Dons Rise Against Portland, Fall to Gonzaga

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John Holton
Staff Writer

Despite five different Dons putting up double digits in the points category during the womens basketball game on Saturday, they were unable to overcome Gonzaga, who beat them in a grueling four overtime game by a score of 84-91. Junior forward Taylor Proctor led USF in scoring with 19 points in addition to six rebounds.

The Dons had their work cut out for them entering the game against the Bulldogs. Gonzaga has been a juggernaut so far this season, and have earned themselves a perfect West Coast Conference record of 12-0. Overall they have only lost four games all season and currently sit at the top of the WCC.

Michaela Rakova was the second leading scorer with 17 points. Courtesy OF Dons Athletics
Michaela Rakova was the second leading scorer with 17 points. Courtesy OF Dons Athletics

The Dons got the scoring started less than a minute into the game when Proctor made a layup in the paint. USF managed to hold on to that lead for the first ten minutes thanks to six more points from Proctor, in addition to a three-pointer from senior guard Taj Winston. The Bulldogs were hot on their heels the entire time, though, and with 9:32 left in the half, Gonzaga’s Lindsay Sherbert hit a three that put them ahead 14-13. Despite going up by a point, Gonzaga was unable to cement their lead, and for the rest of the half, the score went back and forth with neither team being up more than two points over the other. The Dons played hard, though, and kept themselves in the game, entering halftime down by just one point.

At the start of the second half, Gonzaga took control of the game and in less than five minutes were up by 10 points. The Dons weren’t going to just lie down and take the loss — they put up a good fight, and their work paid off when they found themselves tied with the Bulldogs with a little over six minutes left to play. The two teams traded baskets for the rest of the half, and when time finally expired, the score was 62-62 sending the game to overtime.

It wouldn’t be just one extra period of play for the Dons however. When the first overtime expired, the score was still tied and the stalemate continued. It would be the same story for the next two overtimes, as well, and soon USF found themselves in the fourth extra period of the game. Despite making it this far, the drawn-out match had taken its toll on the Dons, and they started to slip behind in the fourth overtime. When the dust finally settled and one team came out on top it ended up being Gonzaga who won by a score of 91-84. This loss brings the Dons season record to 14-10.

Despite the loss, the game featured a number of stellar performances from a wide variety of USF players. Michaela Rakova was the Dons second leading scorer with 17 points as well eight rebounds and three steals. Winston and senior forward Paige Spietz each had 12 points apiece and junior guard Zhane Dikes had 10 of her own.

Two days before, the Dons had a blowout win in Portland when they beat the Pilots 79-44. USF’s next game will be away at Santa Clara on Feb. 14 beginning at 2 p.m., followed by a home game against Loyola Marymount University on Feb. 19 beginning at 7 p.m. in the War Memorial Gym.

Photo Credit: Courtesy OF Dons Athletics

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