Zags run roughshod over UCSB

An unusual schedule gives the Gonzaga women’s basketball team 10 days off before opening West Coast Conference play against Portland.

Too bad.

The way the Zags destroyed UC Santa Barbara Wednesday night at McCarthey Athletic Center, tonight may not be soon enough.

Before the end of the bench took over with more than 8 minutes to play, the Bulldogs were almost perfect in delighting 2,511 fans with an 88-52 victory.

“(This showed) we can play at an elite level, all of us at the same time,” junior point guard Courtney Vandersloot said. “We have a tendency to have just a couple of players play good. More so this year.”

Among the notable numbers: 36 points after turnovers; 29 assists on 37 baskets; and 10 3-pointers, including eight in the first half.

“We were pretty good tonight,” GU coach Kelly Graves said. “When we shoot the ball that well, I thought that was the key. We were making perimeter shots. That’s been our nemesis all season long. We put it together tonight.”

Vivian Friesen, who finished with 16 points and nine rebounds, scored the first six points before UCSB (3-9) scored. Before they connected again it was 19-3 and the Zags (11-4) closed the half with a 13-0 run for a 53-21 lead.

The starters hit the bench shortly after a 16-0 run made it 80-34 with 10:26 remaining.

Vandersloot had 17 points and 12 assists with just two turnovers plus the bulk of the defense that blanked Emilie Johnson, UCSB’s leading scorer at 14.2 ppg.

GU’s Tiffany Shives also had 17 points, hitting 6 of 9 shots, including five 3-pointers.

“I feel a little better shooting,” Shives said after matching her season high from the opening game. “I struggled a little bit and then it got in my head.”


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