The Gonzaga Bulldogs handed the Portland Pilots their 10th conference loss in their second meeting this season. The teams battled, but the Pilots ultimately lost 93-62.
The Pilots started off strong, sinking a three-point shot within the first minute of the game. With the Pilot’s tight man-to-man on the Bulldogs, the team maintained a lead for most of the quarter.
With less than three minutes to go in the first quarter, Gonzaga took the lead for the first time in the game, 11-10. The Bulldogs finished the quarter in the lead, 15-11.
The Pilots came out slower and sloppier on defense in the second quarter. Portland gave Gonzaga nine points from free throws from defensive and offensive fouls.
“I think we lacked the intensity on defense that we started off with,” freshman guard Haylee Andrews said. “We started out with an undeniable pressure and then got to the second quarter and slacked off a bit.”
Portland ran into trouble with traveling and turnovers. The Bulldogs scored 12 points from the 16 Pilot turnovers in the first half.
“We had a lot of fouls, that definitely wasn’t our best friend and our turnovers really hit home,” Andrews said of the team’s frustrations.
The Bulldogs played this quarter with more urgency than the Pilots and widened the lead to 17 points, finishing off the half 40-23.
Andrews led the team in points, rebounds and assists, putting up 17 points, grabbing five rebounds and making four assists. Andrews found herself in foul trouble in the third quarter, racking up four personal fouls during the game.
Although the Pilots were down 21, they managed to put up 20 points in the third quarter: nine points from three, seven from inside the arc and three from free throws.
“I think we moved to ball pretty well,” Andrews said. “We still struggled a bit knowing when to drive and when to pass, but we passed and cut really well when we hit open shots.”
In the fourth quarter, the Pilots put up 19 more points from field goals and three-point shots, but the lead Gonzaga secured in the second quarter was too much to overcome.
The team lost by 31 points and fought until the last buzzer at the end of the 40 minutes.
The Pilots' next game is Thursday, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. in the Chiles Center as they take on BYU Cougars.
Morgan Wahler is a sports reporter for The Beacon. She can be reached at email@example.com.