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Gonzaga’s defense excels in 63-51 win versus Santa Clara

The women complete the road sweep to start the season

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

Santa Clara came into the game averaging just 55 ppg, and it showed early on. After trailing 17-10 after one quarter, the Broncos managed to score just eight points in the next 10 minutes, and was down at the half 30-18.

In the third quarter, Gonzaga was able to stretch the lead to as many as 20 points, but a number of careless turnovers, combined with the Broncos starting to find their offense, allowed them to climb back to a single-digit game, before a Jenn Wirth basket ended the 11-0 run.

However, the Zags went on an 14-0 themselves in the second half, stretching the lead back up to 22. That made the rest of the game a formality, win Gonzaga holding the Broncos to just 51 points on their home court, while scoring 63 of the team’s own. Jill Barta led all scorers with 21 points, along with 11 rebounds for yet another double-double.

Santa Clara 4-9 (0-2) shot just 34% from the field, and was 6/20 from three-point range. Morgan McGuire led the Broncos with 14 points, on 6/15 shooting.

Besides Barta, Zykera Rice also reached double-figures with 10 points. Gonzaga 9-4 (2-0) took just 12 three-point attempts, making four of them. Regardless of the opponent, it’s always good to complete a road sweep to start out conference play, and the Zags have solidified themselves as the front-runner in the WCC.