SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Gonzaga University women’s basketball senior Taelor Karr’s hot shooting helped propel the Bulldogs to a 70-55 victory over Santa Clara University Thursday evening at the Leavey Center in Santa Clara, Calif. Karr drained 10-of-19 from the floor, including six 3-pointers, for a career-tying high 27 points.
The guard from Paola, Kan., tallied 13 of her points in the opening 20 minutes to help Gonzaga to a 39-27 advantage and notched her final 14 points in the second to allow GU to starve off any Santa Clara run.
The 15-point victory helped the Zags to capture at least a share of their ninth-straight West Coast Conference regular season title. GU is now 13-1 in league and 23-5 overall.
Junior Haiden Palmer and sophomore Sunny Greinacher each also had double-figure performances. Palmer, who has been held in single-digits the past two contests, scored 14 points – 10 in the final 20 minutes, while Greinacher added 10 points.
Santa Clara (13-13, 5-8 WCC) was led by Ruta Zurauskyte with a double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds. Meagan Fulps, who drained four 3-pointers, finished with 15 points.
The first half was slower moving than in recent games for Gonzaga. The Bulldogs hit just three of their first 11 shots and went on to make nine of their first 36 to hold the slight 23-16 advantage with 6:58 remaining in the opening half.
The Zags tightened things up in the final seven minutes though, hitting 7-of-14 from the field, included in that was two of their three first half 3-pointers.
Gonzaga ended the opening half scoring 16 of the final 27 points to gain its 12-point lead. Five different players scored in the stretch for the Bulldogs, including Karr who nailed back-to-back 3-pointers. Freshman Elle Tinkle was also huge in the final two minutes, making one steal which lead to a fastbreak layup and she also grabbed the offensive board that led to Karr’s second 3-pointer.
Santa Clara made things interesting in the second half cutting Gonzaga’s 12-point lead to just six after consecutive 3-pointers by Fulps put the score at 46-40 with 13:38 remaining.
A jumper by junior Jazmine Redmon – her first points of the game – began a 16-0 run that ultimately broke open the contest at 62-40. The Bulldogs forced four turnovers during their five minute stretch and held the Broncos to two shot attempts.
Palmer continued the run Redmon started with back-to-back steals and layups, while Karr had eight of the 16 points.
The closest Santa Clara got down the stretch was 14 points at 67-53 with 1:18 left on the clock.
Gonzaga ended the game shooting 37.2 percent (29-of-78) from the field, including 35.7 percent (6-of-17) on 3-pointers. The Zags did out rebound the Broncos 51-31 and had just as many offensive boards as SCU did total rebounds.
The Bulldogs head to Provo, Utah for their final regular-season road game of the season. The Zags play at BYU Saturday at 1 p.m. PT.