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Women's Hoops

The latest news and analysis on college and pro women's basketball.

December 30, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Seattle U plays for title at KeyArena and other hoop stories

SeattleU2.jpgSeattle University coach Joan Bonvicini won’t be facing her former assistant coach Shimmy Gray-Miller on Friday. The latter’s Saint Louis lost 66-55 to Eastern Michigan (6-5) on Thursday in the opener of the Washington Dental Service Holiday Hoops Tournament at KeyArena.
Instead host SU (7-6) will face EMU for the title at 3:15 p.m. The Redhawks defeated St. Francis (PA) 74-70 on Thursday behind a layup from G Talisa Rhea and a steal by G Sylvia Shepherd in the final 20 seconds.
“The thing that I liked tonight about our team was our fight,” said Bonvicini, whose team had lost its two previous games by a combined 10 points. “We showed a lot of poise. We needed to win a close game like this.”
In other games Thursday, Washington was the sole team from the state not to collect a win. Washington State (7-6, 1-0 Pac-12) defeated a short-handed Oregon 75-47. The Ducks (8-5, 0-1) host UW (8-3, 0-1) in a matinee at Matthew Knight Arena on Saturday.
Of course the Huskies lost 60-55 to a revamped Oregon State (10-2, 0-1) that’s growing on me and the locals. You can’t make too much of the conference-opening win, but UW is a second-half team that made its usual rally late and C Regina Rogers is nearly impossible to stop on a bad night, so credit a hodgepodge Beavers team for staying focused to pull out the win.

“It was a little harder than usual,” said Rogers of going against OSU’s new bigs. “They have a brand new team from last year. Everyone else (in the Pac-12) we’ve kind of played before.They were definitely mysterious. They challenged us and next time we’re going to have to challenge them back.”
In Portland, Gonzaga (11-2, 1-0 WCC) started conference play with a 80-65 win against the Pilots (7-8, 0-1). OSU transfer Haiden Palmer scored 13 of her 20 points in the first half and senior F Kayla Standish had 16 of her 20 in the second half to highlight the victory.
The Zags, who are ridding a six-game win streak, return to Spokane to host St. Francis on New Year’s day. It’s the final nonconference game for GU. Meanwhile Eastern Washington (7-7, 1-0) defeated Montana State 79-73. The Bobcats, who hired former UW star Giuliana Mendiola as an assistant coach, fall to 8-5, 0-1 in the Big Sky Conference.
For a good read, check out former WNBA president Val Ackerman’s piece about 2011’s global year in women’s sports. She has an optimistic view for the future, although the business side does need work.

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