A three-point play and jumper from Kiara Kudron and two steals and clutch free throws from Laura Stockton, plus a career-high 33 point from Jill Barta, gave Gonzaga a come-from-behind 79-75 victory at Saint Mary’s on Saturday afternoon, in Moraga, California.
Kudron’s three-point play gave Gonzaga (13-4, 4-2 West Coast Conference) their first lead in 36 minutes late in the fourth quarter and Stockton was ice from the line late and on the defensive end, as Gonzaga stole the lead late and took the road win.
The Zags outscored St. Mary’s 18-8 in the fourth quarter.
Barta notched a career-high 33 points, going 11 of 19 from the field and a perfect 10 of 10 from the line. Laura Stockton added 12 points, including five in the fourth quarter.
Kudron came alive on the offensive end in the second half with 11 points in the game, and led with seven rebounds and six assists. Elle Tinkle added nine points and Gonzaga forced 18 steals, led by Barta with seven – another career high – and the team’s highest since they had 15 at Portland last season and the most under head coach Lisa Fortier.
Saint Mary’s (8-9, 3-3) was led by Stella Beck with 18 points, leading five in double figures.
“That was a very tough and physical game,” Fortier said. “Saint Mary’s is the kind of team that doesn’t beat themselves, you have to be ready to battle or you will go home unhappy.”
Gonzaga shot 44 percent and 32 percent from three.
The Zags will host Santa Clara on Thursday at 6 p.m.
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