SPOKANE, Wash. — Gonzaga’s last three outings have been not only dominant, but downright historic. Considering all this program has accomplished, that speaks volumes.
The 24th-ranked Bulldogs stymied PortlandState en route to a 96-47 triumph Friday night in a nonconference women’s basketball game at the McCarthey Athletic Center. The decision, coming in front of 5,316 fans, marked the fourth straight win for the Zags, now 6-1 on the young season.
Making Friday’s drubbing even more impressive: It was the Bulldogs’ third consecutive win by at least 40 points. That is the first time in school history the Zags have produced such a streak.
The Bulldogs have won back-to-back games by that margin on more than one occasion over the years, but this is the first time they have stretched that streak past two games. The three victories, all coming within a seven-day span, also included a 50-point blowout of Colgate a 40-point thrashing of Fairfield.
“I was really proud of our team because those games aren’t easy,” Gonzaga coach Kelly Graves said. “I thought we came out ready to play and I thought, defensively, we were clicking. We were sharp and we really put the clamps down. I was really proud of our defensive effort.”
The Bulldogs held PortlandState (2-4) scoreless for the game’s first six minutes while zipping to a 19-0 lead. And it wasn’t that the Vikings were just missing contested shots, they weren’t even getting shots off. At one point in the first half, PSU had only eight field goal attempts compared to 10 turnovers.
Gonzaga coaxed 26 turnovers in all, resulting in 32 points. The Zags also limited the Vikings to 32 percent shooting. Kate Lanz, the Vikings’ leading scorer at more than 17 points per game, missed all four of her field goal attempts and finished with just two points.
“I was really impressed with our defense tonight,” said junior Keani Albanez, who pilfered two Gonzaga’s 15 steals. “We were trying to hold them down as low as possible, and we actually did that.”
Indeed, the Bulldogs ceded just 13 first-half points. Moreover, not a single PSU starter managed a single point through those first 20 minutes.
“I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that,” Graves said. “Not a lot to complain about in a game like this.”
Including Albanez, who paced GU with a game-high 17 points, five players reached double figures for the Zags. Haiden Palmer had 16, all but two of which came during the 53-point barrage in the first half, while Jazmine Redmon chipped in a season-high 13 to go with six assists, four rebounds and three steals. Lindsay Sherbert and Sunny Greinacher added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
All 14 members of the active roster played and all but two scored. Gonzaga attempted a season-high 80 field goals, connecting on 38 of them for a 47-percent clip.
Gonzaga also outrebounded the Vikings 56-33. Greinacher and Shelby Cheslek, who set a season high, led the way with eight boards each.
The Bulldogs now hit the road for one of the toughest stretches of the season. They play two Big Ten teams, OhioState and Wisconsin, before traveling to California to battle West Coast rival Stanford.
“It’s going to be a tough trip, Albanez said. “But we are looking forward to some tough competition.”
Sunday’s showdown with OhioState is up first. The game, being broadcast by the Big Ten Network, starts at 9 a.m. Pacific.