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Womens' basketball: Getting Zagged, Perennial power Gonzaga dominates Sioux women

GRAND FORKS - The University of North Dakota women's basketball team opened the regular season home schedule against strong, established Division I opponents such as Colorado State and New Mexico State.

Zigging amid the Zags
University of North Dakota's Allyssa Wall (52) is out numbered by Gonzaga players as she fights for a rebound in the second half of the Sioux's 83-45 loss on Tuesday in Grand Forks. Photo by John Stennes / Forum Communications Co.
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GRAND FORKS - The University of North Dakota women's basketball team opened the regular season home schedule against strong, established Division I opponents such as Colorado State and New Mexico State.

On Tuesday, a whole new caliber of opponent came to the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.

Gonzaga, the best team to ever visit the Betty, jumped out to a 34-14 lead and beat UND 83-45, resulting in the worst home loss in Gene Roebuck's 24 years as head coach of the Sioux.

"Some of this has to do with coaching, and so I'm going to lay it on me," Roebuck said. "I need to get our players as prepared as I can. I need to do a better job making sure the team is held accountable on the floor and in practice."

Despite Roebuck's disappointment, the Zags are no ordinary Betty visitor. The Bulldogs, who are receiving votes in national polls, came to Grand Forks coming off a six-point loss to Stanford, which is ranked No. 3 in the country.

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Stanford finished runner-up at the national tournament last season to the University of Connecticut.

The Bulldogs, who advanced to the Sweet 16 last season, have also lost to USC this year.

"They're athletic. They're confident. They have swagger," Roebuck said. "They've been there. They've been to the Sweet 16.

"They came in here wanting to make a statement. They made a statement today. They didn't call off the dogs in the second half and made sure they had a good cushion so the pollsters would notice."

For the Bulldogs, there was no letdown after the tight loss to Stanford.

"We addressed (the chance of a letdown)," Gonzaga coach Kelly Graves said. "This was one of those classic games where that could happen. But I've got a nice team. They've won a lot, and they've played a lot on the road.

"I have to credit Gene's team. They played hard to the end. I love coming to this kind of place. This was a great crowd and a great atmosphere."

But the Bulldogs didn't waste much time zapping some of that energy out of the crowd.

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The Zags used a 13-1 stretch midway through the first half to build the comfortable lead.

G (2-2): Bekkergin 4-6 0-0 11, Vandersloot 2-7 5-5 10, Redmon 12-17 4-5 28, Standish 6-11 1-2 13, Bowen 1-5 0-0 2, Lorenzo 0-2 0-0 0, Winters 2-6 0-0 5, Golden 3-3 0-0 6, Reader 2-2 0-0 4, Redmon 1-5 0-0 2, Raap 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 34-66 10-12 83.

UND (1-3): Smart 2-9 0-0 5, Youngblut 2-12 0-0 6, Lof 0-3 0-0 0, Lauck 3-6 1-2 10, Wall 1-4 3-4 5, Charnay Mothershed 2-3 2-4 8, Charnise Mothershed 0-7 3-4 3, Rothfusz 1-4 0-0 2, Houdek 2-5 0-0 4, Kuehl 0-0 2-2 2. Totals 13-53 11-16 45.

Half: Gonzaga 48, UND 26. 3-point goals: Gonzaga 5-14 (Bekkering 3-4, Vandersloot 1-3, Bowen 0-1, Standish 0-1, Winters 1-4, Redmon 0-1. UND 8-27 (Smart 1-5, Youngblut 2-9, Lof 0-1, Lauck 3-5, Charnay Mothershed 2-3, Charnise Mothershed 0-3, Rothfusz 0-1. Total fouls: Gonzaga 15, UND 15 Fouled out: none. Rebounds: Gonzaga 45 (Standish 7). UND 32 (Youngblut, Wall 5). Assists: Gonzaga 24 (Vandersloot 12). UND 9 (Youngblut 4). Steals: Gonzaga 14 (Redmon 4). UND 9 (Lof 3). Turnovers: Gonzaga 21, UND 27.

Wayne Nelson writes for the Grand Forks Herald, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.

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