PROVO, Utah — Kim Parker had 16 points and BYU scored 20 straight in the second half to rout No. 19 Gonzaga 70-40 on Thursday night, handing the Bulldogs their worst conference loss in a decade.
Jennifer Hamson added 14 points and Kristen Riley had 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Lady Cougars (22-4, 10-2 West Coast). Haley Steed had eight points and 10 assists to move into fourth all time on the school’s career assist list.
Kayla Standish scored 12 points to lead Gonzaga (21-4, 10-2). The Bulldogs’ leading scorer missed her first 10 shots. Gonzaga shot only 15 percent from the floor in the first half and finished the game making only 22 percent. The Bulldogs went 8 minutes without a point in the second half and scored only nine points over the final 13:47.
Gonzaga was last beaten this bad by Santa Clara on Jan. 10, 2002, losing 99-69.
The Cougars, tied with Gonzaga atop the West Coast standings, shot 65 percent in the second half and 45 percent for the game.
With both teams struggling to make shots in the opening half neither team could get much separation until Riley hit the game’s first 3 and Dani Peterson followed up with a hook to put BYU ahead by seven.
Gonzaga made only 5 of 33 shots in the first half, while BYU wasn’t much better hitting only 8 of 28. The two teams were a combined 2 of 16 from 3-point range in the opening 20 minutes.
The Bulldogs, by adding some backcourt pressure, trimmed the margin to 34-31 early in the second half on a steal and layup by Haiden Palmer.
But BYU took over from there and scored 20 straight. Stephanie Vermunt came off the bench to hit two 3s and score eight in the stretch. Hamson had seven during the run.
Gonzaga struggled with BYU’s length inside, especially the defensive prowess of 6-foot-7 Hamson, who finished with three blocks.
In Gonzaga’s 27-point win over BYU last season, Standish, Katelan Redmon and Kelly Bowen combined for 56 points. In Thursday’s loss the trio scored only 25 and made only 9 of 35 shots.