December 5, 2013 at 9:07 AM
Since Day 1, Seattle U knew it was going to rely heavily on its underclassmen this season, particularly five freshman — three as primary ball-handlers. The group has quickly shown its potential.
Down 23 points nine minutes into a shootout against Oregon, instead of getting overwhelmed at the fast pace and seemingly endless three-pointers, four newcomers made good contributions to help SU get an unexpected lead and put the team in position to possibly win. Freshman G Claire Metoyer returned from injury and only played three minutes in the first half of the eventual 105-100 loss at KeyArena.
“We’ve been waiting for that moment to happen,” said senior F Kacie Sowell, the reigning Western Athletic Conference player of the year. “We have three seniors who’ve been here together for four years, but we can’t do it by ourselves. We need younger players, especially them running the point. It’s taken time but I think we’re to a place where everyone gets it.”
SU coach Joan Bonvicini pulled senior G Sylvia Shephard from the starting lineup due to an undisclosed reason, starting freshmen Alexis Montgomery and Kaylee Best in the backcourt. That decision quickly changed with the Redhawks down 7-0 . Bonvicini substituted Shephard for Best, which turned into a merry-go-round of rotations until the team found its defensive confidence to at least slow the Ducks’ offense.
Montgomery was able to run SU’s offensive sets, getting the ball inside to improved sophomore F Taelor Ross and Sowell. Later, Best made solid assists and collected a steal to help freshmen F Wilma Afunugo score five points in a 12-3 run to pull SU within 47-42 with 1:17 remaining in the opening half.
December 3, 2013 at 4:22 PM
Pac-12 pride brimmed at Washington practice last week. While the Huskies enjoyed a Thanksgiving holiday without basketball due to a scheduling conflict, the conference was busy knocking down teams ranked in the AP top 25.
“They’re genuinely excited,” said Washington coach Mike Neighbors of his team’s reaction to the conference going 4-2 against ranked teams the past week after an 0-7 start. “They see that you have to make the most of your opportunities when you play a ranked team.”
UW’s first chance is Saturday when it plays at No. 23 Texas A&M (4-2). Washington plays at Houston (3-4) on Wednesday. Naturally, the Huskies (1-2) would like to sweep to flex its Pac-12 muscle like its rivals.
Washington State (4-4) made 12 three-pointers to defeat then-No. 10 Nebraska 76-72 on Saturday. Playing before 5,933 fans, it was the Cornhuskers’ first loss in its sparkling new Pinnacle Bank Arena. It was the Cougs’ first win over a Top 10 team in program history.
“A lot of our girls had never played in an arena this loud, so for us to keep our composure and poise when they came back on us showed that we can hang with some of the top teams,” WSU junior G Tia Presley told reporters in Lincoln, Neb. She scored 13 of her 17 points in the second half, none from three-point range.
November 29, 2013 at 12:05 PM
Marketing to lure people — mainly students — to women’s college basketball games made a stir this month. Instead of a school t-shirt or even a hotdog, Louisville coach Jeff Walz offered a voucher for a free beer or soft drink to 2,500 fans legally old enough to drink. At Kansas State, 300 pounds of bacon was distributed.
Colorado students had to work the hardest for their freebie. They could get tickets to the Buffs men’s basketball team’s game against Kansas in December. But, as men’s coach Tad Boyle reminded in a pregame pep talk to the crowd adorned with wristbands for orderly distribution, they had to stay for the entire game. G Brittany Wilson put on a show as the women beat a competitive Iowa squad, but the stronghold for the freebie wasn’t well received among ardent women’s hoops fans nationally. Colorado did clarify it wasn’t the only promo for students to get tickets, however.
As the Associated Press reported, the point is similar to all giveaways — get people to see the product in hopes they’ll want to return on their own. But some commented that beer, bacon and tickets to see a men’s team were the wrong, ahem, carrots to dangle before a crowd in hopes they see women’s hoops is entertaining. Too easy a setup for the lipstick and pig remark, ya know.
