Zags Turn Up the Defensive Pressure; Defeat Portland 56-24
It was yet again another impressive defensive performance by the Zags, holding a team below 35 points for the second time this season. The 24 points scored by the Pilots was the fewest points allowed by a Bulldog squad. The previous low was 31 points, coming this season when GU defeated Colgate University 81-31. The 24 points also was the lowest points scored in a West Coast Conference game. The previous lowest was 30 points scored by the University of San Francisco in its 41-30 loss to Loyola Marymount University during the 1987-88 campaign.
The Zag defense held the Pilots to just nine points in the final 20 minutes. Portland hit three free throws and was 0-of-15 from the floor before hitting its first field goal of the final half. Jasmine Wooton finally hit a layup with 7:18 remaining and UP went on to finish the half hitting 3-of-26 from the floor.
Gonzaga forced 20 turnovers and held Portland to 17.4 percent shooting (8-of-46) from the field for the game, including 0-of-12 on 3-pointers. Eight of the Pilots 24 points came from the free throw line.
The Bulldogs themselves hit 37.5 percent (24-of-64) from the field and was 50.0 percent (4-of-8) from the charity stripe. The Zags recorded 19 assists on their 24 baskets and had 18 second chance points.
Senior Haiden Palmer and junior Sunny Greinacher led the charge for Gonzaga scoring 13 and 10 points, respectively. Palmer added four rebounds, three steals and one assist. Greinacher chipped in a team-high six boards.
Redshirt sophomore Shelby Cheslek – getting her first start of the season since the Colgate game – scored a season-tying high seven points, along with six boards and four blocks.
Junior guard Danielle Walter started for the consecutive game, replacing injured point guard Jazmine Redmon. Walter played 27 minutes, scored six points, dished out a game-high five assists and made two steals.
Twelve total Bulldogs saw action with 10 players scoring at least two points. All 12 Zags grabbed a rebound.
Portland was led by Wooton – who scored 36 points against Pacific last Saturday - with eight points.
After opening the game with an 8-0 burst, Gonzaga held the 26-15 halftime edge. Palmer scored nine of her 13 points in the opening half.
The Bulldogs return home to host BYU in their league home-opener Thursday, Jan. 9. The game is set for 6 p.m. at the McCarthey Athletic Center.