Arrow-right Camera
Go to e-Edition Sign up for newsletters Customer service
Subscribe now
Sports >  Gonzaga women

Lisa Fortier, Gonzaga women face high expectations on the road and at home

Gonzaga head coach Lisa Fortier stresses teachable moments, whether the team just won or lost. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga head coach Lisa Fortier stresses teachable moments, whether the team just won or lost. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

It isn’t always fair, but expectations don’t change at Gonzaga.

The GU women are on the road Thursday at Loyola Marymount, a program they haven’t lost to since 2009. That’s 18 in a row if you’re counting – and many do.

“There’s a lot of pressure to win games that people think you’re supposed to win,” GU coach Lisa Fortier said this week.

There’s a bit less pressure now after the Bulldogs (11-4 overall) evened their West Coast Conference record at 2-2 last week with home wins over San Francisco and Portland.

“It’s given us a little more confidence. The two losses kind of kicked our butts into gear,” GU guard Makenlee Williams said.

Apart from that, little has changed.

“We’re always trying to get better,” Fortier said. “Whether we’re coming off a win or a loss, we look at teachable moments.”

Fortier said that last week reinforced the importance of offensive rebounding – especially from senior forward Kiara Kudron – overall team focus and the benefits of the full-court press.

The latter should pay dividends against Loyola Marymount (6-9, 1-3), which has a solid inside game with sophomore forward Cheyanne Wallace (14 points, 7.2 rebounds) and freshman post Raychel Stanley (3.7ppg, 4.5 rpg).

The young Lions also have a strong playmaker in sophomore point guard Andee Velasco, who averages 5.3 assists.

“They have a very well-rounded offense, and they get after you defensively – that’s caused us trouble from time to time,” Fortier said.

LMU’s lone WCC win came last Thursday against Pepperdine, which took a 10-point win over GU in the conference opener on Dec. 29. In that game, Wallace had 22 points and a career-high 15 re-bounds.

Gonzaga leads the all-time series 42-21. Dating back to 2005, Gonzaga has won 25 of the last 27 meetings.

Two days later, GU will face a Saint Mary’s team that Fortier calls the “best or second-best rebounding team we’ll face in conference.”

The Gaels (7-8, 2-2) are outrebounding opponents by 9.5 boards a game. Senior guard Devyn Galland, a Lewis and Clark High product who transferred from Oregon, has started all 15 games and averaged 7.8 points and is shooting 37.5 percent from 3-point range.

Sophomore forward Megan McKay averaged 11.9 points and eight boards.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the sports newsletter

Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.