Subscribe for 17¢ / day

Ashley Burke's offense was a dream, while Montana's was a nightmare.

Gonzaga's mobile forward poured in a career-high 31 points Sunday afternoon, leading the Bulldogs past the cold-shooting Lady Griz 60-52 in a non-conference basketball game at the Martin Centre in Spokane, Wash.

Montana had few answers for Burke, a 6-foot-1 junior from North Vancouver, British Columbia, who was the only player to score in double figures for Gonzaga (7-6). Meanwhile, the Bulldogs' physical man-to-man defense limited the Lady Griz (10-3) to just 30 percent shooting from the field.

"How many bunnies did we miss?" asked UM coach Robin Selvig during a postgame interview on KLCY radio. "Maybe they're bumping you a little bit, but we just missed a lot of shots - a lot of close shots. I'm amazed we got in the 50s."

Senior forward Julie Deming and junior center Hollie Tyler scored 15 points apiece to lead UM, which saw its five-game winning streak come to an end. Guard Brooklynn Lorenzen added a season-high 12 points, including three first-half 3-pointers, but also had more turnovers (6) than assists (5) against Gonzaga's tenacious pressure.

The 5-foot-10 Demming speared a career-high 10 rebounds. But Gonzaga outrebounded UM 44-38 and was particularly effective on the offensive boards, converting on several put-backs. The Bulldogs, picked to finish second in the West Coast Conference, also revved up their transition game and beat the Lady Griz downcourt for baskets.

"I don't think we played well, and I know we shot terrible, but we still had a chance to win," Selvig said. "But it wasn't going to happen. Towards the end, if the ball needed to bounce our way, it didn't. And we didn't make anything come our way. We didn't make any breaks."

Deming and Tyler helped Montana trim an eight-point second half deficit to 52-50, on Deming's post-up basket, with 3:46 remaining. But the Lady Griz went scoreless on their next five possessions, while Gonzaga inched away. Burke's fastbreak layin bumped the lead to 54-50 with 2:46 left, and Ashley Anderson, who had 12 rebounds, scored on a put-back to make it 56-50 with 1:18 remaining. Anderson's basket came after the shot clock was reset - incorrectly, Selvig contended - on a Gonzaga miss that may or may not have touched the rim.

The Lady Griz compounded their problems with mental errors, committing an unnecessary foul and failing to block out Burke, who converted an offensive rebound into two free throws with 28 seconds left that sealed the Bulldogs' fourth straight home win over UM.

Gonzaga, which lost to Weber State and Eastern Washington earlier this season, struggled from the field too, converting just 36 percent - but was saved by Burke's 13-of-19 shooting. She torched the Lady Griz for 21 points in the first half, pounding into the heart of UM's zone defense as the Zags turned a 25-16 deficit into a 34-30 lead.

Gonzaga then outscored UM 8-4 in the first 10 minutes of the second half, a stretch that saw Montana make just 2-of-18 shots.

"The big girl (Burke) clearly hurt us in the first half," Selvig said. "We had some decent looks in that stretch to open the second half, but nobody was making anything."

Selvig said Montana stayed in its zone throughout the second half to counteract Gonzaga's superior quickness in the post. Point guard Shannon Mathews shot poorly (3-of-13) but was effective, finishing with eight points and nine assists.

Tyler's first basket made her the 21st Lady Griz player to score 1,000 carrer points.

The Lady Griz continue their road trip Tuesday night at Colorado State before returning home against Utah on Saturday.

"We'll be playing a much better team at Colorado State than we just played here," Selvig said. "We have to be ready to have fun and play harder the next game. That's all you can do."

MONTANA (52)

Min FG-A FT-A Rb Pf A TP

f-Deming 36 4-10 6-6 10 3 3 15

f-McLeod 20 0-3 4-4 4 3 1 4

c-Tyler 30 6-16 2-2 8 2 2 15

g-Edwards 30 1-9 0-0 4 1 0 2

g-Lorenzen 40 4-9 1-2 2 3 5 12

Monaco 12 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0

Keller 14 2-6 0-0 4 0 2 4

Brooks 12 0-0 0-0 2 1 0 0

Baird 6 0-3 0-0 0 2 1 0

Totals 200 17-56 13-14 38 16 15 52

GONZAGA (60)

Min FG-A FT-A Rb Pf A TP

f-Burke 35 13-19 4-4 5 1 1 31

f-Anderson 29 3-7 1-2 12 4 0 7

c-Bailey 23 0-7 1-2 7 2 3 1

g-Mathews 34 3-13 0-0 3 1 9 8

g-Jewell 34 1-5 2-2 8 1 2 5

Kane 27 1-7 2-3 4 1 2 5

Ridenour 4 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0

Hawk 14 1-3 0-0 1 2 2 3

Totals 200 22-61 10-13 44 12 19 60

Halftime score: GU 34, UM 30.

3-point goals: UM 5-11 (Lorenzen 3-6, Deming 1-1, Tyler 1-1, Edwards 0-3), GU 6-23 (Mathews 2-8, Burke 1-1, Jewell 1-4, Kane 1-5, Hawk 1-2, Bailey 0-3).

Turnovers: UM 14 (Lorenzen 6), GU 14 (Burke 4).

Steals: UM 11 (Lorenzen 4, Deming 3), GU 13 (Jewell 4).

Blocked shots: UM 4 (Tyler 2, Deming 2), GU 1.

Officials: Thompson, Morrell, Slorey.

Attendance: Not reported.

0
0
0
0
0
You must be logged in to react.
Click any reaction to login.