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Gonzaga Grinds Out Win Over Santa Clara

Jill Townsend hit four huge threes and Gonzaga pulled away late in the second half to beat Santa Clara 78-61 on Saturday afternoon. The win improves their record to 8-1 in the WCC and 19-2 overall.

Gonzaga’s defense was shaky for most of the first half. Santa Clara was able to get a number of open threes and took a lead late in the second quarter. Jill Townsend then hit three straight threes, including back-to-back triples from the right corner to give Gonzaga a 36-33 lead at half.

In the second half, Gonzaga’s depth eventually wore down the Broncos and Jessie Loera’s defense proved the difference in the fourth quarter. Loera hounded Santa Clara on the perimeter and racked up four steals to go along with six assists in one of her best games in awhile.

Chandler Smith secured another double-double, bringing in 10 rebounds to go along with 12 points and five assists. Jenn and LeeAnne Wirth each had 10 points and Zykera Rice lived at the free throw line en route to a team-high 18 points. Gonzaga outscored the Broncos 22-4 at the charity stripe, one of the differences in the game.

Gonzaga now heads on the road for a three-game trip, starting at Pacific on Thursday and then driving over to Moraga on Saturday. They remain a game back from BYU in the WCC.