The Zags rebounded nicely from their most recent loss, handily defeating the Santa Clara Broncos 74-58 for head coach Lisa Fortier’s 200th win.
The Zags busted out to a 19-10 lead in the first quarter, shooting 8-for-11 from the floor with Kayleigh Truong and Cierra Walker’s five points. The defense was locked in early, holding the Broncos to just 3-of-12 from the floor.
The woes continued for the Broncos, who made just five field goals in the first half. Meanwhile, the Zags offense wasn’t taking any time off. Walker drilled a couple of threes and had all 10 of her points through the first 20 minutes. The Zags shot 61 percent from the floor, dominated the paint, and used defense for easy offense, scoring 14 points off of 11 first half Santa Clara turnovers. Gonzaga took a 38-19 lead into halftime.
The offense continued to burn bright in the third quarter. The Zags repeatedly sent the ball down low to Melody Kempton and Yvonne Ejim, and the Zags shot 62.5 percent from the floor in the third quarter.
Overall, it was a clean game for the Zags. Although the outside shot wasn’t falling two well, the Bulldogs adapted by dominating the paint, helping lead to five Zags scoring in double-digits.
On the defensive end, Gonzaga did a fantastic job of denying Lindsey VanAllen quality looks. VanAllen came into the game averaging 19.6 points, but she had to grind just to get her seven points, hitting just 2-of-9 from the floor. Merle Wiehl, who normally averages 12.3, was in the same boat, scoring eight points and grabbing eight rebounds, but needing seven shots to get there.
In the end, a tidy win that wasn’t even as close as the final score (16 points) suggests. The Zags next host Pepperdine on Thursday, at 6:00 pm PT, followed by Senior Night against Loyola Marymount on Saturday, at 2:00 pm PT.