beat the Sun Devils 70-66.

The games at the South Point Arena were played with baskets and the court borrowed from The Orleans, where Gonzaga plays the West Coast Conference Tournament.

On tap

The Bulldogs (9-4) return to action on Sunday against U.C. Irvine (3-7) at McCarthey Athletic Center. …Washington State (5-5 going into Tuesday game at Nevada), is off until Jan. 1, when Pac-10 play starts with the Oregon swing. …Big Sky play is up next for Eastern Washington (6-6) with a game at Sacramento State (3-8) New Year’s Eve. … Idaho (1-11) has just one game, UC Santa Barbara (3-7) at home on the Monday, before Western Athletic Conference play opens with Fresno State visiting Jan. 9.

For fans, No. 2 Stanford at No. 1 Connecticut this afternoon at 2:30 on ESPN2 is a must see, a possible preview of the national title game and a rematch for Final Four semifinals the teams split the past two seasons. The Cardinal (9-0) throttled No. 3 Tennessee (9-1) 67-52 on Saturday although Angie Bjorklund (University) had 15 points for the Lady Vols.


Senior Tonya Schnibbe (University) broke Weber State’s career assist record in a 78-40 loss at Wyoming on Friday. She now has 476 as the Wildcats (6-7) go into Big Sky Conference play. WSU is at Eastern on Jan. 23. … Eastern Oregon senior Ashlee Michelson (North Central) was named the Cascade Collegiate Conference player of the week after scoring 24 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in a pair of wins, including a 61-57 upset of ninth-ranked Southern Oregon. She is averaging 11 points and 6.7 rebounds for the Mountaineers. Juniors Tara Cronin (Gonzaga Prep) and Lyndie Seidensticker (Lewis and Clark) battled to a 10-10 draw as Cronin’s Portland team defeated Montana State 78-75 Monday. Two days earlier Cronin had six assists as the Pilots beat Montana 66-58 with freshman Katie Baker (Lake City) the only Griz in double figures with 14. With a six-game winning streak the Pilots (9-3) are off to their best start since opening with the same record 12 years ago. … Juniors Kelly Valentine (Mead) and Lexi Bishop (Shadle Park) both had 11 points as Portland State won by 27 at Utah Valley and Valentine had another 15 in an easy win over Lewis & Clark. … Baylor’s Brittney Griner was featured in the most recent Sports Illustrated.


1. UConn
2. Stanford
3. Notre Dame
4. Tennessee
5. Ohio State
6. Baylor
7. North Carolina
8. Duke
9. Georgia
10. Xavier
11. Texas A&M
12. Oklahoma
13. Nebraska
14. Texas
15. Green Bay
16. Vanderbilt
17. Kansas
18. Michigan State
19. Georgia Tech
20. Florida State
21. LSU
22. West Virginia
23. James Madison
24. Dayton
25. Syracuse

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