Gonzaga may have lost its West Coast Conference opener on Saturday night, but the nine-time defending women’s basketball champions aren’t ready to abdicate just yet.
Led by Junior Keani Albanez with a career-high 21 points, the Bulldogs brushed aside the loss byrolling to an 83-68 victory over league newcomer Pacific on Monday night in Stockton, Calif.
The win came on the day the Bulldogs (11-3, 1-1 WCC) dropped out of the Associated Press Top 25.
Albanez hit six of eight shots from the field, including a 3-pointer, and a career-high eight free throws in leading three Zags in double figures.
Junior Sunny Greinacher and senior Haiden Palmer added 13 each..
The Tigers (5-7, 0-2) were led by Kiki Moore with a game-high 24 points. Kendall Kenyon added a double-double, 18 points and 14 rebounds.
GU used a 13-0 run in the first half to break open a 23-9 advantage midway through the period.
Two free throws by Moore halted the run, but back-to-back baskets by sophomore Shelby Cheslek – the second of which she turned into an old-fashion 3-point play – had the Zags leading 33-13 less than seven minutes before halftime. They led 43-32 at the break.
Greinacher, who only had two points in the first 20 minutes and just four points in GU’s loss at Saint Mary’s Saturday, scored nine straight points late in the game to give GU its largest lead of 24 points.
The Zags played without starting point guard Jazmine Redmon, who suffered a sprained ankle against Saint Mary’s.
• Riley Holsinger (North Central) hit 11 of 20 shots, including 6 of 11 3-pointers, in scoring 33 points and leading Community Colleges of Spokane to an 80-73 win over the host school to place third in the Skagit Valley Holiday tournament.
Three other Sasquatch scored in double figures – Emily Schramm, 15; Bianca Gonzales, 14; and Morgan Freeman 12.
Linda Wilson scored 25 and Sydney Brown 21 for Skagit Valley.
• Freshman Kelsey Moos of (Reardan had 15 points and 12 rebounds as No. 24 Arizona State (11-1) beat No. 20 Syracuse (11-2) 63-60 in Tempe, Ariz.
• Playing with just seven players because of injuries, the Washington Huskies held off UC Irvine 72-69 in Seattle in its final nonleague game.
Sophomore Talia Walton sealed the game for UW (7-4) on a putback with seven seconds left. She finished with 14 points and 17 rebounds. Freshman Kelsey Plum led all scorers with 25.
Jazmine Davis played the entire game for UW.