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Gonzaga Women Take Another Stumble

In their second game in two days, the Zags once again had a tough time against another opponent from the Power 5 conferences.

NCAA Women's Basketball: USA TODAY Sports-Archive Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Gonzaga Women’s basketball team went into the season trying to prove their strength against strong opponents from the Power 5 conferences (ACC, B1G, Pac 12, Big 12, SEC). They started off this campaign strong beating Stanford on their home court, but have yet to get a win since that game. After losing to Michigan yesterday, the Zags looked to bounce back against #10 Florida State. However, Florida State looked confident and smooth all game and handed the Zags their second straight loss. Here are my observations from the game.

  1. Turnovers, Turnovers, Turnovers. You could see the inexperience of this young team today. Florida State was able to get the Zags to rush and panic, and this resulted in an abundance of turnovers. 21 to be exact, and many of them were unforced. These turnovers led to 24 points for Florida State.
  2. First quarter defense was lacking again for the Zags. Every quarter in the game was decided by 5 points, except the first quarter, which was decided by 13 points. The Zags gave up 27 points in the first quarter and couldn’t come back from that deficit.
  3. Assists. The Zags have been a team known to work the ball around and run their offense well. However, this part of the game was lacking today. The Zags had as many assists in todays game as Florida State had steals. They had 9 assists, and only 2 came from either of Gonzaga’s two point guards.
  4. Fouls were an issue for the Zags tonight. Every player saw minutes on the court tonight, and every player had at least one foul. Jill Barta had two early fouls which forced Coach Lisa Fortier to bench her for a majority of the first quarter and a portion of the second quarter. Fouls also cost the Zags a few big baskets in the second half when they were trying to make a comeback.
  5. Three pointers killed the Zags again. They took twice as many threes as Florida State and made less. The Zags made 6 of their 24 attempts, shooting only 25% from behind the arc. When they can’t get the threes to fall, the Zags struggle.
  6. Despite getting in foul trouble early, Jill Barta still led the Zags with 20 points and there was a different feel when she was on the court. What will happen to the Zags if Barta picks up an injury and has to miss games?
  7. While Laura Stockton struggled from behind the arc tonight, she once again was a bright spot for the Zags. Stockton made confident moves to the basket and scored big buckets. She also looked very strong against pressure and handled the ball well.

The Zags have a few weeks before they face their last two opponents from the Power 5 conferences, and they look to get back on the right track tomorrow. They face Winthrop who is also winless in the tournament. Is tomorrow the day the Zags get their first win in Paradise?