Gonzaga women bounce back with one-sided win over San Francisco

SPOKANE, Wash. – The #15/15 Gonzaga women’s basketball team picked up a 56-38 victory over visiting San Francisco Thursday evening the annual PINK game in front of a sold out McCarthey Athletic Center.

Gonzaga (24-2, 13-1 WCC) finished with two players in double figures and five players with at least eight points. LeeAnne Wirth and Melody Kempton led the way with 10 points each while Louise Forsyth, Jill Townsend and Jenn Wirth each added eight points.

The Bulldogs finished with 16 assists on 21 made field goals and outscored San Francisco’s bench 25-6. The Don’s 38 points are the second-fewest points allowed by an opponent this season; Gonzaga held Pepperdine to 36 points back on Jan. 23.

“Defensively, we did a really good job, so there wasn’t a lot of open, easy looks for them,” head coach Lisa Fortier said. “It’s really exciting if you let Lucie [Hoskova] get going, if you let Mikayla Williams shoot threes and if you let [Leilah] Vigil drive it to the basket. But we did a good job defending those things, so the combination of things, points were hard to come by on both sides.”

A slow start for both Gonzaga and San Francisco (9-16, 2-11 WCC) in the first quarter saw just three field goals combined between the two squads in the first seven minutes. A trey from Forsyth at the 2:38 mark fueled a 7-2 GU run to put the Zags in front 11-6 after the first 10 minutes. GU extended its lead to as many as 12 in the second quarter, but a short USF burst to close the period cut the Zags lead to single digits (25-16) by half.

“[San Francisco] was definitely pressuring the ball and pressuring a lot on the bigs [in the first half],” Forsyth said. “It was a really physical game inside.”

The Zags shooting efficiency improved in the third stanza as GU converted 7-of-14 attempts to shoot 50 percent while limiting the Dons to nine points shooting 25 percent from the floor. Gonzaga extended its lead to 16 points (41-25) by the end of the third, and midway through the fourth quarter the Zags lead was up to 22 points. San Francisco outscored GU by four points in the final three minutes to bring the lead under 20 as Gonzaga claimed the 56-38 win.

San Francisco was led by Mikayla Williams and Leilah Vigil with 10 points each.

Gonzaga returns to the floor Saturday, Feb. 15 as it hosts Santa Clara in the final regular-season home game of the season. The Bulldogs will honor seniors Katie Campbell and Jessie Loera before the start of the game.