Arrow-right Camera
Gonzaga Women's Basketball
Sports >  Gonzaga women

Gonzaga women face tough test in sharp-shooting Saint Mary’s

UPDATED: Fri., Feb. 9, 2018

Gonzaga  forward Jill Barta  shoots  against Pacific  guard Savannah Sumsion  on Thursday  at the McCarthey Athletic Center. (James Snook / For the S-R)
Gonzaga forward Jill Barta shoots against Pacific guard Savannah Sumsion on Thursday at the McCarthey Athletic Center. (James Snook / For the S-R)

The Gonzaga Bulldogs are looking for their 16th consecutive win when they host the Saint Mary’s Gaels on Saturday.

The 15-game winning streak is one short of head coach Lisa Fortier’s longest run, which was set in her first season in 2015. It’s the fifth-longest win streak in program history and the fifth-longest active streak in the country.

During the streak, the Zags have outscored their opponents by an average of 20.3 points with a plus-8.9 rebound advantage. They’re shooting 46.9 percent from the field, with junior forwards Jill Barta and Zykera Rice averaging in double figures, scoring 18.6 and 12.6 points, respectively.

The Bulldogs (20-4, 13-0 West Coast Conference) are riding a four-game winning streak over the Gaels (15-9, 8-5), including a 73-65 win earlier this season in Moraga, California. In that game, Gonzaga contained the Gaels’ top shooters with a strong defensive performance, picking up 13 steals and converting 22 of Saint Mary’s turnovers into 22 points.

Gonzaga’s defense will be tested again against a team that leads the WCC with a 47.5 field-goal percentage. Three Gaels top the conference in that category, with junior forward Megan McKay atop the list with a 60.4 field-goal percentage.

Guard Stella Beck is second in the conference with a 60.3 shooting percentage from the field, followed by forward Sydney Raggio at 54 percent.

The Zags are coming off a 90-66 rout of sixth-place Pacific on Thursday, in which four Zags scored at least 10 points. Barta led the win with 25 points and 12 rebounds, her 10th double-double this season and 17th of her career.

Gonzaga, which rose to a season-best 39th in the RPI on Friday, holds a four-game lead in the conference standings. The Zags need just two wins in their remaining five conference games, which includes a season finale against second-place BYU, to clinch their 14th regular-season WCC title.

Subscribe to the sports newsletter

Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.

You have been successfully subscribed!
There was a problem subscribing you to the newsletter. Double check your email and try again, or email webteam@spokesman.com