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"We had a great team effort on defense against their best player," stated Ashley Burke after the Bulldogs win over Pepperdine. "I love playing good defense. It just pumps me up and gets me going on offense."
Gonzaga beat the Waves by 10, 61-51, in a ragged but gritty performance. Ashley Burke was once again solid as a rock and Shannon Mathews continued her brilliant play at the point. And the best "6th man" in the WCC, Anne Bailey, came up big with her awesome mid-range game.
But as epitomized by the quote above, it was defense that kept Pepperdine at arm's length and allowed the ladies to go 21-2 overall and unbeaten in conference, with the country's longest win streak.
Two days later, the women would possibly play their finest game of the year. It was like watching a symphony, choreographed to perfection on both ends of the floor. The ladies would destroy 2nd-place LMU, 70-48, to clinch the WCC regular season championship.
"I feel great for our seniors," added GU head coach Kelly Graves following the win. "They were here when we started building this program and now we have accomplished one of our goals for the season. We will enjoy this victory for the weekend and then get back to work on Monday morning."
Over 3000 fans filed into the McCarthey Athletic Center, breaking the record, and the Zags did not disappoint, feeding off the crowd's energy to rout the Lady Lions.
Shannon Mathews was awesome with a big double-double. The usual suspects, Ashley Burke, Anne Bailey, Raeanna Jewell and Stephanie Hawk, powered the home team with a balanced inside-out attack. And on defense, the Zags simply stifled LMU.
It was "domination" in the truest sense of the word.
With the women earning a 22-2 overall record, the men would earn their first true road sweep of the season by digging out wins at extremely hostile Pepperdine and LMU. The Zags would take first-place as St. Mary's fell victim to Santa Clara. The men are 19-4 overall, 8-2 in WCC.