Zags Roll By No. 24 San Diego - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Zags Roll By No. 24 San Diego

Junior forward Sunny Greinacher and the Zags will be looking over their shoulder's after beating No. 24 San Diego and moving up the WCC standings. Junior forward Sunny Greinacher and the Zags will be looking over their shoulder's after beating No. 24 San Diego and moving up the WCC standings.

by Gonzaga Athletics

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Gonzaga University women’s basketball team used one of its best first half performances of the year to roll to a decisive 79-50 victory over 24th ranked University of San Diego Saturday afternoon at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

The Bulldogs (14-3, 4-1 WCC) offense and defense were both clicking in the opening 20 minutes as they scored 50 points – their second-highest opening half point total of the season – and held the Toreros (15-2, 4-2 WCC) to 27 points on 34.4 percent shooting (11-of-32).

“I told the team at halftime that I thought that might be the best half that’s ever been played by a Zag team in this building, at both ends of the floor,” said Gonzaga head coach Kelly Graves of the Zags strong play in the opening minutes. “San Diego is a really good team and we just took it to them. I was so proud of them.”

Gonzaga hit a smoking 55.6 percent (20-of-56) from the floor and 75.0 percent (9-of-12) from the charity stripe. The Zags also forced eight Torero turnovers, scored 14 points off the miscues and held the 32-12 edge in points in the paint and the 25-18 advantage in rebounding.

The Bulldogs were aggressive from the start, scoring the first six points and pushing it to a 16-2 advantage at the 13:52 mark. Senior Haiden Palmer and junior Sunny Greinacher combined for 12 of the 16 points.

Sophomore Kiara Kudron got into the action next, coming off the bench to score nine-straight points for the Bulldogs which put the lead at 25-10 with less than 10 to play in before intermission.

Palmer believed the aggressive and fast start was crucial to the victory.

“We always say come out strong in the first five minutes and get the other team on the heels a little bit, especially at home,” Palmer said. “That’s our goal. Whenever we come out strong, we usually have a pretty good game.”

Gonzaga’s lead ballooned above 20 points at the six minute mark – after Greinacher sank two free throws.

Palmer finished with 17 points in the first stanza, while also passing out three assists and making three steals. Greinacher added 12 points, while sophomore Kiara Kudron had her nine.

San Diego was able to get Gonzaga’s lead below 20 points early in the second half. The Toreros used an 8-2 spurt to start the final half which put the Bulldogs lead at 19 at 54-35.

A 3-pointer by junior Danielle Walter, followed by back-to-back long-balls by classmate Keani Albanez pushed the Zags edge back above 20 points though and started a 17-4 run that gave them their largest lead of the contest – 32 points – at 71-39 with 6:53 remaining.

During the run, the Toreros were held scoreless from the 14:33 mark to the 8:34 mark and went 0-for-9 from the field with four turnovers.

Nine players scored for Gonzaga, 11 players had a rebound and nine had an assist.

Palmer led all scorers with 19 points. She also tied a career-high with six assists and had six rebounds and four steals. Greinacher chipped in 14 points and five boards, while Kudron finished with 10 points and a game-high eight boards.

Walter, starting her third-straight game for the Bulldogs, finished with nine points, a career-tying high seven assists – with no turnovers – and three rebounds and one steal.

For the game, Gonzaga shot 42.3 percent (30-of-71) from the field and 73.7 percent (14-of-19) from the charity stripe. They passed out 21 assists, held the 49-40 rebounding edge and had 12 steals off 18 San Diego turnovers.

San Diego was led by Malina Hood and Amy Kame with 13 and 11 points, respectively.

Gonzaga returns to action Friday, Jan. 17 when it plays at the University of San Francisco. Game time is set for 7 p.m.

  • College

    • Eags denied playoff spot as Sblendorio picks up final weekly honor

      By EWU Athletics A near record-breaking performance by wide receiver Nic Sblendorio earned him an honor on Sunday (Nov. 19), but earlier in the day the Eastern Washington University football team was dealt a shocking blow when it was not selected to play in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs.   Eastern wrapped up a 7-4 finish overall and 6-2 record in league play with a 59-33 romp over Portland State on Saturday, a game in which the senior caught nine ...
    • Gonzaga uses huge 2nd half to beat Utah State 79-66

      The 3-point shooting of Utah State gave No. 17 Gonzaga fits in the first half on Saturday night. The Aggies threw a scare into Gonzaga before the Bulldogs woke up in the second half and rolled to a 79-66 victory.

    • Eagles win big over Portland State 59-33

      After receiving first-round byes in the previous five appearances in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs, the Eagles are in a wait-and-see mode following a dominant 59-33 Big Sky Conference victory over Portland State.

    • Vandals struggle in 13-7 loss to Coastal Carolina

      Idaho found the end zone on the game’s opening drive, but Coastal Carolina accounted for the rest of the scoring as the Vandals (3-7, 2-4 Sun Belt) suffered a 13-7 defeat in their home finale Saturday.

    • Cougars roll past Idaho State 83-62

      Robert Franks had 25 points, nine rebounds and a career-high eight assists, Malachi Flynn added 15 points and Washington State used a big second-half run to beat Idaho State 83-62 on Saturday.

    • Bobcats win the 117th Brawl of the Wild 31-23 in Bozeman

      BOZEMAN, Mont. - The Montana State Bobcats defeated the Montana Grizzlies 31-23 to win the 117th Brawl of the Wild. It's the first time since 2005 that the Cats won a game against the Griz in Bozeman.  The Bobcats ran for 322 yards on the ground, making it the second consecutive year that they have put up over 250 yards of rushing on Montana's defense. Cats sophomore quarterback Chris Murray accounted for 133 yards of that total, as well as throwing the ball for 98 yards. The G...
    • Whitworth start 2017-18 campaign with 87-59 win over Whittier

      The Pirates start the 2017-18 campaign 1-0, while the Poets fell to 0-1. Grace Douglas led Whitworth with 21 points and 5 assists.

    • Whitworth men's basketball welcomes Gallaudet University to the Fieldhouse

      The entire team and coaching staff is either deaf or hard of hearing, with the exception of the equipment manager who serves as the team's interpreter. Despite what some might think is a disadvantage, the Bison are a successful basketball program.

    • The MSU equipment team: the unsung heroes of game day

      Tucked in the south tunnel of the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse sit the unsung heroes of the Montana State game day experience, the Bobcat equipment team.

    • College scores 31 as Whitworth rolls past Gallaudet 92-56

      Ben College scored a career-high 31 points to lead Whitworth University to a 92-56 win over visiting Gallaudet University in a non-conference men's basketball game on Friday night in the Whitworth Fieldhouse.