Townsend, No. 20 Gonzaga women defeat Santa Clara 71-52

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) — Jill Townsend scored 20 points and No. 20 Gonzaga used a strong start to roll to a 71-52 win over Santa Clara on Thursday night for the Bulldogs’ 10th-straight victory.

Jenn Wirth added 15 points for the Bulldogs (11-2, 6-0 West Coast Conference), who shot 59% (30 of 51) while making 7 of 13 from 3-point range.

Merle Wiehl scored 20 points on 9-of-10 shooting for the Broncos (7-5, 3-3) and Ashlyn Herlihy eight to reach 1,000 for her career.

Wirth and Townsend combined to go 8 for 8 and the Bulldogs were 12 of 13 with two 3-pointers to race to a 27-10 lead over Wiehl, who had all the Santa Clara points in the first quarter, also on 4-for-4 shooting.

The lead got to 22 points in the second quarter and the Zags led 40-25 at the break. Bryce Nixon hit a 3-pointer as time ran out to pull Santa Clara within 52-39 after three quarters and Herlihy had a 3 to open the fourth quarter. Gonzaga then reeled off 14 straight to wrap it up.

Gonzaga plays at San Francisco on Saturday but the Bulldogs’ home game next Thursday against San Diego has already been postponed because the Toreros have coronavirus issues.

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More AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25.

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