SPOKANE, WA. -- The Gonzaga University women's basketball team rolled to an 80-47 victory over visiting Cal State Northridge Sunday afternoon in front of 2,314 fans at the McCarthey Athletic Center. The Zags improved their record to 7-2 on the year and went a perfect 3-0 this week, while the Matadors fell to 1-6 overall.
The Bulldogs were all over the Matadors early, building a 19-4 advantage at the 12 minute mark. Gonzaga forced Cal State Northridge to turn the ball over 10 times in the opening eight minutes and held the Matadors to just 1-of-7 shooting from the field. Junior Courtney Vandersloot had six of the Zags 19 points, had a hand in four of the other five buckets and made three steal for the Bulldogs.
"Courtney just makes great plays," said head coach Kelly Graves. "Her court vision and aggressiveness in the early going made things happen for us."
Gonzaga continued to push the pace and, with the score 32-17, rattled off 14-straight points to gain its largest lead of the half at 46-17 with less than a minute before halftime. Senior Heather Bowman started the run off for the Bulldogs with a jumper, followed by a fastbreak layup by classmate Vivian Frieson, with a dish from Vandersloot. Freshman Meghan Winters drained two 3-pointers in a matter of a minute and thirty seconds, book-ended between a layup by sophomore Kelly Bowen. The final points of the run came on a layup by Vandersloot.
The Bulldogs, who owned the 46-19 halftime advantage, hit 44.7 percent (17-of-38) from the field, 23.1 percent (3-of-13) on 3-pointers and hit 75.0 percent (9-of-12) from the charity stripe in the opening half. Bowman led the Zags with 11 points and Vandersloot was one assist shy of a double-double with 10 points and nine assists.
The Matadors came out of half scoring eight of the first 10 points. Gonzaga turned things on though defensively, holding Cal State Northridge to just six points over the next 15 minutes. The Matadors hit 3-of-16 during this drought and turned the ball over 11 times, with six Bulldog steals.
Gonzaga was impressive during the stretch, outscoring Cal State Northridge 32-6 to gain its largest lead of the contest of 47 points at 80-33.
The Matadors scored 14 points, hitting four 3-pointers and two free throws, in the last 1:35 of the game to cut the Bulldogs winning edge to 33 points.
Nine different Gonzaga players scored in the second half and all 14 Bulldogs played. Sophomore Kayla Standish and classmate Katelan Redmon were the high scorers in the final frame with six points apiece.
For the game, the Bulldogs hit 30.7 percent (30-of-77) from the field, 20.0 percent on 3-pointers, and were 71.4 percent (15-of-21) at the free throw line. Gonzaga had an assist on 25 of its 30 field goals, turned the ball over just eight times and held the 49-39 rebounding advantage.
"We did some really good things tonight," explained Graves. "We got out and ran. We shared the ball well, took care of the ball and it was nice to get everybody in. We have been a little concerned with rebounding and turnovers but we did well in both of these areas today. We didn't shoot the ball particularly well either tonight but I really like where we are right now."
Gonzaga was led by Bowman and Bowen who both had 13 points. Vandersloot added a double-double of 12 points and 13 assists, her fourth double-double and fifth double-digit assist contest of the year. Redmon chipped in 10.
The Bulldogs outscored the Matadors 40-10 in the paint, scored 33 points off turnovers and had the 21-0 advantage in fast break points. The Zags bench scored 39 points, while the Matadors scored only eight.
Cal State Northridge was led by Analee Viena-Lota who scored a game-high 17 points.
Gonzaga returns to action this weekend playing two Big Sky Conference opponents.
The Bulldogs will host the University of Montana on Friday, Dec. 11 at 6 p.m. and will then travel to Oregon to play at Portland State on Sunday, Dec. 13 at 2 p.m.
"This is a tough week coming up for us with Montana and Portland State," state Graves. "Montana was picked to finish first and Portland State was picked to finish second in the Big Sky this year. This should be a good test for us."