Gonzaga senior Courtney Vandersloot took the suspense out early in her march to 1,000 career assists but the Bulldogs had a much tougher time with Pepperdine Saturday afternoon.
Vandersloot notched her third assist of the day and 1,00th of her career just 3:32 into the game to become the seventh NCAA D-I player with a grand, the fourth woman, on an inbounds play to Kayla Standish. But after opening a 16-6 lead the Zags went ice cold and it was a battle the rest of the way.
In the end, the Zags pulled it out, using a 13-0 run to erase a nine-point deficit in the second half and then slowing inching away to win their 12th straight game, 25th straight in the West Coast Conference 73-59.
There was addition concern as Vandersloot went down with 45 seconds left and was very slow to get up. Also, in the first half Claire Rapp went out with a left ankle injury, spending the second half on crutches.
Kayla Standish had a monster game with 24 points and 19 rebounds, one shy of the school record and Vandersloot had 17 points and nine assists and Katelan Redmon had 17 points.
We're approaching this game a little differently, columnist John Blanchette is writing about Vandersloot's milestone. I'll post the link to his story and the photos when they're available.