Nilles’ shot at end gives Zags victory
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Shaniqua Nilles made a baseline jumper at the buzzer to lift the 24th-ranked Gonzaga women’s basketball team to a 59-58 victory over Ohio State on Sunday afternoon.
The victory for the fifth straight for the Bulldogs (7-1).
Nilles, who entered the game for the first time with 3:23 left in the game, gave the Bulldogs a one-point lead with 21 seconds left on a layoff off an assist from Sunny Greinacher. Ameryst Alston put the Buckeyes (6-5) back on top with a basket with 7 seconds remaining.
But Nilles, a West Valley HS graduate, took a pass from senior Haiden Palmer, went around a defender, and sank a 12-footer for the victory.
Greinacher scored a season-high 18 points and pulled down a career-high 14 rebounds. Palmer added 13 points, her seventh straight game scoring in double figures.
Alston led Ohio State with 18 points and Martina Ellerbe added 11.
Gonzaga had a 10-point lead with 11:26 remaining before the Buckeyes rallied within two with 6:25 left on a 3-pointer by Raven Ferguson.
A basket by Darryce Moore with 40 seconds left gave the Buckeyes their first lead of the second half at 56-55 before Nilles responded with the first of her two field goals.
Gonzaga led 32-20 at halftime after a fast start. After the Buckeyes hit back-to-back buckets to begin the contest, the Zags scored 22 unanswered points over the next 8 minutes. Ohio State missed 13 shots during that stretch and commited seven turnovers.
The Bulldogs shot 35.3 percent (24 of 68), including 7 of 26 from 3-point range.
Ohio State shot 40.7 percent (24 of 59), including 4 of 6 from beyond the 3-point arc.
The Bulldogs return to action Tuesday when they play at the University of Wisconsin. Game time is set for 5 p.m. Pacific.