Zags Defeat Washington State, Move To 10-2 On The Year
PULLMAN, Wash. - The Gonzaga University women’s basketball team closed out non-conference play Saturday with a 70-62 victory over Washington State University at Beasley Coliseum in Pullman, Wash. The win pushed the 25th ranked Bulldogs record to 10-2 on the year, while the Cougars fell to 6-6 overall.
Senior guard Haiden Palmer – who started the season scoring double-digits points in eight straight games but had been held to single-digits the past three – broke out of a small slump to carry the Bulldogs with a game-high 20 points. She also had her second-straight game of 5-plus steals, finishing with six and added three assists and four rebounds.
It was Palmer who allowed the Zags to break open the game in the first half, scoring 11 of their final 15 points in a 15-4 run that turned a 3-point deficit into an eight-point halftime advantage at 36-28. Palmer started the spurt with six-straight points and closed out the scoring with a layup.
Palmer finished the first half hitting 6-of-11 from the floor, including a perfect 2-of-2 from beyond the 3-point arc.
The Bulldogs were aggressive on the offensive boards, grabbing 10 in the first half and forced the Cougars to turn the ball over 13 times, which Gonzaga turned into 10 points.
Tia Presley helped Washington State stay in the game in the first half, scoring 13 of her 19 points in the opening 20 minutes. She hit 4-of-7 from the field and sank 5-of-5 at the charity stripe.
Keani Albanez and Danielle Walter were crucial to Gonzaga in the second half. Albanez scored all of her 12 points in the final stanza, sinking 4-of-5 from the field, including back-to-back 3-pointers that gave the Zags a 10-point advantage at 47-37 with 10:18 to play.
Walter, who played five minutes in the first half, came in and ran the point for 15 minutes after starting point guard Jazmine Redmon left the game after getting hit in the face unexpectedly by the ball. Walter passed out six assists and scored eight points, including six free throws in the final six minutes of the game.
Together Albanez and Walter combined to score 14 of the Zags final 16 points.
Gonzaga had one other player break double-figure with Linsday Sherbert tallying 13.
The Bulldogs ended the game shooting 40.3 percent (25-of-62) from the field and was 58.3 percent (14-of-24 from the charity stripe. They outrebounded the Cougars 39-37 and forced WSU to turn the ball over 25 times, collecting 15 steals.
Besides Presley, four other Washington State players cracked double-digits. Lia Galdeira had 15 points, while Sage Romberg and Shalie Dheensaw each scored 10 points.
Gonzaga now turns its attention to West Coast Conference play. The Bulldogs open league action, Saturday, Dec. 28 at Saint Mary’s College. The game is set for 1 p.m.