Zags’ Shooting Lights Up Second Half, Downs Dons 61-46

SPOKANE, Wash. – The Gonzaga Bulldogs needed to see some shots drop, and when they did, the result was a 61-46 victory over San Francisco inside the McCarthey Athletic Center Thursday night.

The Bulldogs used their defense to stay within striking distance in the first half, holding USF to 36 percent shooting, while shooting 23 percent themselves, but only trailing 22-20. That defense allowed an offense to get running in the third quarter with five three-pointers on six attempts, and 50 percent shooting in the quarter.

Kiara Kudron recorded her third double-double of the season and sixth of her career with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Emma Stach led the three charge in the third, and finished with nine points all in that quarter, all behind the arc. Laura Stockton was solid all night with eight points and six assists, and Elle Tinkle grabbed nine rebounds in support of Kudron.

USF came out with a nine-point lead with three minutes left in the first, 12-3, but that would mark their largest of the game. GU fought back to only be down two at halftime. Stach hit a three at the 5:01 mark in the third to give GU their first lead, 29-27, right after Tinkle had hit a three herself. Stach hit threes on the next two possessions, and kicked off a 28-7 run that saw GU lead 54-34 with five minutes left in the contest, their largest lead of the game. USF was unable to mount a late comeback effort.

Gonzaga scored 16 points off 19 USF turnovers, and outscored the Dons’ bench, 19-7. Gonzaga played great defense without fouling, only allowing five USF free throws in the game.

The Bulldogs defeated the Dons inside the McCarthey Athletic Center for the 11 th -straight time. Gonzaga improved to 10-4 and 1-2 in the conference, and returns home to host Portland at 2 pm on Saturday. The game is available at THEW.TV, on Dish Network’s Sling TV, and Verizon’s go90 app.