SPOKANE, Wash. – The Gonzaga Bulldogs won their 20th game for the 11th time in the last 12 years, and their 15th-straight game as they defeated Pacific, 90-66, at home on Thursday night.
After five Zags scored in double figures in Stockton earlier in the year against the Tigers, four made their way on Thursday, with Jill Barta leading the way with 25 points and 12 rebounds, on eight-of-17 shooting, for her 10th double-double of the year and 17th of her career. Zykera Rice scored 13 and Chandler Smith had 12 points, nine rebounds, and three assists. Laura Stockton scored 10 points with five rebounds and five assists.
After a back and forth start, the Zags built some separation with a 6-0 run to lead 13-6 with 4:42 left in the quarter. Stockton broke through for a layup and drilled a three to beat the shot clock as GU led 16-8. That run extended to an 18-8 lead with three minutes left in the quarter as Barta scored her sixth with a layup down low. Pacific closed the gap to five late, but a three from Emma Stach and swinging jumper from Rice put Gonzaga up 25-15 after one. Seven Zags scored in the quarter with Barta leading the way with six.
The Zags went ahead by 12, 33-21, three minutes into the second quarter as Stach scored on back-to-back weave plays. The Zags extended that run to 6-0 and Pacific was scoreless for over three-and-a-half minutes as GU led 35-21. GU had scored 20 of those points in the paint. The Zags led by as much as 15 in the quarter and took a 46-34 lead into the half. The Zags shot 56 percent from the field in the half, scoring 24 points in the paint and leading on the glass, 24-16, led by seven from Smith. Barta broke into double figures with 10 points and eight Zags scored. GU scored nine second-half points on six offensive boards.
Gonzaga opened the half on a 12-2 run to go up 58-38, their largest lead to that point. Pacific immediately responded with a 7-0 run. Gonzaga led by 15, 60-45 with five minutes left in the quarter. Rice broke into double figures with 13 points. LeeAnne Wirth hit her first career three as a Zag to beat the quarter buzzer, as GU led 70-53 after three. Barta picked up her double-double at 17 points and 10 rebounds. The Zags stayed hot, shooting 55 percent, and had 38 points in the paint. They continued to lead on the glass, 33-25. Smith hit a three, three minutes into the fourth quarter, to hit 12 points, becoming the fourth Zag in double figures, and GU led by 20 again, 78-58. A spinning jumper by Jill Townsend late in the fourth quarter put the Zags up 25, their largest lead, 89-64, and they won comfortably, 90-66.
“This game is always a contrast of styles,” Gonzaga head coach Lisa Fortier said. “We played to our advantages and executed our game plan well. We never allowed them to develop a rhythm.”
The Zags dominated the points in the paint, 44-18, while shooting 50.7 percent from the field and 50 percent from three with seven makes. They dominated the boards, 47-33, blocked six shots, led by Barta with three, and 10 Zags scored three or more points with all 10 grabbing rebounds.
Gonzaga (20-4, 13-0) remained perfect in West Coast Conference play and will host second-place Saint Mary’s on Saturday at 2 pm live on SWX. Live links are available at GoZags.com.