Zags' Lorenzo still dancing


POSTED: Thursday, March 25, 2010

In each of the last three years, the Gonzaga women's basketball team has advanced one game further in the NCAA tournament.

Tatriana Lorenzo is hoping for more than that.

Lorenzo, a 2006 Kamehameha graduate, helped Gonzaga advance to the sweet 16 for the first time in school history with a 72-71 upset of second-seeded Texas A&M on Monday. The seventh-seeded Bulldogs (29-4) face third-seeded Xavier on Saturday in the regional semifinal in Sacramento, Calif.

Monday's win over Texas A&M ran Gonzaga's winning streak to 20 games. The Bulldogs haven't lost since playing the same Aggies team in December.

“;We lost to them in (Las) Vegas, but that game let us know for ourselves that we're good enough to play with anyone,”; Lorenzo said.

; The 5-foot-7 junior point guard has seen her playing time diminish this season, playing behind reigning West Coast Conference player of the year Courtney Vandersloot. Lorenzo still managed to play in 31 of the team's 33 games, averaging around 6 minutes per appearance.

“;We have so many weapons on this team,”; Lorenzo said. “;You try to take away Courtney and it opens up for Tiffanie (Shives) who is a great 3-point shooter. Heather (Bowman) is a double-double every night and Vivian (Frieson) is going off. That makes us tough to beat.”;

Lorenzo appeared in six games and started three as a freshman before suffering a torn ACL. She was granted a medical redshirt year and bounced back the following season to appear in 24 games. But, she says, it took a full two years to fully recover from her injury.

“;During the first season back, you have to wear the brace all the time,”; Lorenzo said. “;The toughest thing is getting over it mentally because you don't trust yourself, but you've got to push yourself and test it to get comfortable with it.

“;So I'd say it was about two years before I felt 100 percent.”;

The Bulldogs face the Musketeers on Saturday with the winner likely facing top-seeded Stanford for the right to play in the final four in San Antonio on April 4.

“;Right now we're just focused on Xavier,”; Lorenzo said. “;We've got to play tough inside and limit their offensive rebounds. We can't let them score on putbacks.”;