Gonzaga Defeats Western Kentucky to Finish Vancouver Showcase
VANCOUVER, B.C. — The Gonzaga women’s basketball team completed the Vancouver Showcase with a 76-55 win over Western Kentucky to claim fifth place in the inaugural tournament. The Bulldogs dominated the glass 47-29 and shot 45.3 percent for the game.
“I thought out third-quarter defense was game changing,” head women’s basketball coach Lisa Fortier said. “… Our third-quarter defense really propelled us … and I think that’s largely because we were getting steals, running around and trapping.”
The Bulldogs finished with five players in double figures for the first time this season, led by Katie Campbell with 12. Zykera Rice, LeeAnne Wirth, Laura Stockton and Chandler Smith all added 10 points each. Rice added 11 boards for a double-double while Jessie Loera added a game-high six assists.
Gonzaga (6-1) outscored Western Kentucky (2-6) 19-10 in the opening period behind nine points from Campbell. Campbell was deadly from long range, sinking three treys in three tries in the first 10 minutes. The Zags hot shooting from outside, 75 percent as a squad, countered the Hilltoppers 10-6 advantage in the paint.
Western Kentucky went on a quick run to open the second quarter, scoring four unanswered to cut the lead to four (19-15) with 8:13 remaining. The Bulldogs responded, outscoring the Hilltoppers 11-7 over the next 6:18, sparked by a three each from Campbell and Loera to take the 30-22 lead. Another quick 4-0 WKU run cut the lead to four once more, but the Zags converted an inbounds play with two second remaining to claim the 32-26 lead at half.
Stockton opened the scoring for the Bulldogs in the third, starting with a steal and a layup followed by another transition layup to put GU up by 10, 36-26. Gonzaga shot 48.9 percent in the third and outscored the Hilltoppers 23-12 to extend its lead to 17 (55-38) heading into the fourth.
The Zags closed the game shooting 70.0 percent from the floor and 60.0 percent from long range to cement the victory. The Bulldogs outscored WKU 21-17 in the final 10 minutes on their way to the 76-55 win.
“This is really a fun team to coach,” Fortier said. “I love that we don’t feel like we have to rely on one person; I love when we get a variety of scorers and a variety of rebounders. Not only does it give you a little bit of security; sometimes you’re one injury away to the wrong player and it’s debilitating. Nobody wants an injury, but if that happened or if somebody had a rough night, we would be able to recover from it because we do have a lot of other people with the ability to put the ball in the basket.”
Western Kentucky was led by Dee Givens and Raneem Elgedawy with 13 points apiece. Elgedawy led the rebounding effort with a team-high eight.
Gonzaga returns home to host Colorado State Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 6 p.m. in the McCarthey Athletic Center.