Lucija Kostic (24) goes up for a basket against Gonzaga in a game between the Bulldogs and the University of San Francisco on Jan. 17, 2019. (Chris M. Leung for USF Dons Athletics)

San Francisco’s Lucija Kostic Named WCC Player of the Week

The University of San Francisco women’s basketball program is in a re-building year.

Head coach Molly Goodenbour, signed to a multi-year extension through 2024 this summer, went 34-28 over her first two years at the helm, but this season has been a grind, with the Dons coming home for a game this Thursday at 6-14 overall, and in eighth place in the West Coast Conference.

The crop of freshmen she brought in this year, though, is immensely promising, and one of those freshmen — Lucija Kostic — earned her first career conference Player of the Week award on Monday after a close loss to Portland, and a resounding win over local rival Santa Clara.

This season, Kostic, a 6-foot-2 forward out of Zagreb, Croatia, had been averaging a respectable 5.1 rebounds and 6.0 points per game, but had the biggest game of her career Saturday, logging her first career double-double by going off for 22 points and 12 rebounds on the road in a 57-49 win over the Broncos. It was her first career double-digit rebounding performance, and her first career 20-point game.

Kostic also had two blocks, two assists and a steal in the game while going 11-for-14 (78.6 percent) from the floor.

In the 78-73 loss to the Pilots in Portland, Kostic scored 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting, pulled down seven rebounds and dished out seven assists in 31 minutes.

Next up, the Dons host Pepperdine — the third-place team in the conference — at 7 p.m. on Thursday, then Loyola Marymount on Saturday, before heading on the road to other local rivals Pacific (Feb. 14) and St. Mary’s (Feb. 16). The Tigers (14-7, 7-4) are tied for place in the WCC along with the Waves (13-8, 7-4) and the Gaels (14-8, 7-4).

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