Against the longest of odds, the Gonzaga women hung with second-ranked Stanford for most of the game before falling 84-63 in nonconference college basketball play Sunday in the Bay Area.
Competing with only seven healthy players, the Zags led early in the second quarter and trailed by only nine at halftime. But Stanford gradually pulled away while making 15 long-range shots out of 28 attempts.
“Our team really battled with what we had today,” GU coach Lisa Fortier.
Three days earlier, the 23rd-ranked Zags won at Stephen F. Austin despite having just eight players in uniform. Freshman guard Calli Stokes got her first collegiate start that game, but later became sick with a non-COVID illness.
The Zags were already without starting point guard Kayleigh Truong (foot), starting forward Eliza Hollingsworth (illness) and backup forward Maud Huijbens (concussion).
“The message to the team was we’re going to show up, we’re going to execute the game plan and we’re going give everything that we have, and think that we did that,” Fortier said.
Gonzaga (7-2) responded strongly to an early Stanford challenge, erasing an early 12-4 deficit to trail just 19-18 after the first quarter.
Early in the second, Kaylynne Truong sank two foul shots to give GU a 20-19 lead – its last, as it turned out.
As Stanford (9-1) began to heat up from outside, it also began to pull away. A 3-pointer from Truong trimmed the lead to 39-34, but Stanford’s Ashton Prechtel responded eight seconds later.
Gonzaga trailed 45-36 at halftime.
The lead grew to double digits early in the third quarter and remained there as Stanford got made 3s from eight players, four of whom finished in double figures.
“There were a couple of stretches where it got out of hand in their favor,” Fortier said. “If we could take those back and have little more gas, it could have been a different outcome.”
Gonzaga had the game’s top two scorers: Truong with a career-high 22, and Brynna Maxwell with 19. Forward Yvonne Ejim came into the game averaging 17.4 points but was held to eight.
The Zags also struggled on the boards, as Stanford outrebounded GU 37-23. All-American forward Cameron Brink of Stanford had 16 boards along with 14 points.
GU is back home Tuesday night to play Queen’s University of Charlotte. Tipoff is at 6 p.m.
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.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.