Zags Dealt Worst WCC Loss In 10 Years; Fall 70-40 At BYU
PROVO, Utah - The Gonzaga University women's basketball team was dealt its worst West Coast Conference loss in 10 years Thursday evening when first-year member BYU defeated the Bulldogs 70-40 at the Marriott Center. The Bulldogs and Cougars are now both tied for first in the league at 9-2 with four games to go.
The Zags (21-4 overall), who have won seven-straight WCC crowns, last lost by 30 on Jan. 10, 2002 when it fell at Santa Clara University 99-69. That year Gonzaga finished conference 2-12. The last time the Bulldogs were held to 40-points or less was Feb. 16, 2001 when it fell at Loyola Marymount University 60-37.
Gonzaga, who entered into the game as the 10th team in the nation in field goal percentage, shot a season-low 21.9 percent (14-of-64) from the floor, which included a dismal 5-of-33 (15.2 percent) performance in the first half.
BYU (22-4 overall), playing in front a season-high 2,014 fans, was much better from the field, hitting 45.1 percent (23-of-51) from the floor, including a hot second half at 62.5 percent (15-of-23).
Despite the tough shooting night from the floor, Gonzaga was down just four at halftime at 24-20 and got within three of BYU at 34-31 with 13:47 to play in the contest.
A 3-pointer by Stephanie Vermunt on the next play started a 20-run for the Cougars that stunned the Bulldogs and gave BYU a 23-point advantage at 54-31.
It was 7:59 that Gonzaga was held scoreless. The Bulldogs went 0-for-9 during that stretch and turned the ball over four times.
The Cougars hit the 30-point lead with 25 seconds left on two free throws by sub Ashley Garfield.
BYU had three players in double-figures and was led by Kim Parker with 16 points. Reigning WCC Player of the Month Kristen Riley added 11 points and 10 boards.
The Bulldogs look to rebound Saturday when it plays at the University of San Francisco. Game time is set for 2 p.m.