SPOKANE, Wash. – Gonzaga University women’s basketball senior Kelly Bowen poured in a career-high 19 points and classmate Kayla Standish added her eighth double-double of the season with 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Bulldogs to an 87-55 win over Santa Clara University Thursday evening at the McCarthey Athletic Center.
The Zags improved to 23-4 overall on the year and 12-2 in the West Coast Conference with the 32-point victory. The Broncos, coached by former Gonzaga player and assistant coach Jennifer Mountain, dropped to 10-16 overall and are now 3-10 in the league.
“I was really pleased and really happy,” explained Zag head coach Kelly Graves after his team’s victory. “It was a really good team effort. We needed a big game like this.”
It was a well-rounded team effort, as all 14 Bulldogs players saw action with 11 scoring at least two points. The Zags closed out the contest shooting 49.3 percent (34-of-69) from the field and nailing 80.0 percent (16-of-20) at the free throw line. Gonzaga also finished the game with 22 assists on its 34 buckets; the Bulldogs ninth contest with 20-plus assists.
Bowen, who eclipsed her previous career-high of 17 points, made 7-of-8 from the floor and was a perfect 5-of-5 at the charity stripe for her career and game-high 19 point output. She also added nine rebounds in 25 minutes of play.
“Kelly needed a game like that,” stated Graves of Bowen. “She’s capable of doing that and she did it. If we get that kind of play and energy from her, we’re really going to be tough to beat.”
Bowen scored 12 of her 17 points in the opening 20 minutes, including eight in the Bulldogs early march to a 23-6 advantage, which came at 13:17.
Gonzaga forced seven turnovers in these first seven minutes and scored 12 points off those miscues.
The Bulldogs lead ballooned to 21 points at 39-18 with 3:21 left in the half after another jumper by Bowen but the Broncos closed out the first stanza on a 13-6 run to cut the Zags lead to 14 at 45-31.
Santa Clara used six 3-pointers in the opening half to stay within striking distance of Gonzaga.
The second half was all Bulldogs though.
They used a quick 15-7 run to push their lead back above 20-points at 60-38 with 13:31 remaining in the contest. Standish got into the action as she scored seven of the 15 points, including two free throws to cap off the spurt.
Freshman Sunny Greinacher got the crowd in a frenzy on Gonzaga’s next possession as the 6-3 forward nailed her first career 3-pointer. Besides getting the crowd on their feet, Greinacher’s 3-pointer started a 14-7 run that gave the Zags a 30-point edge at 77-47 with 6:09 left.
Thirty-two points was the Bulldogs largest lead of the contest.
Besides Bowen and Standish, senior Katelan Redmon added 11 points.
Santa Clara was led by Ricki Randanovich with 12 points.
Gonzaga returns to action Saturday when it hosts Pepperdine University. The game is set for 2 p.m.