Gonzaga Beats San Diego In WCC Women's Final - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Gonzaga Beats San Diego In WCC Women's Final

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LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Heather Bowman scored 16 points, Janelle Bekkering added 11 of her 14 in the second half, and Gonzaga beat San Diego 66-55 Monday in the West Coast Conference tournament final.

Kelly Bowen had 15 points and nine rebounds for the Zags (26-6), headed to the NCAA tournament for just the second time in school history after winning their fifth straight West Coast regular-season title. Courtney Vandersloot added 10 points and 10 assists to Gonzaga's 15th win in 17 games.

Gonzaga made a 9-2 run midway through the second half to pull away from the sixth-seeded Toreros (19-13). Kiva Herman concluded an outstanding tournament with 23 points and six rebounds for San Diego, which won three games in three days to reach the final against the top-seeded Zags.

Vandersloot was selected tournament MVP after scoring 21 points in the semifinals against Loyola Marymount, but Herman got a huge postgame ovation from fans of both teams at the Orleans Arena. The senior forward scored 95 points in the Toreros' four games, breaking the tournament scoring record in their semifinal victory over second-seeded Portland.

Dominique Conners had 13 points and six rebounds for San Diego, and Amber Sprague added 10 points and eight rebounds.

The victory nipped a growing stigma for Gonzaga, which has been the WCC's best regular-season team for a half-decade, only to lose three conference tournament games in the past four years.

The Zags earned their only previous NCAA appearance in 2007 by winning the WCC tournament, but San Diego kept the Zags out last year, winning the title game on the Toreros' home court. The WCC's double-bye format required Gonzaga to win only two games for this title.

After skidding into the WCC tournament with seven losses in their last 11 regular-season games, the Toreros became the lowest-seeded team to make the final since the conference expanded to eight teams in 1995.

San Diego won its opening game over San Francisco on Friday before knocking off third-seeded Pepperdine on Saturday. The Toreros beat Portland with a second-half run, but the Zags made the only second-half move in the title game.

Gonzaga led 42-39 midway through the second half when Bekkering got rolling with two 3-pointers, including a basket with 9:38 left to put the Zags up 51-41. Bekkering also led the Zags with 10 rebounds.

© 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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