Zags women get first win over No. 11 Stanford in thriller

Gonzaga women head to Palo Alto to battle Stanford

STANFORD, Calif. - The Gonzaga Bulldogs got their first program win over Stanford and the Cardinal lost for only the eighth time at home since 2007, as GU defeated Stanford 68-63 inside Maples Pavilion on Friday night.

The Cardinal crept back with free throws and trailed 64-63 with 27 seconds left, but Elle Tinkle made a huge block on Brittany McPhee to gain control. After a lengthy video review at the other end, the Zags kept possession, and Jill Barta made two free throws. Stockton stole the inbound pass and made two free throws to seal the win.

"I am so proud of our team, we played tough mentally and physically," Gonzaga head coach Lisa Fortier said.  "Stanford is as well-coached and talented as any team in the country.  Everyone on our team made huge contributions tonight.  Our team followed the game plan and this is a huge team win."

Jill Barta led the Zags with 26 points, going eight-of-10 from the field, her fourth-highest career point total. Elle Tinkle scored 18, had five rebounds, three assists, three blocks, and three steals. Laura Stockton added 12 points in 38 minutes of action. GU shot 50 percent on the game and held Stanford at 37.9 percent. The Zags finished with eight threes, seven in the second half, and Makenlee Williams chipped in two big second-half threes.

GU was patient early on offense and defense, and scored the first four points of the game. By the first media timeout at 4:58 the Cardinal had taken the lead as McCall scored five to lead 9-8.

The Zags came out hot and controlled the pace at a slower rate in the second quarter. Tinkle and Barta finished the half with nine points each, shooting four-of-five and four-of-six, respectively. GU did not rely on the three, only taking three, making one, and won the rebounding battle, 17-14 with 14 defensive boards. GU shot 52 percent and held the Cardinal to 37.9 percent and one-of-seven from three. Both teams balanced foul trouble and the lead changed hands eight times through the first two quarters.

Early baskets from Barta and Stockton paced Gonzaga back ahead 20-16 three minutes into the second half. The Zags built that lead up to 26-20 with a couple nice post moves from Barta, but five quick Stanford points made it 26-25 with 44 seconds left. The teams traded buckets and it was 28-27 at the break.

The third quarter had two huge momentum shifts. Barta came right out of the locker room with five more points, including her first three to start the half, 33-29 Zags. Tinkle matched that the next time down, 36-29, the largest lead at that point. The lead hit double-digits on a Tinkle jumper, forcing a Stanford timeout with the Zags up 43-33 at the 6:16 mark. The Cardinal took it from there, finishing the quarter on a 17-3 run for a 51-46 lead. Barta finished the quarter with 10 points, 19 on the game. The Zags were outrebounded 11-5 in the quarter.

Makenlee Williams dialed a three with pressure to tie the game, 56-56, with six minutes to play. Barta hit a step back three for her 24th point and the Zags led 59-58 with 4:53 left. Kiara Kudron fouled out on the following play with a loose ball foul, but played a great game overall with four rebounds and guard Stanford's top player in Erica McCall. Laura Stockton hit a huge three with 3:03 left to lead 64-61, a lead the Zags would not lose.

The Zags entered the evening 0-7 all-time against the Cardinal, with the closest game being a 78-84 loss in Spokane in 2010. Gonzaga improved to 3-0 and dropped Stanford to 2-1, and will travel to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands to face Florida State at 5 pm on Thursday, November 25 as part of the Paradise Jam.

KREM


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