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Women's Basketball: Lions hotter than Firestorm

Doucette scores 21 and Belmont posts her 12th double-double to help fuel rout.

March 05, 2014|By Barry Faulkner
(Don Leach, Daily…)

For the third time this season, the Vanguard University women's basketball team turned the Firestorm into fizzle.

After having beaten Arizona Christian by 31 and 63 points, respectively, the No. 1-ranked and No. 1-seeded Lions dispatched the visitors from Phoenix, 100-51, in the quarterfinals of the Golden State Athletic Conference Tournament on Wednesday at Vanguard.

Vanguard showed complacency was not much of a concern by making 11 of its first 14 field-goal tries to seize a 28-6 advantage just 6:32 into the contest.

The lead was 36-10 when Arizona Christian (5-24), which went 0-14 in regular-season GSAC play, scored five straight points. But Vanguard (26-0), which came in having averaged a 28-point victory margin this season, closed out the half on an 18-6 run to claim a 54-21 halftime advantage.

The victory moves the GSAC regular-season champions into Friday's semifinals against Hope International at Vanguard at 7:30 p.m.

Hope International (22-9), which topped visiting Biola, 77-65, in Wednesday, gave Vanguard its biggest scare this season, falling, 80-79, on Feb. 22 in Fullerton.

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"That's a tough matchup for us, so we're looking forward to that," Davis said of the semifinal clash. "We had a great game against [the Royals] last time. They definitely are not intimidated by us. They are coming in here thinking they have a chance to win."

Such was not the case for the Firestorm, which scored 30 second-half points to keep the final margin (49) to only the fourth-most-lopsided whooping the Lions had administered this season.

The Lions shot 69.6% from the field after halftime (16 for 23) to finish at 58.2% for the game and they had 26 assists on 32 total field goals, while helping force 27 Arizona Christian turnovers.

Vanguard also amassed a 37-20 rebounding edge and made nine of 20 three-point attempts.

Sophomore Samantha Doucette, a first-team All-GSAC performer, scored eight of the Lions' first 12 points on her way to a game-high 21. She was eight for 12 from the field and also had a team-best eight rebounds.

Senior guard Taylor Belmont, another member of the 10-player All-GSAC squad, had 19 points, 10 assists and a team-leading four steals. It was her 12th double-double of the season. She was 10 for 10 from the foul line, where Vanguard made 27 of 34, well more than the 11-for-18 effort from the visitors.

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