The Gonzaga Bulldogs closed out the regular season on a hot note, blowing past the Loyola Marymount Lions, 83-62, on Saturday afternoon, in Spokane.
The Zags opened the game with stellar outside shooting. Cierra Walker celebrated the Senior Afternoon in style, drilling three three-pointers in the first 10 minutes. Overall, the Zags shot 62.5 percent from the floor and held LMU to just eight points, taking a 25-8 lead into the second quarter.
The threes continued to fall down in the second quarter, although not quite as aggressively as the Zags started to pound the ball down low. Gonzaga dominated LMU in the paint in the first half, outscoring the Lions 22-6 down low and took a 49-24 lead into halftime.
The Zags’ offense finally started to cool off in the third quarter, but LMU still was not able to generate any semblance of fluidity against the Zags’ defense. LMU still outscored the Zags 18-13 in the third quarter, largely thanks to generating extra possessions off of rebounds and scoring on Gonzaga turnovers. However, with their offense struggling to score against the Zags’ defense, the fourth-quarter deficit of 20 points was too much for the Lions to ever truly threaten.
Walker was absolutely outstanding in the game. She led all scorers with 24 of points and shot 8-for-11 from three in her Senior Night game and final showing in Spokane (in just 24 minutes). She fell one three shy of tying Michelle Elliott’s school record, although Walker’s “ninth” three was called off because of an Abby O’Connor foul.
With BYU winning as well tonight, the Cougars locked up the regular season championship. Gonzaga will take a No. 2 seed into the WCC Tournament in about a week’s time.