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GU women cruise past USC

There wasn’t much the Gonzaga women’s basketball team did wrong in its home opener Thursday night, other than letting USC score the final eight points of the game.

But all that did was make the Trojans’ 70-58 loss before 3,206 fans at McCarthey Athletic Center – the fifth-largest crowd for the women – look closer than it was.

“This was a good win,” Bulldogs coach Kelly Graves said. “I was really proud of our team. I thought we played a good basketball game, especially defensively. I thought the first half we did about as well could have done defensively. I loved the energy.

“After our first two games, I had some questions on our ability to stay together defensively and stop people. Those were answered tonight. We took a big step forward.”

Gonzaga (2-1), which faces another Pac-10 team in Washington on Sunday at McCarthey, limited the Trojans (1-2) to 26 percent shooting in the first half and 29 percent for the game, which made up for a somewhat slow start on offense.

That’s where Vivian Frieson came in.

The 6-foot senior forward scored 22 points, including 17 in the first half.

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