SPOKANE – Haiden Palmer scored 18 points Sunday as No. 25 Gonzaga overwhelmed Tennessee-Martin 91-54 in the second round of the Preseason WNIT at the McCarthey Athletic Center.
Palmer also had five boards, three assists and three steals in her second straight 18-point game. Keani Albanez scored 14 points and set career highs with both 4-of-7 three-point shooting and eight rebounds.
Gonzaga (2-0) led twice by 43 points, the last coming on a layup with 4:34 left by Shelby Cheslek to make the score 87-44. The Zags held UT-Martin to 26.7 percent shooting from the field.
Tiara Caldwell led the Skyhawks (1-1) with 13 points. Heather Butler added 12 but finished 1 of 14 from long distance.
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Gonzaga will visit No. 11 Oklahoma on Thursday for the semifinals of the Preseason WNIT.
WSU women lose their opener
PULLMAN – The Washington State women suffered a tough 69-65 loss to Syracuse in their opening game.
Junior guard Tia Presley led WSU with 20 points and senior forward Sage Romberg added 15 before a crowd of 1,017.
Syracuse (1-0) had a 61-46 rebounding advantage.
WSU junior center Shalie Dheensaw, making her first start, had eight points and a career-high 13 rebounds.
Syracuse center Shakeya Leary contributed 21 points and 16 rebounds.
Duke beats Cal
BERKELEY, Calif. – Two-time All-America guard Chelsea Gray was pleasantly surprised. Her repaired kneecap felt better than expected in her first game back from the injury.
Gray, who had surgery in March after dislocating her right kneecap in February, had 22 points, five assists and a couple of steals in 31 minutes to lead No. 2 Duke past No. 9 California 70-58.
“It’s a little sore,” she said. “A little icing and I’ll be ready to go again.”
Gray was playing in front of friends and family. She hosted a dinner for her teammates Friday night in Manteca, about an hour’s drive from Cal.
Tricia Liston added 15 points for the Blue Devils, who opened the season against a ranked opponent for the first time in school history. Richa Jackson had 13 on 6-of-7 shooting.
Afure Jemerigbe, Gray’s close friend, scored 16 points to lead the Golden Bears (1-1), who had won 15 straight regular-season games. Brittany Boyd scored seven of her 13 points in the final three minutes. Reshanda Gray added 10.
“We need to grow,” Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb said. “We’re not as game-ready as we were at this point last year because of youth and players in new roles.”
Eastern men romp
CHENEY – Venky Jois scored 22 points and pulled down 11 rebounds as the Eastern Washington men opened their season with an 87-58 romp over Pacific of Oregon.
Eagles guard Parker Kelly added 15 points.
• Justin Randle had 22 points and 14 rebounds to lead top-ranked Kentucky’s 93-63 rout of Northern Kentucky.
• Sterling Smith had a career-high 21 points and the Coppin State men defeated Oregon State 78-73 for the Eagles’ first-ever victory over a Pac-12 school.