MALIBU, Calif. – The Gonzaga University women’s basketball closed out the first half of West Coast Conference play Saturday with a 69-39 victory over Pepperdine University at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, Calif.
The 30-victory improved the Bulldogs record to 18-3 on the year and ended the opening half of league at 8-1. The Waves dropped to 5-15 overall and 1-8 In the WCC.
Gonzaga sank a season-high 10 3-pointers in the win, five coming in each half. Senior Haiden Palmer led the charge with three 3-pointers, while juniors Lindsay Sherbert and Danielle Walter each drained two.
The Bulldogs finished the game shooting 44.4 percent (28-of-63) from the field, including 43.5 percent (10-of-23) from beyond the 3-point arc.
Sherbert led all scorers with 16 points, while Palmer chipped in 11 points and three assists. Junior Sunny Greinacher also broke double-digits with 13 points. In total, Gonzaga had 11 players score a point and all but one grabbed a rebound.
After the Waves scored 23 points in the opening half, the Bulldogs held them to 16 points in the final half. Peppedine turned the ball over 13 times in the second stanza and hit just 8-of-26 from the field.
The Waves were led by both Leah Grace Baugh and Keitra Wallace who scored eight points each.
Gonzaga used the long ball early in the first half to grab the lead. The Bulldogs sank their five 3-pointers in the opening 13 minutes, including two from Sherbert.
The guard, who comes off the bench for the Zags, entered into the game before five minutes had expired and on her first touch drained a 3-pointer. Two minutes later she nailed her second and gave GU the slight 13-9 edge with 13:44 to play. She would go on to sink her first three shots and had eight points in three minutes of play.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Palmer and Nilles put the Bulldogs advantage at eight, 23-15, at the 8:02 mark.
Gonzaga’s posts then got into the action as Greinacher and redshirt sophomore Shelby Cheslek combined for six of its final eight points. Both players converted an old-fashion 3-point play, with Greinacher’s being the final points of the half, coming with 51.3 left in the opening stanza.
Sherbert – who closed out the half with a game-high 10 points – had made a brilliant steal at halfcourt but her layup rimmed out as time expired. Gonzaga went into the locker room with the 31-23 advantage.
Five of the Bulldogs seven field goals in the opening eight minutes of the final half came from beyond the 3-point arc. The 15-point long ball barrage was part of a 19-8 spurt that broke the game open for the Zags and put their lead at 50-31 with 12:26 remaining in the game.
Palmer and Walter combined for four of the five 3-pointers.
Gonzaga continued to roll after that and pushed its lead above 20 minutes at the 10:14 mark and hit the 30-point advantage with 1:06 remaining.
The Bulldogs largest lead was 32 points at 69-37. Senior Stephanie Golden made a layup with 31 ticks left to give them the edge.
After playing the last four games on the road – and eight of the last 10 – the Zags return to the McCarthey Athletic Center Thursday, Jan. 30 to host Santa Clara University. The game is set for 6 p.m.