Home court advantage.
That was one of the biggest assets to the Gonzaga (11) upset over Miami (3) Monday night in Spokane. The Lady Zags are still dancing as they swing into the Sweet 16 for the third straight year, while the team from the Sunshine State is headed home.
It was a physical and hard-earned 65-54 victory for GU. While it was probably unfair seeding by the selection committee to ship both Rutgers and Miami to the freezing Northwest to play Gonzaga on their home court in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, it is also the return the Bulldogs get for consistently making and winning in the Big Dance. A cold Eastern Washington and a trip to the Sweet 16 is better than South Beach any day of the week.
For Miami, Shenise Johnson racked up 20 points and 13 rebounds to earn a double-double. Her teammate, 6’6” center Shawnice Wilson, also scored in double figures with 12 points—she was one board shy of a double-double.
Gonzaga’s seniors led the way, with Kayla Standish dropping 19 points for the night with eight rebounds, three assists, and two blocks. Katelan Redmon knocked in 16 points with eight boards as well. Likewise, sophomore Haiden Palmer grabbed eight rebounds and was in double figures scoring wise with 15.
While the Hurricanes will return to Miami to soak up the sun and mourn the loss, the Zags will pack up for a cross country trip of their own and visit Kingston, Rhode Island. The girls are slated to face second seeded Kentucky in the round of 16 next Sunday. The time has yet to be determined.