Gonzaga upped its win streak to 10 straight games, moved to 8-0 in the West Coast Conference (WCC) and now maintains a two-game lead as the conference seasons nears the midway mark, earning NCAA.com Team of the Week honors.
The Bulldogs’ (15-4, 8-0 WCC), latest win came at home this past Saturday when the Zags crushed Santa Clara, 71-44 in front of a sellout crowd inside the McCarthey Athletic Center. Gonzaga was led in scoring by Zykera Rice and Jill Barta, who were both 7-10 from the field for 18 and 16 points respectively, each adding four rebounds.
Emma Stach joined them in double figures with 12 points on 5-7 shooting including 2-3 from distance. Chandler Smith and Jessie Loera led with five boards and Laura Stockton led the way with six assists and only one turnover. The Bulldogs forced a season-high 23 Bronco turnovers, which led to 25 points.
Earlier in the week, Gonzaga scored a key WCC win on the road at Saint Mary’s on Jan. 18, in a tightly contested game, coming away with a 73-65 victory. The win moved Gonzaga to two games up on the second place Gaels. Barta led Gonzaga with 19 points and six rebounds, while Smith added 17 points and four steals. Rice scored 11 and Loera was 6-6 from the line in the final minute to finish with nine points, with two assists and two steals.
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The top scorer in the WCC this season, Barta leads a balanced Gonzaga attack, which includes four players averaging in double figures. The 6-3 junior forward averages 18.0 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. The Bulldogs as a team average 72.7 points per game, second in the conference, while Gonzaga’s 13.1 scoring margin is tops in the league.
The Zags stay at home and will next host Portland on Jan. 25, before traveling to San Francisco on Jan. 27.