The Gonzaga women are no longer in Hawaii, but they’re still in a pretty good place.
The Zags are 6-1, getting votes in the national polls and have a big home game next week against Washington State.
“It’s an important game, but I haven’t thought about WSU,” said coach Lisa Fortier, whose team plays visiting Wyoming on Friday night.
Fortier said it like she meant it – just as she and her players did two weeks ago, when they beat Idaho State by 30 points instead of looking past ISU at an upcoming contest with Stanford.
As the GU men warmed up on the Kennel floor Thursday , Fortier took a seat and talked about how well her team played in Hawaii.
In sweeping Utah, Eastern Illinois and host Hawaii, winning each game by at least 18 points, the Zags “moved the ball well and shot the ball decently,” Fortier said.
“And we have different players playing well, which speaks to the consistency and versatility of the team,” said Fortier, who pointed to the quality minutes produced by Maud Huijbens – “our fifth post” – and freshman Bree Salenbien, who stepped up in Hawaii when starting point guard Kayleigh Truong suffered a knee injury late in the game against Eastern Michigan.
Truong is questionable for Friday’s game, but the injury isn’t considered serious, Fortier said.
The Zags also got a big tournament from Kaylynne Truong, who won tournament MVP after averaging almost 13 points and shooting almost 50% from the field (14 for 29) and from long range (7 for 16).
Truong also averaged four assists and four rebounds.
“Moving into a starting role, we were a little bit nervous that it would throw her off,” Fortier said. “But she’s just playing basketball how she wants to play it: confident and composed.”
Regardless of Kayleigh Truong’s status, the Zags figure to be just as confident and composed on Friday .
Wyoming (3-3) owns only one win over a Division I school, beating Denver 81-51 last week. The Cowgirls’ other wins came against Division II Colorado State Pueblo and Chadron State.
Wyoming has only one player averaging in double figures, junior guard McKinley Bradshaw at 16.3 ppg. The Cowgirls are also one of the poorest 3-point-shooting teams in the nation at 25% (28 for 112) for 265th in Division I.
The teams met last year in Laramie, Wyoming, with GU rolling to an easy 89-50 win. The Cowgirls got better as the season went on, however, winning the Mountain West Conference tournament to reach the NCAA Tournament.
Wyoming head coach Gerald Mattison is in his third year following 16 seasons as an assistant.
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