Notes From Gonzaga's Win Over North Carolina In First Round Of NCAA Tournament
March 20, 2010
Gonzaga starters were Janelle Bekkering, Vivian Frieson, Courtney Vandersloot, Heather Bowman, and Tiffanie Shives. North Carolina started Chay Shegog, Cetera DeGraffenreid, Laura Broomfield, Tierra Ruffin-Pratt.
Gonzaga is now 28-4 and extends their winning streak to 19 games. North Carolina finishes the season 19-12. Gonzaga plays Texas A&M, who defeated Portland State 84-53 in the previous game, on Monday 3/22 at 6:30 pm.
This is Gonzaga's second ever tournament victory (2-2). This is the second straight year that Gonzaga has played the first and second rounds in Seattle. Last season, as a 12-seed, they upset fifth-seeded Xavier before falling to Pittsburgh in the second round. This was North Carolina's 22nd tournament appearance (18th under coach Sylvia Hatchell) with an all-time tourney record of 39-21 (37-17 under Hatchell).
Courtney Vandersloot, the 2009-10 WCC player of the year, had just 9 points but led the game with 15 assists and 5 steals. This marks the 11th time she has dished 10 assists in a game and the 12th time she has compiled 5 steals. Vandersloot is Gonzaga's all-time leader in assists.
The Bulldogs got a lift in the second half from their strongest three-point shooter, Tiffanie Shives. Shives, a 5'7" senior, hit four three-pointers in a three-minute span. The last put the Bulldogs up 72-69, a lead they didn't give up for the remainder of the game. Shives finished with 16 points in just 22 minutes.
UNC's size, a point of emphasis for the Bulldogs in preparation for the game, was combated by a strong performance by Gonzaga front line. Senior forwards Vivian Frieson (16 points, 13 rebounds, 3 blocks) and Heather Bowman (14 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals) battled the bigger Tar Heels inside all game, and UNC only outscored Gonzaga in the paint by six points, 46-40. That is not to say that UNC was not productive inside. 6'5" F/C Chay Shegog had 19 points and 9 rebounds and 6'1" forward Laura Broomfield had 16 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.
GU's Katelan Redmon, playing on the same floor she called home for a year (she played her freshman season at Washington), came off the bench to lead the Bulldogs with 18 points on 8-11 shooting, making both of her three-point attempts.