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Gonzaga Women's Basketball
Sports >  Gonzaga women

GU women dump Dayton with strong second half

Dave Trimmer Correspondent
Lisa Fortier may be a rookie head coach but she handled her first halftime like a seasoned veteran. Of course, it helped that she had some seasoned veterans to lean on. With seniors Lindsay Sherbert and Keani Albanez combining for 29 of their 32 points in the second half, Gonzaga recovered from a dismal first half to open the Fortier Era with a 75-65 win over No. 22 Dayton on Sunday. “We knew we would get it going,” Albanez said. “She just encouraged us.” The 5,442 fans may have wondered after the Zags shot 22 percent in the first half (7 of 32) to fall behind 33-22, but they about blew the top off McCarthey Athletic Center as their team flew past the Flyers (0-2) in less than 4 minutes. “It was pretty calm (at halftime),” Sherbert said. “There was this vibe. We knew we were going to come out strong. No one was down, no one was screaming. … (The comeback) was fast. I got so caught up in it. Everyone was so excited.” The Bulldogs hit 7 of 8 shots to grab the lead and finished at 60 percent for the half. For good measure, they made their first 17 free throws and finished 23 of 25. “I’d like to say (it was the halftime speech) but I think it came from within,” Fortier said. “We just talked about a couple of tweaks with our offense, a couple of things to shore up defensively and remember that we were not going to win the game with one possession.” The Bulldogs may have won with nine possessions, a near flawless display (there was one turnover) that included two 3-pointers from Albanez, a 3 and a drive by Sherbert, two free throws and a putback by Shelby Cheslek and two inside baskets by Sunny Greinacher. That was it: 19 points in 4 minutes, 12 seconds, and an 11-point deficit was a 4-point lead, which eventually got as high as 11. Sherbert finished with 18 points and Albanez had 15, both going 5 of 10 from the field after going 1 of 8 combined in the first half. Greinacher had 10 points and Cheslek matched her career high with 14 rebounds to go with five blocks. Key off the bench were Ellie Tinkle with nine points and seven rebounds and Shaniqua Nilles with eight points. Both were part of an impressive defense that limited Dayton to 21 percent shooting in the second half, including 0 of 11 from 3-point range. Andrea Hoover led Dayton with 20 points and Kelley Austria had 16. “Anytime you can beat a Top 25 team … and to think we can do this on the first day, makes me feel a lot more confident where we can go,” Fortier said. “We’re not playing our best basketball yet. There were stretches of that in the second half, but we want to put together 40 minutes … playing a half like that against a team like that is going to give us some good confidence.”
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