“There’s always going to be someone complaining,” Walz told the Associated Press about his giveaway. “I’ve reached out to a few of them and called them. Once they understood what we were trying to do, they wished me a great year.”
November 8, 2013 at 11:12 AM
A full slate of basketball tips Friday with 123 games on the NCAA docket. Some matchups have already concluded, the ESPN networks debuting its broadcast season lineup of games at 2pm (PT) with UNC-Greensboro at Florida State on ESPN3.com. Seminoles coach Sue Semaru (Shorecrest HS) is entering her 17th season and only has three returning players on her roster.
Locally, No. 25 Gonzaga’s 6pm tip against Idaho at the McCarthey Athletic Center is the headliner. It’s the opener of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament and will be aired online. The Vandals, led by senior F Alyssa Charlston (Eastlake HS), finished last season at 17-16, winning the Western Athletic Conference tournament championship.
Gonzaga’s preseason ranking is a first in program history. The Zags are eager to see how a veteran lineup with a talented transfer in F Lindsay Sherbert (Cal) helps the team rebound from a disappointing ending to the 2012-13 season. Gonzaga couldn’t get a signature win and lost at home in the opening round of the NCAA tournament to Iowa State.
“Our strengths are going to be our defense and our speed this year,” said senior G Jazmine Redmon, who won the West Coast Conference defensive player of the year award.
August 20, 2013 at 11:03 PM
Seattle U. headed to Costa Rica to gain some international experience this week. The defending WAC regular-season champions, SU defeated the Costa Rican National Team, 59-50, in the first of three games while on its foreign tour. The Redhawks led through the majority of the game, which consisted of four 10-minute quarters. All five of the incoming freshmen saw playing time, with four making scoring contributions. Senior F Kacie Sowell and sophomore C Taelor Ross led the team with 16 points apiece. In the remaining two games, Seattle U will face the Goicoechea Club Team (U19 boys) on Wednesday before facing the Costa Rican National Team for a second time on Friday. (Note: These contests do not officially count towards season totals).In addition to the trip, Seattle U. amped up its social media presence and will post blogs from Costa Rica. The program now has a Instagram account. It’s a step up from when coach Joan Bonvicini took the position in 2009 and had to be taught how to use Twitter.https://twitter.com/CoachBonvicini/status/370043841044566016
March 11, 2013 at 12:30 PM
Mailbag: Gonzaga goes for five; Pac-12 final KeyArena attendance numbers; and Seattle University rakes in WAC awards
UPDATE: The Zags cliched a fifth consecutive NCAA tournament bid. Read all about the win here.
Top seeded Gonzaga (26-5) faces No. 2 seed San Diego (21-8) in the West Coast Conference tournament championship game in Las Vegas on Monday. The game will air at 1 p.m. on ESPNU.
The Zags are vying for a fifth consecutive NCAA tournament berth. The team was awarded an at-large bid last year, losing the WCC tourney title to BYU.
Gonzaga could play USD without PG Taelor Karr, the WCC Player of the Year. She fell hard on her back during Saturday’s tournament semifinal win over BYU. She took it easy at practice Sunday and is “really questionable” for the game, according to GU coach Kelly Graves.
“She’s a tough kid,” Graves told reporters of Karr. She hasn’t missed a start this season and is the team’s second-leading scorer at 10.7 points on 43.2 percent shooting.
“I know she’ll do the best she can to try to play,” Graves continued. “But the reality is she’s not in good shape right now.”
FINAL PAC-12 ATTENDANCE NUMBERS
The four-day total attendance for the inaugural Pac-12 conference tournament at KeyArena was announced at 26,465 spectators. There were 3,927 for the championship game alone on Sunday. The figure averages to 2,405 for the 11 games, which is still better than numbers reported in Los Angeles in 2012.
Seattle’s total is the event’s second-highest mark since the conference tournament’s debut in 2002 when it totaled 27,415 at McArthur Court in Eugene, Ore.
