Looking for an early trend in the Gonzaga women’s basketball season? The Zags like to share the ball – a lot.
GU racked up 24 assists in an exhibition win over Warner Pacific on Nov. 2, then opened the season Sunday with 22 more against Cal State Bakersfield.
That’s a small sample size and small-time opposition – GU won those games by an average of 52 points – but it sets a nice tone for the rest of the season.
“I think the biggest thing for me is just the way that we’ve shared the ball, especially in the second half,” junior forward Jenn Wirth said after her 17-point, six-rebound effort against CSUB.
Oh, yes: Wirth also had two assists.
“The coaches read the stats off to us, and I just think it’s going to be a trend that every game it’s going to be someone new as the player of the game,” Wirth said. “I think that we all are really excited about that and are all really selfless players so it’s going to work out for us.”
The passing game has always been a staple at GU. Starting point guard Jessie Loera had a game-high nine assists against CSUB, but there’s been no dropoff when she hits the bench.
The Truong twins, Kayleigh and Kaylynne, already are ahead of the curve for true freshmen. Each had a pair of assists in the 92-48 win over CSUB, and Kayleigh did a little of everything: a game-high 18 points, four rebounds and two steals while playing 22 1/2 minutes.
Kayleigh Truong also overcame a case of the jitters. “I always get nervous before a game, but my teammates helped me feel comfortable,” she said.
Truong returned the favor. In the second half, she whipped a ball crosscourt to Katie Campbell, who drained one of her four 3-pointers.
“We’re so excited for Kayleigh,” Wirth said. “She had a really big first game today and we expect a lot from (Kayleigh and Kaylynne). “
“They bring something different; you don’t always know what they’re doing to – take it or dish it – but it keeps things interesting, that’s for sure,” Wirth said.
Things will get more interesting this week. The Zags were ranked 23rd in the current USA Today coaches poll and are three spots out of the Top 25 in the Associated Press poll released Tuesday morning.
They’ll have a chance to solidify that ranking Thursday night, when Tennessee-Martin comes to the Kennel for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff.
Three days later comes the biggest challenge of the nonconference season: a visit to No. 3 Stanford.
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