(Editor’s note: Gonzaga University media release)
SPOKANE – The Gonzaga Bulldogs moved to 3-0 in West Coast Conference play on Thursday night as they pulled away from Pepperdine in the second half to win, 73-51, inside the McCarthey Athletic Center. Both teams entered the night unbeaten in conference action.
Jill Barta led the Zags with 27 points on 12-of-17 shooting from the field, the most field goals a GU player has made this year and matching her career high for the third time. She added 11 rebounds for her WCC-leading eighth double-double in 13 games. Zykera Rice joined her in double figures with 12 points. Jenn Wirth had eight rebounds and Jessie Loera led with four assists. For the Zags it domination inside once again, outscoring Pepperdine in the paint, 46-8, and shooting 46 percent from the field while holding the Waves to 31 percent.
The Zags jumped out to a 6-0 lead, and held that advantage through the first six minutes, as the attack was balanced with four Zags scoring. GU held the Waves scoreless for over five minutes and led 11-4. GU went scoreless for the final 2:30 of the quarter, and led 15-13 at the horn. GU shot 47 percent in the period with Barta scoring seven. GU outscored them in the paint 10-4.
Pepperdine hung close early in the second quarter, but a three and jumper from Barta, and a layup from Emma Stachbuilt the lead to 10, 29-19, at the 4:34 mark, their largest lead to that point, as Barta scored her 14th point of game to go with eight rebounds. The Zags led 34-28 at the half as Pepperdine finished on a 9-6 run. Barta finished with nine rebounds and 14 points, and Rice added six points. GU shot 48 percent from the field, and held Pepperdine to 35 percent. GU dominated points in the paint, 24-6, and 21-16 in rebounds.
Gonzaga started the second half on a 10-0 run and built a 17-point lead by the 5:23 mark, as Barta scored her 20th point. Pepperdine only got three shots up through the first five minutes and had 12 turnovers in the game. Both teams finished the quarter cold from the field, but GU led 52-40 with Barta scoring 20 points. Rice hit double figures with 10 points. Pepperdine only fired nine shots in the quarter as GU forced 15 turnovers to that point. A 7-0 run for the Zags in the fourth quarter built the lead to 20, 45-25, midway through the quarter. The lead grew as big as 24 as GU won 73-51.
The Zags attacked was balanced with nine players scoring three or more, nine grabbing rebounds, and eight dishing assists, as they led in that category, 13-7. The Zags forced Pepperdine into 18 turnovers for 10 steals and 23 points off turnovers. For Barta, it was her sixth 20+ point game of the year and 25th in her career. The Bulldogs held the WCC’s leading scorer Yasmine Robinson-Bacote (19.8) points per game to six points in 22 minutes.
GU (10-4, 3-0 WCC) remains at home this week with Loyola Marymount coming on Saturday at 2 pm. The Lions also come in at 3-0 in the conference. Live links are available at GoZags.com and the game is available on the Watch Stadium channel on Sling TV.