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Sports >  Gonzaga women

Gonzaga women return for first of five straight home games against Queens of Charlotte Tuesday

Dec. 5, 2022 Updated Mon., Dec. 5, 2022 at 9:27 p.m.

Gonzaga guard Kaylynne Truong, left, dribbles against Stanford on Sunday in Stanford, California.  (Courtesy Gonzaga Athletics)
Gonzaga guard Kaylynne Truong, left, dribbles against Stanford on Sunday in Stanford, California. (Courtesy Gonzaga Athletics)
By Jim Allen For The Spokesman-Review

On paper at least, this might be the easiest game of the year for the Gonzaga women.

On Tuesday night at the Kennel, the Zags tip off against Queens University of Charlotte, a tiny private school in North Carolina that is moving up this year to Division 1.

Then again, nothing has come easy lately for the Bulldogs.

The Zags are 7-2 and ranked 22nd in this week’s Associated Press poll. However, they were down to seven players on Sunday as they took on No. 2 Stanford. After a solid first half, GU faded in the second half as fatigue took its toll.

“Our team really battled with what we had today,” GU coach Lisa Fortier said.

It’s unclear when the Fortier and her staff will have more bodies.

The Zags started the year with 11 healthy players, as sophomore Bree Salenbien recovers from an ACL injury suffered last year.

During a tournament in the Bahamas, they lost starting point guard Kayleigh Truong (foot) and backup forward Maud Huijbens (concussion). Last week, starting forward Eliza Hollingsworth missed the Stephen F. Austin game due to illness.

Redshirt freshman Calli Stokes started in place of Hollingsworth, then came down with an illness herself.

Neither illness is COVID-related, a Gonzaga spokesperson said last week.

The shortage of players meant big minutes for everyone else, which may pay off down the road. However, West Coast Conference play is just around the corner, as defending regular-season champ BYU visits the Kennel on Dec. 17.

Queens, a Presbyterian-affiliated school with 2,400 students, is moving this year into the Atlantic Sun Conference, where they are picked to finish last.

The Royals are 4-4 and coming off a nonconference game at Washington, where they held the Huskies (7-1) to 54 points but managed only 28 themselves.

Still transitioning to Division 1, the Royals’ wins have come against lower-level competition. They lost by 41 to James Madison but had a solid performance in a 9-point loss to Western Carolina.

Graduate transfer Kasey Kidwell has scored in double figures in six of eight games, while Adia Brisker is the only player averaging in double figures (10.6ppg).

Tuesday’s game is the first of five straight at home for the Zags, who host UC Davis on Sunday, BYU on Dec. 17, San Diego on Dec. 19 and Montana on Dec. 21.

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