DAYTON, Ohio – Gonzaga women’s basketball picked up an impressive victory at Dayton on Friday, 57-47. The Zags never trailed in front of a large crowd in the University of Dayton Arena.
The Bulldogs (7-4) led by as many as 13 points and stifled the hosts on defense. GU held the Flyers to their lowest point total of the season. Dayton entered the game averaging 74.1 points per game. It was also leading the Atlantic-10 Conference in 3-pointers made per game at 7.3.
The Zags held them to 2-of-15 shooting from beyond the arc.
“We haven’t been on the road much this season,” GU Head Coach Lisa Fortier said. “So, to come in and play a team of this caliber, in an environment like this, it’s something we try to explain to our team to get them ready for.”
Gonzaga forced Dayton into 19 turnovers. The Bulldogs turned those miscues into 19 points. GU had a 46-37 rebound advantage and a 30-24 edge in the paint.
The Zags led the game for nearly 37 minutes. The third all-time meeting between the programs was tied twice for a total of 3:05. Gonzaga, which now leads the series 3-0, scored the game’s first seven points and jumped out to a 12-1 lead. Dayton closed the first quarter on a 10-3 run and trailed 18-15 after the opening 10 minutes. The Flyers tied the game at 29 with 2:41 left in the second quarter. The teams were even at the halftime break, 31-31.
“We wanted to come out and throw our best punch early,” Fortier said. “I think we did that. But, we knew (Dayton) was going to weather it. A team like Dayton doesn’t just put their tails between their legs on its home court. I was happy with our team’s resilience after (Dayton) fought its way back into the game.”
Leading 34-33 early in the third quarter, GU went on a 15-2 run over a six-minute span. Emma Stach’s 3-pointer capped the run and gave the Zags’ their largest lead of the contest, 48-35, at the 1:45 mark of the third period. Gonzaga entered the final quarter with a 50-38 lead. Dayton (6-3) came as close as eight points in the final 10 minutes. Neither team scored in the last 2:42 of the game.
Stach matched her career-high of 12 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field. Shelby Cheslek added 10 points. Kiara Kudron matched her career-high with a game-high 13 rebounds. Elle Tinkle made three 3-pointers and finished with nine points and seven rebounds. Georgia Stirton scored nine points and dished out a game-high four assists.
Dayton’s Jenna Burdette led all scorers with 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the field. Saicha Grant-Allen had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Gonzaga closes its nonconference schedule at Colgate (1-6) on Sunday. The trip to Hamilton, N.Y., is a first for the Zags. Tip-off is scheduled for 11 a.m. Pacific Time.
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