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Gonzaga continues its hot play, advances to first-ever Elite Eight

Mar 27, 2011 - 6:02 AM Spokane, WA (Sports Network) - Courtney Vandersloot poured in 29 points, dished out seven assists and recorded seven steals while leading the 11th- seeded Bulldogs of Gonzaga to a 76-69 victory over the seventh-seeded Louisville Cardinals in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Tournament at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena.

Kelly Bowen added 12 points for Gonzaga (31-4), which will face Stanford in the regional final on Monday. Katelan Redmon tallied 10 points for the Bulldogs, who have claimed 21 consecutive victories.

Shoni Schimmel registered 18 points for Louisville (22-13), while Keshia Hines chipped in 17 points in the loss. Louisville took a major hit early in the matchup, as the team's leading scorer Monique Reid (15.9 ppg) suffered an injury less than two minutes into the contest and finished with just two points.

The Bulldogs went into the break with a 35-24 advantage after shooting 50.0 percent from the floor in the first 20 minutes of action.

Gonzaga pushed its lead to as many as 20 points in the second stanza, but the Cardinals soared back and pulled within three points late in the half. However, the Bulldogs were able to hold on for the victory thanks to some key free throws by Vandersloot down the stretch.

This is the first-ever Elite Eight appearance for Gonzaga, and the 11th-seeded Bulldogs are the lowest seed to advance to the regional final in the history of the women's NCAA Tournament.

Vandersloot's seven assists give the point guard 358 on the year, which is a new NCAA single-season mark.