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Sports >  Gonzaga women

Gonzaga women journey to SoCal for games at Pepperdine, San Diego

UPDATED: Wed., Jan. 26, 2022

Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Melody Kempton (33) moves the ball against the Portland Pilots during the first half of a college basketball game on Thursday, Jan 20, 2022, at McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, Wash.  (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Melody Kempton (33) moves the ball against the Portland Pilots during the first half of a college basketball game on Thursday, Jan 20, 2022, at McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, Wash. (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)

There are no sure things in sports, but the Gonzaga women’s annual trip to Pepperine comes pretty close.

On Wednesday, the Zags traded snow-encrusted Spokane for the beaches of Malibu, California, and temperatures in the mid-60s.

They also have a reasonable expectation of winning Thursday at Pepperdine.

Going into the 7 p.m. tipoff at Firestone Fieldhouse, the Waves have beaten GU just once in the past 26 meetings. The Zags have won the past nine meetings, none by less than 14 points.

GU will be a heavy favorite again. The Zags are 14-4 overall and 5-0 in the West Coast Conference after a 66-53 win at Saint Mary’s on Saturday.

Pepperdine, picked to finish ninth in the 10-team conference, got its first WCC win on Tuesday by beating cross-town rival Loyola Marymount 61-55.

The Waves (5-8, 1-3) own nonconference wins over Eastern Washington, Alabama-Birmingham, Boise State and Cal State Bakersfield.

Pepperdine’s best outing came early in the season, as it took then-No. 20 UCLA to the limit before losing 78-69.

The Waves are led by freshman guard Ally Stedman, who averages 11.5 points and has 17 steals this season.

Forward Becky Obinma averages 7.1 rebounds and has a team-high 14 blocks this season.

Pepperdine got a breakout game Tuesday night from freshman forward Meeali’I Amosa, who had 14 points along with 11 rebounds and three blocks.

The Waves will need all of boards and more against the Zags, who come into Thursday’s game with a plus-10.6 rebounding margin that tops the WCC and ranks fifth in the nation.

The Zags rank 20th in the nation and first in the WCC in free-throw percentage at 77.7%.

From beyond the arc, GU is first in the conference and 27th nationally, at 35.8%.

The Zags are at San Diego on Saturday afternoon, them return to the Kennel next week against Pacific and BYU.

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