Jenn Wirth set a new career-high with 26 points as she helped lead the Gonzaga Bulldogs to a 79-59 win over the Pacific Tigers.
The final score was rather rosy, but it took about 10 minutes for the Zags to determine if they wanted to compete in the game. Gonzaga took a 22-16 lead into the second quarter, but it was a lead that was largely predicated off the Zags’ defensive prowess. As they are prone to do at times this season, Gonzaga started off horrendously sloppy, turning the ball over seven times in 10 minutes.
The Zags settled it down after the first 10 minutes and made life a living hell for the Tigers. Pacific shot just 4-of-15 from the floor in the second quarter and 4-of-12 in the third quarter. Overall, the Tigers shot just 36.7 percent from the floor.
The Tigers looked out of sync at times, understandable for a team that was playing in just its fifth game this season because of COVID cancellations. The Tigers left Cierra Walker wide open at the end of the first quarter for a three free points and fouled Melody Kempton with one second left in the third quarter for a trip to the free throw line.
All the while, Jenn Wirth was having herself a career night. It came on a good night. LeeAnne Wirth and Jill Townsend saw limited minutes throughout the night because of foul trouble, Jenn took over. She unfortunately ended her streak of five-straight double-doubles, but presumably everyone will take that for the Zags’ eighth-straight win.
As is the Gonzaga way, the defense is what made much of it all work to begin with. Gonzaga keyed in on the Tigers frontcourt, denying looks for Valerie Higgins, who leads the team with 18.3 points per game. She finished the evening with 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting. That makes two consecutive A+ defensive efforts from the Gonzaga Bulldogs.
Up next on Saturday, the Zags have the chance to avenge their surprise WCC Tournament Championship loss to the Portland Pilots, taking the court at 2:00 pm PT.