LAS VEGAS – Jill Barta and the Gonzaga women are repeat West Coast Conference champions.
The conference player of the year scored inside, outside and at the free throw line, pouring in 32 points Tuesday to lead the top-seeded Bulldogs past sixth-seeded San Diego 79-71 in the championship game of the WCC Tournament at Orleans Arena.
Gonzaga won the conference title in 2017 and now has eight WCC championships. The Bulldogs, who only lost once to a WCC opponent this season, secured an automatic bid to the NCAA Women’s Tournament by winning their fourth title in six years.
For GU, Zykera Rice also scored 17 points on 7-of-7 shooting and Emma Stach chipped 14 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the three-point line, one day after Stach went 4-of-7 from beyond the arc for 14 points in the WCC semifinal against USF.
Barta, who didn’t make a field goal until the second quarter, also grabbed eight rebounds and went 10-of-10 from the free throw line, icing the game late in the fourth quarter.
The Toreros got 23 points and 11 rebounds from Maya Hood. Syndey Williams, a Coeur d’Alene High graduate, scored 20 points and hauled down five rebounds for USD. Aubrey Ward-El and Myah Pace each added 10 points for the Toreros.
Rice, Barta and Stach were all named to the WCC All-Tournament team. Barta was named the event’s Most Outstanding Player, averaging more than 24 ppg in games against Pepperdine, USF and USD.
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