February 27, 2013 at 5:03 PM
Seattle U (15-9, 12-3 Western Athletic Conference) has three games remaining to conclude its regular-season. SU holds a half-game lead against Utah State (14-11, 11-3) for the regular-season conference title and top-seed in the upcoming WAC tournament in Las Vegas from March 12-16.
The Redhawks host Texas State (9-16, 3-11) on Thursday and Texas-San Antonio (14-11, 8-6) on Saturday. The three-game home stand at Connolly Center concludes with a rematch against Idaho (12-14, 9-6) on March 9. If SU finishes strong and wins the conference tournament, they are pegged as a No. 16 seed in the NCAA tournament, playing nationally ranked No. 4 Stanford.
Seattle U is rejuvenated. It had a week between games, completing a two-game sweep on the road Valentine’s Day weekend. The Redhawks are on a four-game win streak overall.
SU coach Joan Bonvicini used the time to give the players some rest and perfect game plans.
“I think it was good rest and we had good practiced today (Monday),” Bonvicini said. “Our team is focused and it’s just about staying fresh. Everyone picks up the intensity, takes it up another notch at this point in the season. But we’re in position. We control our own destiny.”
February 17, 2013 at 11:05 AM
In a 101-65 home win against San Francisco on Saturday, the Zags shot a season-best 55 percent (44 for 80) from the field and reached triple figures for the first time since November 2011, against Hofstra. GU is on a 10-game win streak and holds a 2.5-game lead in WCC standings. USF dropped to 10-16, 3-10.
Here are some highlights.
February 15, 2013 at 8:15 AM
Gonzaga (21-5, 11-1) is on an eight-game win streak and moving closer to its ninth consecutive West Coast Conference championship. The regular-season title wouldn’t have been as close without a key 69-54 win against Saint Mary’s (16-7, 8-3) in Spokane on Thursday. The game was the Zags’ fifth sell out of the season.
GU lost to SMC 54-51 early in the WCC season, sounding alarms that coach Kelly Graves’ revamped, youthful squad possiblly couldn’t hold up the Zags’ storied reign on the conference. But Gonzaga has since moved to a 2.5-game lead in WCC standings and is primed to be part of the NCAA tournament as a No. 11 seed, according to ESPN’s latest bracketology release.
The Zags are hosting the NCAA first and second rounds in March at McCarthey Athletic Center.
Below is video of Thursday’s postgame interviews. Gonzaga hosts San Francisco (10-15, 3-9) on Saturday at the MAC.
January 30, 2013 at 4:02 PM
Washington sophomore PG Jazmine Davis was cleared to practice on Wednesday. The team’s leading scorer (20.4 points), Davis suffered a concussion midway through the second half of a win at Washington State. She missed her team’s home wins against Oregon and Oregon State last week.
UW coach Kevin McGuff said he didn’t foresee any restrictions in returning Davis to the lineup when it plays at Arizona (11-8, 3-5 Pac-12) on Friday. Washington (14-5, 6-2) defeated Arizona 76-55 at Alaska Airlines Arena on January 7.
“We’ll kind of ease her back into practice today (Wednesday) since it’s her first day back,” McGuff said prior to the afternoon session. “Obviously she’s an important part of what we do. Although I thought we fared well without her, I’m happy to have her back. We have a chance to be even be better with her coming back.”
Huskies freshman G Heather Corral moved into the starting lineup to replace Davis, but junior G Mercedes Wetmore played the PG position. Wetmore finished the weekend with a combined 14 assists, one turnover and 12 points, not resting a second of Friday’s 45-minute overtime win against OSU or Sunday’s win in regulation against Oregon.
Corral was a combined 7 of 14 from three-point range for a total of 23 points, 11 rebounds and six steals in the wins.
“I feel like I was out forever,” said Davis of her 10-day absence. “Getting to touch a ball finally, that’s what’s exciting me the most.
“I was proud (of my team). It’s almost like I was glad that I was out and I got to see how they were. They all stepped up and it just showed me that they all have it in them.”
Washington is on a four-day win streak and is tied for third in conference standings.
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