Gonzaga Women Fall in Heartbreaker at Home to St. Mary's - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Gonzaga Women Fall in Heartbreaker at Home to St. Mary's

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by Gonzaga Athletics

SPOKANE, Wash. – The Saint Mary’s women’s basketball team used an 8-0 run in the final four minutes to steal a 69-68 win at Gonzaga Thursday.

With the victory, the Gaels (15-4, 6-2 West Coast Conference) moved into sole possession of third place in the conference standings. SMC got the key road win despite trailing for 32 minutes and leading for only 4:06. The Gaels’ 69 points were a season-high for a GU opponent.

Five minutes into the game, the Zags jumped out to a 10-4 lead. They led by four after the first quarter and had their largest advantage, 37-29, with 1:24 left in the second period. Gonzaga took a 37-33 lead into the halftime break.

An Emma Stach three-pointer gave GU a 43-36 lead at the 6:55 mark of the third quarter. SMC went on a 10-2 run and took its first lead since the opening basket of the game. The Gaels led 54-51 entering the final quarter.

Gonzaga (13-7, 5-3 WCC) scored the first eight points of the fourth period. After Saint Mary’s closed within two on a Devon Brookshire three-pointer with 6:40 left in the game, the Zags countered with five quick points. Kiara Kudron hit a lay-in to put GU up 68-61 with 4:05 remaining in regulation. The Zags would not score again.

Saint Mary’s made four buckets on its last five possessions, including Lauren Nicholson’s game-winner just outside the paint with 16 seconds left. The Bulldogs turned the ball over twice and missed four shots in their final possessions.

Nicholson finished with a game-high 25 points on 8-for-12 shooting from the field.  She made eight of her nine free-throws. Brookshire added 15 points. Megan McKay made all four of her shots from the field and had 10 points.

The Zags had a 38-35 rebound advantage and a 34-28 edge in points in the paint. Saint Mary’s made 52 percent of its shots from the field in the second half and finished 45.5 percent in the game. GU was 41.5 percent from the field. The Gaels hit 16 of their 19 free-throws, while Gonzaga was 9-for-17.

The Bulldogs’ Shelby Cheslek recorded her first 20-point performance. She got her 20 points after making eight of her 17 shots from the field. The senior added a game-high 13 rebounds to her career-high point total. She climbed to fourth on the program’s all-time rebound list. Cheslek has 823 boards in her career and is 10 away from owning the third spot. Kiara Kudron contributed 10 points Thursday.

Gonzaga welcomes Pacific (10-9, 3-5) Saturday at 2 p.m. The Tigers won at Portland Thursday, 72-64. Saturday’s game will be broadcast locally on SWX.

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