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Sports >  Gonzaga athletics

Gonzaga women dig themselves out of early hole against Louisville, run out of gas in second half

UPDATED: Sun., March 20, 2022

Louisville forward Emily Engstler (21) keeps the ball away from Gonzaga forward Yvonne Ejim (15) in Louisville, Ky., on Sunday.  (Associated Press)
Louisville forward Emily Engstler (21) keeps the ball away from Gonzaga forward Yvonne Ejim (15) in Louisville, Ky., on Sunday. (Associated Press)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Having dug themselves out of one hole after another, the Gonzaga women finally ran out of gas Sunday night in a second-round NCAA Tournament game at Louisville.

“It was tough for sure,” senior Kaylynne Truong said after the Zags lost a second-round NCAA Tournament game Sunday night at top-seed Louisville.

The first hole was the deepest – 14-0 after just 5 minutes, as GU couldn’t handle the Louisville’s varied press.

But two timeouts later, the Zags found their rhythm, reeled off 10 straight points and were back in the game.

“Yeah, they took a first hard punch at us, but we recovered, and that’s what I’m proud of with this team,” Truong said. “We’re just so relentless. You don’t know what’s going to happen.”

At that point, neither did the heavily favored Cardinals, who found themselves trailing 30-29 with less than two minutes left in the first half.

But as the game wore on, the Zags appeared to wear down from the physical nature of the game.

In a rough third quarter, GU made just four field goals, committed six turnovers and sent Louisville to the line seven times. By the time it ended, a four-point Louisville lead had stretched to 12 and the Zags were hanging by a thread.

“We did lose a little gas, especially on the boards … and we committed a couple like ticky-tack fouls and that’s what got them to the free-throw line,” Truong said. “Yeah, I think we ran out of gas a little bit.”

For Coach Lisa Fortier, the frustration came from having overcome an awful start “and then we came out at halftime and again we let their pressure get to us.”

The crowd also played a part in at least one play, a shot-clock violation in the third quarter.

“I remember I looked at Coach Lisa after we were on the far end in the first half, and I had a feeling that the shot clock was going down because I was trying to call for a high, and it was just so loud that I couldn’t really hear.”

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