After loses to two teams that will surely be ranked in the top 25, the Gonzaga women turned it around and got a much needed win against Winthrop. As with all games, there were positives and negatives, but seeing as it is the holiday season, I’m going to focus on the good things from todays game. Here are my observations.
- The freshmen got some big minutes today and made a big impact. Jessie Loera played more minutes today than Laura Stockton did, and she played very well. Loera was one of four Zags who scored in double figures, and she did so by tallying 11 points, including three 3 pointers. Grace Collett made her presence known on the defensive end of the court today. She came in and almost immediately got 3 blocks. She also tallied 2 steals and 7 rebounds. These two got valuable minutes today that will surely have a positive impact on their play the rest of the season.
- For the first time in the tournament, Gonzaga outscored their opponents in the first quarter. The Zags held Winthrop to just 9 points in the first quarter and kept rolling from there.
- While the three point percentage was still not great, the Zags shot over 30% from behind the arc tonight, making 7 of their 24 attempts.
- Jill Barta. Barta had a slow start today, but still managed to score 18 points and grab 12 rebounds. This marks her first double double of the season. Through the first six games she has scored 113 points.
- The Zags had a balanced scoring attack in todays win. Of the ten players that saw minutes, nine of them scored, with six of them scoring more than 5 points, and four of them scoring in double figures. This is the balanced attack they will need for success later in the season.
- Assist to Turnover ratio was finally positive today. For the first time in the tournament, the Zags had more assists than turnovers. This is a step in the right direction for the Zags. They shared the ball extremely well tonight. The Zags were able to slow down on offense and this helped them limit their turnovers.
- Are injuries going to be a concern for the Zags? We did not see Emma Wolfram play today. We can only hope that this was to give her a rest against a much smaller Winthrop team and one that we didn’t need her against. We didn’t see Jill Barta after she got bowled over in the fourth quarter and landed on her hand, and we didn’t see much of Laura Stockton after she tweaked her ankle in the first period. Hopefully these don’t end up being serious injuries.
The Zags have a week before they face off at home against Presbyterian and Washington State. Hopefully the team is back to full strength and ready to go for next Saturday’s game.