Gonzaga Snaps Santa Clara's Win Streak, Remains on Top of WCC - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Gonzaga Snaps Santa Clara's Win Streak, Remains on Top of WCC

Gonzaga's Georgia Stirton led all scorers with 13 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the field. Gonzaga's Georgia Stirton led all scorers with 13 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the field.

www.GoZags.com

SPOKANE, Wash. -- The Gonzaga women's basketball team snapped Santa Clara's 12-game win streak and now sit in first place in the West Coast Conference standings after a 53-44 victory Saturday.

The Zags (12-4, 4-0 West Coast Conference) and SCU entered the game at 3-0 in the league play, and after a San Diego loss also Saturday, Gonzaga is the lone unbeaten team in the WCC. In front of a sellout crowd, the Bulldogs' current conference-best sixth-straight win was fueled by defense.

Santa Clara was held to a season-low 22.2 percent shooting from the field (12-of-54). Five of the Broncos' 12 made field goals came from behind-the-arc. SCU finished 5-for-16 (31.3 percent) from three-point range. Santa Clara's 44 points were also a season-low.

"I was really happy with our defense today," GU head coach Lisa Fortier said. "We really helped each other out and played team defense. We did a really good job protecting the basket and made them work hard for everything they looked for."

After making 44 percent from the field in the first half, Gonzaga finished 35 percent (19-of-54) in the game. GU was 10-of-12 from the free-throw line and 5-of-25 from behind-the-perimeter. The Zags had 10 assists on their 19 made shots from the field.

Gonzaga's Georgia Stirton led all scorers with 13 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the field. Chelsea Waters grabbed a career-high eight rebounds and scored a season-high eight points. Laura Stockton threw a game-high three assists and Shelby Cheslek blocked three shots.

For the second straight game, the Zags never played from behind. Over the past three contests, GU has not trailed in the last 107 minutes. Santa Clara missed its first seven shots from the field and was held to 1-of-10 in the first quarter. The Bulldogs led 16-6 after the opening period and 32-23 at halftime. Gonzaga took a 46-33 lead into the fourth quarter, before having its largest advantage of the game, 53-39, with 6:45 to play.

Lori Parkinson paced the Broncos (12-3, 3-1 WCC) with 11 points. She made three of her 13 shots from the field. Marie Bertholdt grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.

Santa Clara entered the game collecting 13.8 steals and forcing 24.86 turnovers per game, which ranks fifth and sixth in the nation. It finished with 10 steals and forced 15 turnovers Saturday. SCU also had 15 turnovers.

Gonzaga begins a three-game road stretch at Portland on Jan. 9. The Pilots (2-13, 0-4) fell at home to San Francisco Saturday. Tipoff between Portland and the Zags is scheduled for 2 p.m. next Saturday.

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