MALIBU, Calif. – The Gonzaga Bulldogs secured a perfect West Coast Conference road record with a 67-48 win at Pepperdine on Saturday, their 11th consecutive win on the road.
Zykera Rice led the Zags (22-5, 15-1 WCC) in points with 16 and added five rebounds. Laura Stockton filled the stat sheet with 11 points, and led the Zags with nine assists and eight rebounds, career highs in both. Jill Barta scored 13 with eight rebounds.
The game was tied at 28 at halftime, then the Zags grabbed a 33-31 lead three minutes into the third quarter, thanks to four offensive rebounds. Barta hit a three to extend the lead to 36-32 and Gonzaga eventually led 46-38 heading into the fourth quarter.
LeeAnne Wirth opened the fourth with a step-through in the post and GU had its first double-digit lead. A three-point play from Rice extended that to 13, 51-38. Jessie Loera and Townsend hit jumpers in transition as they lead ballooned to 17, forcing a Pepperdine timeout at the 6:12 mark. The Zags held Pepperdine scoreless for over four minutes and led by as many as 22 points.
“We were a little slow starting today, but we played a much better second half” Gonzaga head coach Lisa Fortier said. “Once we started moving the ball and making better decisions, we got great shots. We also had much better defensive focus in the second half. We need to keep improving and be at our best going into the end of the regular season and the conference tournament.”
The Zags shot 45.8 percent in the game, but 64.3 percent in the fourth quarter, holding the Waves to 29.6 percent shooting overall. After having 11 turnovers at halftime, GU only gave it away four times in the second half, and forced seven second-half Pepperdine turnovers. GU led on the glass, 42-32, and in the paint, 30-16.
Gonzaga (22-5, 15-1 WCC) will finish the regular season at home next week, with San Diego coming on Thursday at 6 pm.
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