Gonzaga Keeps Women's Hoops At Arm's Length

Gonzaga Keeps Women's Hoops At Arm's Length

STOCKTON, Calif. - Chelsea Lidy scored 18 points, but Gonzaga rode a 54-29 rebounding edge to a 74-58 win over the Pacific women's basketball team Saturday at the Alex G. Spanos Center.

GeAnna Luaulu-Summers added 15 points and five assists while Desire Finnie scored 10 points for Pacific. Mauriana Clayton chipped in eight points and six rebounds for the Tigers.

But the Bulldogs outscored the Tigers 44-20 in the paint to pick up a split in the season series. The game was a one-point affair at halftime, but the Bulldogs posted a 21-6 third quarter to seize control.

Gonzaga opened with a 4-2 lead before Finnie's jumper tied the game. The Bulldogs reeled off five straight points before Finnie struck again. Lidy added a three-pointer as the Tigers pulled within 11-9. Laura Stockton answered with a jumper for Gonzaga before Lidy connected on another three-pointer. The Bulldogs stretched the lead to 20-12 before Lidy drove and finished. But Gonzaga added a pair of lay-ups inside for a 24-14 lead after the first. The Bulldogs scored 18 of their 24 points in the paint and held a 17-7 rebounded edge after the first quarter.

Lidy opened the second with a drive and bucket and Finnie finished and-one to cut the 10-point deficit in half. Finnie added a three-pointer in transition, and Emily Simons drained a triple to cap an 11-0 run as the Tigers took their first lead at 25-24. The Bulldogs answered back, with a 10-4 run. Mauriana Clayton added a put-back and Luaulu-Summers connected on a jumper to bring Pacific back within one, 34-33. Lidy and Jill Barta traded pairs of free throws as the Bulldogs carried a 36-35 lead into the half.

The Tigers held Gonzaga to 29 percent shooting in the second quarter, while forcing seven second quarter turnovers and shot 44.4 percent to outscore the Bulldogs 21-12 in the period.

Elle Tickle scored back-to-back buckets in the third, before Luaulu-Summers drilled a three from the top of the key. Clayton and Barta traded lay-ups as the Bulldogs led 44-40. Stockton added a jumper and a pair of free throws stretched Gonzaga's lead to eight at 48-40. All told a 12-0 run put the Bulldogs up 14, at 54-40, with 2:43 to go in the third. The Bulldogs outscored Pacific 21-6 in the third quarter, to carry a 57-41 lead into the fourth. Gonzaga held the Tigers to 2-of-14 shooting in the period, while hitting 8-of-14.

Simons added a triple to open the fourth and Luaulu-Summers added a pair of free throws, but Bulldogs tallied twice inside for a 67-46 lead with 6:15 to play. Clayton and Lidy added jumpers as the Tigers pulled within 15 before Luaulu-Summers' three-point cut the gap to 69-57 with 2:23 to play. But the Tigers would get no closer as the Bulldogs won by 14.

Pacific forced 22 turnovers and turned them into 20 points, and held Gonzaga to 1-of-15 from three-point range (7 percent) while hitting 7-of-17 (41 percent), but it wasn't enough to compensate for Gonzaga's height advantage in the paint.

The Tigers fall to 5-11 in the West Coast Conference and 9-18 overall. Gonzaga improves to 22-5 overall and 13-3 in WCC play, insuring at least a share of the WCC regular season crown with two games to go.

The Tigers wrap a three-game homestand on Thursday against Santa Clara at 7 p.m., before visiting Loyola Marymount next Saturday in the regular season finale.