The Bulldogs never led in the game until Palmer pulled up just behind the top of the key and made her 3-pointer to cap a 22-4 run that ended the game. Palmer had 13 of her 22 points during the closing run.
“She’s had a great year,” Gonzaga coach Kelly Graves said. “She’s been our most consistent player up to this point. In fact, (Palmer) was announced today as the WCC Player of the Week for her performance last week. So this wasn’t anything new but, boy, she did it on a big stage and I’m really proud of her, happy for her.”
The Lady Bulldogs built an eight-point halftime lead to 64-49 before Gonzaga went on its game-ending run.
“The problem tonight was just execution coming down the stretch,” said Georgia coach Andy Landers. “I thought we played weak and passive; just got careless the last six minutes of the basketball game and Gonzaga stepped up and took advantage of us. “
Gonzaga scored the first 10 points of the burst, which began with Palmer’s jumper. She had eight of the run’s first 10 points and allowed Gonzaga to erode Georgia’s lead to single digits.
Taelor Karr’s 3-pointer with 30 seconds left made it 68-66 Georgia. The Zags tied the game moments later on Palmer’s basket.
The Lady Bulldogs had a chance to take the lead with 9 seconds left, but James missed both of her free-throw attempts and Gonzaga then grabbed a rebound that led to Palmer’s game-winning basket.
“Like I told them after the game, sometimes tough times reveal character, and that’s what happened today,” Graves said. “I thought we showed a lot of character. We could’ve quit, thinking it’s not our game. We had a couple players that didn’t play like they typically do, but they didn’t (give up). They were resilient, hung in there and defensively made some plays.”
Katelan Redmon led Gonzaga (9-2) with 23 points and 10 rebounds. She hit 10 of her 14 shot attempts.
Georgia (8-2) was led by Jasmine Hassell with 21 points while Anne Marie Armstrong had 15 and Jasmine James scored 13 points.
“It was a game we played extremely well in for 33 minutes; I mean very well, we had the game where we wanted it,” Landers said. “We played a very good basketball game and then we started turning the basketball over, giving up lay-ups, letting them get to the offensive boards. And we got passive offensively as they got aggressive and bam, you lose when you do that.”