Sports

Gonzaga women bully Gaels

Five Bulldogs tally in double figures in rout

The Louella Tomlinson Show came to McCarthey Athletic Center Thursday night, but no matter how well the 6-foot-4 Australian and Saint Mary’s play elsewhere the show bombs when Gonzaga is involved.

Even if it appeared this one had the potential to be different – Tomlinson came in as the reigning West Coast Conference Player of the Week off a 35-point outing, and both monthly honors for this season – the Bulldogs pulled the curtain early, rolling to an 87-52 win.

Gonzaga (13-4, 2-0) was up by a dozen points barely 5 minutes into the game and 22 by halftime (48-26), with Tomlinson scoring just four points.

“She’s obviously the focus every time you play them,” Gonzaga coach Kelly Graves said. “She didn’t get many, especially when they needed them.

“We fronted her tonight and made them throw lobs. We put pretty good pressure on the basketball and then worked to get good help, so it wasn’t just one thing, one player. It was a strategy and the kids did a good job with it.”

Tomlinson, who averages 17.8 points on 63 percent shooting, 9.9 rebounds and a nation-best 6.9 blocks, finished with 11 points on 5-of-12 shooting, six rebounds and five blocks. Her Gaels (11-7, 2-1) were simply run out of the gym.

There was a staggering 30-0 difference in fastbreak points and the Bulldogs turned 29 turnovers into 39 points.

“That’s the best part of our game. We like to get the rebound and run down the floor, get easy layups in transitions,” junior forward Janelle Bekkering said. “We like a fast-paced game.”

Five players scored in double figures, led by junior guard Courtney Vandersloot, who celebrated becoming the first Bulldog named to the midseason watch list for the John Wooden Award by filling up the stat sheet with 26 points, six assists, six steals, five rebounds and six steals.

Heather Bowman and Bekkering added 15 points apiece – with Bekkering getting 10 in the first half – and Vivian Frieson scored 12 and Katelan Redmon 11, all in the first half.

“It just started with running down the floor for me. I had some easy buckets at the beginning because they weren’t getting back on defense,” Bekkering said. “Courtney is such a good passer, she just finds us. She has a knack.”

Tifa Puletasi, a freshman from Mead, contributed seven points and six rebounds after scoring a career-high 12 in the Gaels’ last game.

Gonzaga 87, Saint Mary’s 52

 Saint Mary’s (11-7, 2-1)- Tomlinson 5-12 1-2 11, Gaze 2-6 0-0 6, Jo. Smith 1-11 3-4 5, Ja. Smith 4-9 1-4 9, A. Smith 4-5 0-0 8, Hatten 1-2 1-1 1, Carbonel 0-1 0-0 0, Davis 0-0 0-0 0, Kojola 0-3 1-2 1, Coatney 0-1 0-1 0, Bailey 1-2 0-0 2, Puletasi 3-7 1-4 7. Totals 21-59 8-18 52.

Gonzaga (13-4, 2-0)- Frieson 4-9 4-4 12, Bowman 6-13 3-4 15, Bekkering 5-8 4-4 15, Vandersloot 9-16 7-10 26, Shives 1-4 0-0 2, Lorenzo 0-2 0-0 0, Petersen 1-1 0-0 2, Winters 0-1 0-0 0, Redmon 5-8 1-1 11, Reader 0-0 0-2 0, Standish 0-4 0-0 0, Raap 0-4 0-0 0, Bowen 2-4 0-0 4. Totals 33-74 19-25 87.

Halftime—Gonzaga 48, Saint Mary’s 26. 3-Point Goals—Saint Mary’s 2-16 (Gaze 2-4, Hatten 0-1, Kojola 0-2, Ja. Smith 0-2, Tomlinson 0-2, Jo. Smith 0-5), Gonzaga 2-9 (Bekkering 1-1, Vandersloot 1-3, Bowen 0-1, Standish 0-1, Winters 0-1, Shives 0-2). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Saint Mary’s 43 (Jo. Smith 7), Gonzaga 47 (Frieson, Bowman 7). Assists—Saint Mary’s 11 (Ja. Smith 5), Gonzaga 18 (Vandersloot 63). Total Fouls—Saint Mary’s 20, Gonzaga 18. A—2,311.



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