Seattle University became one of 46 teams in the NCAA to remaining undefeated in its respective conference after Thursday’s round of games. The Redhawks defeated Texas Arlington 69-53 at Connolly Center. SU improved to 9-6 overall and 6-0 in the Western Athletic Conference. But it’ll host a competitive opponent in Louisiana Tech (8-8, 3-2) on Saturday at 7pm.
Here’s the daily story about the game. Junior F Kacie Sowell scored 11 of her final 18 points in the second half while junior F Ashley Ward finished with 17 points to pace the offense throughout the game. Junior G Sylvia Shephard, who improved to seventh in the nation in steals (3.7), switched from being a defensive menace and scorer in transition to a keen passer, totaling a career-high 11 assists.
Shephard, coach Joan Bonvicini and Daidra Brown spoke about the game afterward. Bonvicini is wearing a lei in the video because it was Hawaiian Night at the game.
ZAGS TOPS…FOR NOW: Gonzaga proved it can still be a force in the Western Athletic Conference. The Zags (14-5, 4-1) soundly defeated new rival BYU 74-59 at sold-out McCarthey Athletic Center. The Cougar’s (12-5, 3-1) loss coupled with Saint Mary’s (11-5, 3-1) taking a tumble at San Diego to lose 73-70 moved GU a half-game ahead of BYU, SMC and Santa Clara (11-6, 3-1) atop of the conference. San Diego (11-6, 3-2) follows.
BYU was on an eight-game win streak entering the game. Touted Cougars PG Haley Steed finished with 18 points.
“In the end today is just one game, but it was an important win for a lot of reasons,” GU coach Kelly Graves told reporters. “To defeat one of the better teams in the conference the way we did definitely helped our psyche.”
Gonzaga was led by young posts in sophomore F Sunny Greinacher and redshirt freshman C Shelby Cheslek. Greinacher had a career-high 17 points. Cheslek had a career-high 16 points with eight rebounds, five assists and three blocks.
“Sunny and Shelby were huge for us,” Graves said. “They did a great job; not only in shutting down arguable their best player (junior C Jennifer Hamson), but also for scoring. We haven’t had those kind of inside baskets much at all this year. To do it against a really good front line like BYU, I think shows that we are getting better.”
Gonzaga plays at San Diego on Saturday at 2pm (PST). It’s the Zags’ third game in six days.
PAC-12 WEEKEND: No. 7 California (14-2, 4-1 Pac-12) keeps pulling out the thrillers in conference play. It eked past Southern California 71-63 in overtime at Haas Pavillion on Thursday despite shooting 23 percent from the field in the second half. Cal junior F Gennifer Brandon grabbed a career-high 26 rebounds to go with 23 points. USC (7-9, 4-1) was led by junior F Cassie Harberts’ 15 points.
Here’s the highlights from the game.
The conference has a good lineup for the weekend, too. Here are the games set for Friday and Saturday, all times are PST.
FRIDAYASU @ COLO6:00 PMLive StreamARIZ @ UTAH6:00 PM
UCLA @ STAN8:00 PMSATURDAYUCLA @ CAL12:30 PMESPNUARIZ @ COLO1:00 PMLive StreamASU @ UTAH2:00 PMLive StreamWASH @ WSU2:00 PMORE @ OSU2:00 PMUSC @ STAN4:00 PM