Area women’s basketball: Palmer, Albanez propel Gonzaga
Haiden Palmer and Keani Albanez scored 17 points apiece Saturday as Gonzaga (20-5, 10-1 West Coast Conference) ran past Loyola Marymount 70-56 in Los Angeles for its eighth consecutive win and seventh consecutive 20-win women’s basketball season.
The Bulldogs dashed to a 15-0 lead and held the Lions (9-15, 3-8) scoreless for the first 5 minutes, 32 seconds. Palmer and Albanez combined for 19 points as GU took a 39-16 halftime lead.
Shelby Cheslek added 11 points and a game-high 11 rebounds for GU.
GU’s winning streak began after a 54-51 loss at Saint Mary’s on Jan. 10. The Gaels (8-2 WAC), who visit Gonzaga on Thursday, are alone in second place after Saturday’s 64-52 win over BYU (7-3 WCC).
Idaho 70, Denver 64: Alyssa Charlston scored 20 points, hitting 7 of 13 from the floor, and Christina Salvatore hit four 3-pointers and scored 16 to guide the Vandals (12-12, 9-4 Western Athletic Conference) past the Pioneers (11-13, 6-7) in Moscow, Idaho.
Denver led 25-14 with 7:05 left in the first half when Salvatore scored five points during a 12-0 UI run. Salvatore and Charlston had six points apiece during a 16-0 second-half run as UI seized a 46-33 lead.
Connie Ballestero added nine assists for UI, which remains in third place behind Utah State (10-2) and Seattle (10-3).
Northern Arizona 62, Eastern Washington 58: Amy Patton scored six of her game-high 18 points during a late 14-1 run as the Lumberjacks (6-16, 5-8 Big Sky Conference) rallied from a 12-point second-half deficit to upset the Eagles (13-10, 9-5) at Reese Court.
EWU led 55-47 with 4:59 left when NAU rallied.
Hayley Hodgins, who tied Aubrey Ashenfelter for team-high honors with 13 points, scored six during a 10-0 Eastern run for a 14-9 lead. EWU built its edge to 24-15 before NAU answered with a 10-0 run.
EWU held on to third place alone because Montana State (8-6) lost.
Whitworth 66, George Fox 59: Emily Travis had 17 points and six assists and Lauren Picha and Kayla Johnson added 13 points apiece as the Pirates (17-6, 10-4) pulled away in the second half and beat the Bruins (17-6, 10-4) in a Northwest Conference game in Spokane.
Whitworth made 7 of 9 second-half 3-pointers and outscored George Fox 39-32 after halftime.
The Pirates forced 20 turnovers and held a 25-4 advantage in points off turnovers.
CC Spokane 71, Treasure Valley 53: Tamar Williams led five players in double figures with 15 points and added team highs of seven rebounds and four steals as the Sasquatch (14-9, 7-4 NWAACC) defeated the Chukars (1-22, 0-11) in Ontario, Ore.
CCS is in third place in the East Region.