Zags Ride Defense Past Waves - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Zags Ride Defense Past Waves

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by Gonzaga Athletics

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Gonzaga women's basketball team held Pepperdine to a season-low 39 points and 24 percent shooting from the field in a 56-39 win Saturday.

The Zags' (16-9, 8-5 West Coast Conference) defense was dominant in front of a sellout crowd in the Kennel. Pepperdine's 39 points were the fewest scored since totaling the same amount against Gonzaga two years ago. The Waves' 24.5 field goal percentage was the program's lowest in the past three years. Pepperdine finished 13-of-53 from the field, including 2-of-17 (11.8 percent) from behind-the-arc. 

Gonzaga made 53.8 percent of its shots in the second half, after going 34.8 percent from the field in the first half. The Bulldogs pulled away from Pepperdine after making eight of their 13 shots (61.5 percent) from the field in the third quarter. The Zags finished at 44.9 percent from the field.

Laura Stockton paced GU with 14 points, which matched her career-high. The freshman made six of her seven shots from the field. Emma Stach and Zhané Templeton both added nine points. Chelsea Waters and Shelby Cheslek both pulled down a team-high seven rebounds. Waters also had three steals and Cheslek blocked two shots.

The Zags' bench outscored Pepperdine 35-9. Gonzaga had a slim 36-34 edge in rebounds and a 24-12 advantage in points in the paint. GU forced the Waves into 19 turnovers and created 20 points off of those turnovers.

The teams combined for a 6-for-24 start from the field in the first quarter. Pepperdine took an 11-9 lead into the second quarter, but the Bulldogs scored the first eight points of the second period and never trailed again. GU, which led the game for 28 minutes, had a 21-17 lead at halftime. 

Erica Ogwumike led the Waves (5-19, 1-12 WCC) with 12 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. She entered the game fourth in the conference in scoring at 18 points per game. The freshman was held to 3-of-18 shooting from the field, after scoring a career-high 34 points at Portland Thursday.

Pepperdine was 11-of-14 from the free-throw line, while the Bulldogs were 9-for-13. Jill Barta, the conference-leader in free-throw percentage in league play at 92 percent, went 4-of-4 from the line Saturday. The freshman is 50-for-54 (92.5 percent) during conference action this season. She is shooting 82.4 percent overall this season.

The Zags have now won 15-straight over Pepperdine. GU beat the Waves by 17 for the second-time this season after winning, 74-57, in the first meeting this season in Malibu, Calif.

Gonzaga completes a three-game homestand against Portland next Saturday. The Pilots (3-21, 1-12) fell at home to Loyola Marymount, 77-62, Saturday. The Zags won at Portland in the first meeting this season, 71-63. Next Saturday's tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.

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