Gonzaga women dominate while taking over first place in the WCC

Gonzaga loses to Michigan in Battle for Atlantis championship game
Copyright 2019 KXLY.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without prior permission.

SPOKANE, Wash. — In a battle for league supremacy, No. 16/15 Gonzaga women’s basketball dominated from the start on the way to a 74-49 win over Saint Mary’s on Thursday night in Spokane, Wash.

Gonzaga (15-1, 4-0) and Saint Mary’s (9-7, 4-1) each entered the game undefeated in league play, but the Zags got 14 points from Katie Campbell and LeeAnne Wirth. Jenn Wirth posted a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, Jill Townsend had 11 points and Jessie Loera had seven assists to lead the way.

Gonzaga did most of its damage in the post, holding a 44-16 edge in points in the paint, while also scoring 23 points off of 17 Saint Mary’s turnovers.

“We were really focused on defense, right off the bat,” head coach Lisa Fortier said. “I thought we did a tremendous job on defense. As far as executing, we were in the right spots, and that’s why we were getting the steals and the stops.”

After an 8-8 start between the league-leading squads, Gonzaga took over. The Zags scored 31 of the next 36 points in the game to take a 39-12 lead at halftime. The run started 11-0 and was capped by a Townsend three-pointer that pushed it to 19-8.

Gonzaga then outscored the Gaels 18-2 in the second quarter, while holding Saint Mary’s without a field goal in the frame (0-for-15).

The Zags then put together their best offensive quarter of the game in the third with 25 points to give GU its biggest lead of the day at 64-32. Townsend and LeeAnne Wirth each had six points in the quarter while Loera had four of her seven assists.

Gonzaga will be back on its home floor on Saturday against Pacific at 2 p.m. The game will be broadcast on SWX locally in Spokane and on the WCC Network.