Zags Put USD Away Early, Win 13th-Straight
Feb. 1, 2018
SAN DIEGO -- Gonzaga made it 13-straight wins and 11-0 in West Coast Conference action with another dominant second and third quarters at San Diego on Thursday night, winning 63-44.
Jill Barta led all scorers with 13 points, and Chandler Smith added 12 points and led with seven boards. Laura Stockton scored nine and Jessie Loera had seven, with each of them grabbing three steals as Gonzaga had 11 as a team off 18 USD turnovers. GU shot 46 percent, holding USD to 31 percent.
Rice opened the game with a physical rebound and putback, and Stockton did the same two possessions later. Smith scored in transition and GU led 6-0 just two minutes in. USD fought back from there closing to 8-7 by the six-minute mark. The game was back and forth until Stockton and Emma Stach forced a turnover in the frontcourt, leading to a layup from Stockton, making it 15-9 with three to play in the quarter. USD scored the final five points and GU led 15-14 after one. Stockton and Smith had four points each and each team had five turnovers.
Rice and Jill Townsend both put together individual four-point spurts early in the second and GU led 25-20 five minutes in. Stockton rolled home a jumper and GU led by seven, their largest to that point. A jumper from Loera in transition extended it to nine, as the USD scoreless streak went to over five-and-a-half minutes as Gonzaga pushed their run to 10-0, and led 31-20 with two minutes left. Gonzaga led 35-24 at half, going up by as much as 13. They held USD to 29.4 percent shooting in the second quarter and 34.4 percent in the half, while shooting 51.9 percent themselves. Barta led all scorers with seven, and Stockton and Rice added six each. GU dominated the glass, 21-13, with Stockton and Smith grabbing four each.
Barta broke into double figures with the first four points of the half and GU led by 15. USD responded with a three to stop the bleeding. Smith canned a three to kill a two-plus minute scoreless streak for GU, and the Zags went back up 15 at the six-minute mark. Loera followed with a trey and GU led 45-27, the largest lead to that point. The Toreros went scoreless for over six minutes with Loera picking two pockets at midcourt as GU led 51-27 with two minutes left on a 12-0 run. GU took a 54-31 lead into the fourth quarter. USD only scored seven in the quarter, shooting 22 percent, and turned it over 16 times to that point. Barta finished with 13 points and Smith had nine points and seven rebounds. Stockon and Loera had three steals each. The Zags led by as much as 24 in the quarter.
USD opened the fourth quarter with a mini-run cutting the lead to 16, 56-40, with five minutes left. Smith ended that with another three, hitting double figures at 12. Against the USD pressure, the Zags displayed excellent ball movement and late shot clock execution, winning 63-44.
"Our team put together another really solid defensive effort tonight," Gonzaga head coach Lisa Fortier said. "San Diego has some really good players that are tough to defend one-on-one. We consistently helped each other out in an effort not to leave anyone out on an island. We had a lot of people contribute on the offensive end as well. Everyone who played scored. We are playing some good basketball right now and I'm happy for the team."
A true team effort for GU, 10 players scored and eight had rebounds. GU dominated points in the paint, 30-18.
Gonzaga (18-4, 11-0 WCC) stays on the road this week and travels to BYU for a 1 pm PST game on Saturday afternoon. The game is live on BYUTV.
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