SPOKANE — Jill Barta got off to a hot start, scoring eight first-quarter points, to help Gonzaga to a lopsided 71-44 West Coast Conference women’s basketball win over visiting Santa Clara at a sold-out McCarthey Athletic Center on Saturday.
Barta, the former Fairfield High School star and Montana Gatorade player of the year, finished the game with 16 points (on seven-of-10 shooting), four rebounds, one assist, one block and one steal in just 24 minutes of action. Gonzaga led 19-8 after the first quarter and 40-16 at halftime on its way to its eighth consecutive win to begin conference play.
Zykera Rice scored a game-high 18 points to lead Gonzaga, which forced 23 turnovers and held Santa Clara to 38.3 percent shooting for the game. The Bulldogs turned the ball over just 11 times and made shot 50.9 percent for the game.
Gonzaga improves to 15-4 overall and 8-0 in West Coast Conference play with the win. The Bulldogs stay home for their next game, hosting Portland on Jan. 25, before embarking on a three-game road trip.