Gonzaga women extend winning streak to fifteen games

Gonzaga loses to Michigan in Battle for Atlantis championship game
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No. 16/13 Gonzaga women’s basketball outscored Santa Clara 38-20 in the paint on the way to a 67-52 win on the road on Thursday in Santa Clara, Calif.

Gonzaga (17-1, 6-0) dominated inside, outrebounding the Broncos (8-9, 2-4) 43-26. For the game, GU scored 25 second-chance points on 22 offensive rebounds, compared to just six second-chance points and seven offensive rebounds by the Broncos.

“I thought our team did a really good job competing on the glass tonight,” head coach Lisa Fortier said. “That was a big focus for us and it is great to see them come out and get the job done in that area. Road games in the WCC are tough and we try to control what we can. When we take care of the ball, hit the glass and make free throws, we put ourselves in a great position to be successful.”

Guard Jill Townsend led the way with her second-career double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds, six on the offensive end. LeeAnne Wirth added 12 points and five rebounds, while Melody Kempton had 11 points and four rebounds.

Gonzaga built a five-point lead late in the first quarter after Kempton came off the bunch to get five quick points, but Santa Clara scored seven of the next 10 points to pull within one at 21-20.

From there, it was all Gonzaga in the second quarter, led by Townsend, who finished the half near a double-double with nine points and eight rebounds. Of her eight rebounds, four were on the offensive glass, which led to a 17-0 edge in second-chance points in the first half.

GU outscored Santa Clara 19-12 in the second quarter and held SCU without a field goal for nearly six minutes to build a 40-30 lead heading into halftime.

Gonzaga came out of the half with more of the same, getting six more second-chance points as part of a 12-2 run to open up a 52-32 lead with 2:27 left in the third quarter.

GU closed out the Broncos in the fourth, pushing the lead to as many as 25 with 5:10 left in the game.

Gonzaga will finish the road trip at San Francisco on Saturday at 5 p.m. The game will be broadcast online on the WCC Network.