Bronco Women Fall to Zags, Play at Portland Saturday

SPOKANE, Wash. – Six-time reigning West Coast Conference champions Gonzaga beat the Santa Clara women 89-53 Thursday at the Kennel in Spokane.

Gonzaga (16-4; 4-0 WCC) held Santa Clara scoreless for a stretch of nine-plus minutes in the first half, allowing the 3,084 in attendance to watch the Zags build a big lead and win going away. All-American Courtney Vandersloot had 21 points and nine assists for GU and Kayla Standish scored 16 of her 18 points in the first half.

Santa Clara (6-12; 2-2 WCC) received a career-high 15 points from Ashley Armstrong, who also had a team-high eight rebounds. Sophomore classmate Meagan Fulps had 11 points and Alyssa Shoji added seven points and four assists for the Broncos, who will play at Portland Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.

The Zags began the game by making 8 of 11 shots and led 32-14 after the first nine minutes. Standish was 7 of 10 from the field before the break and Meagan Winters came of the bench to make three 3s in the first half.

Vandersloot scored eight points, had two early steals and distributed four assists in the opening eight minutes. She had eight assists in the first half alone and as a team GU had 15 offensive rebounds in the first half.

The Broncos scored just two points in the final 11:49 prior to halftime while the Zags continued to pour on the offense. GU led 48-14 with four minutes left in the half and 53-16 at halftime.

Offense from Fulps sparked an 11-5 Bronco run following the intermission. Armstrong was effective shooting the basketball in the second half, making 7 of 13 her shots on the night.   

GAME NOTES: SCU had just five turnovers in the second half after committing 18 in the first half ... Santa Clara sophomore Becca Thomas made her 2010-11 debut for the Broncos, playing four-plus minutes late in the game … SCU freshman Arteivia Lilomaiava played a season-high 12 minutes … Gonzaga has won 16 of 18 and extends their winning streak against Santa Clara to 10 straight.