SPOKANE, Wash. – (Jan. 26, 2012 – www.GoZags.com) Gonzaga University women’s basketball earned a 79-61 victory over visiting Loyola Marymount University Thursday evening in front of 5,086 at the McCarthey Athletic Center. The Bulldogs improved to 18-3 on the year with the 18-point victory and are now 7-1 in the West Coast Conference. The Lions fell to 5-15 overall and 1-7 in league.
It was a team a total team effort by Gonzaga as it had nine players score and play double-figure minutes. The bench was crucial as it scored 35 of the 79 total points.
“We’ve always played a deep bench here,” explained head coach Kelly Graves. “We’re the only team in the conference who doesn’t have a single player in the top 10 in minutes played. We’ve typically used the bench and I have great confidence in the bench. But sometimes as a coach it’s one of my weaknesses. I’ll stick with some kids a little bit too long and play them too long. Tonight they showed that they deserve to play some more.”
The Zag bench was led by a duo of rising stars. Bulldog sophomore Stephanie Golden, one of four Zags in double-figures, came off the bench to score a career and team-high 15 points. The center sank 7-of-9 from the field and 1-of-2 at the charity stripe to best her previous high of 10 points. Classmate Jazmine Redmon also came off the bench and exploded for a career-high of her own. The pesky point guard scored 11 points, hitting 4-of-7, including 2-of-2 on 3-pointers. Redmon also contributed four assists, made three steals in 26 minutes of play.
“Stephanie played big time minutes tonight,” explained head coach Kelly Graves after the game. “She’s got a real nose for the basket. And Jazmine is a great competitor and great defender. She is fearless and she showed that again tonight.”
It was Golden and Redmon that helped the Bulldogs turn an 11-8 edge by Loyola Marymount into a 30-17 Zag lead with 6:36 left in the first half. Redmon scored seven points in Gonzaga’s 22-6 run, while Golden made two layups. Also huge was senior Kayla Standish who started the run with a lay-in and closed it out with a short jumper.
The Bulldogs continued the hold the significant lead and went into halftime with the 42-27 advantage. Both Golden and Standish scored 10 points in the first 20 minutes for the Zags, who closed out the half shooting 52.8 percent (19-of-36) from the floor.
Gonzaga pushed its lead above the 20-point plateau a little over six minutes into the final half. It was senior Katelan Redmon who broke the barrier for the Bulldogs, nailing a jumper at the 13:43 mark to put the lead at 57-36.
The Zags largest lead of the game was 27 points and hit at the 5:54 mark when Jazmine Redmon drained a 3-pointer to make the score 75-48.
Besides Jazmine Redmon and Golden, the Bulldogs were led by Standish and redshirt sophomore Haiden Palmer who each tallied 14 points.
For the game, Gonzaga shot 54.7 percent (35-of-64) from the floor, 60.0 percent (6-of-10) on 3-pointers and was 60.0 percent (3-of-5) at the free throw line.
The Lions had two players crack 20-points; Hazel Rameriz had a game-high 24 points and Alex Cowling finished with 23.
Gonzaga now hits the road for a rematch with Saint Mary’s College. The Bulldogs, who lost to the Gaels 66-63 Jan. 14, looks to revenge that loss on Saturday at 2 p.m. in Moraga, Calif.