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Gonzaga Women's Basketball

Gonzaga women tie program record for most 3-pointers in 102-59 win against Liberty

Gonzaga forward Maud Huijbens shoots over Liberty forward Elisabeth Aegisdottir during Friday’s opener of the Betty Chancellor Classic in Katy, Texas.  (Courtesy of GU Athletics)
By Greg Lee The Spokesman-Review

The team’s leading scorer didn’t take a shot in the first half.

No worries for the Gonzaga women’s basketball team, on which all five scorers are capable of going off at any time.

The Bulldogs put on an offensive clinic Friday afternoon, thumping the Liberty Flames 102-59 in the first of three games at the Betty Chancellor Classic in Katy, Texas.

Next up for the Zags (5-1) will be a difficult test Saturday against Alabama (6-0), which won a physical game (78-73) against No. 20-ranked Louisville in the first game Friday. Tipoff against the Crimson Tide is at 11:15 a.m. and can be seen live on ESPN+.

GU season leading scorer Yvonne Ejim reached double-figure scoring early in the third quarter when she made all of her first five shots.

Gonzaga never trailed, and when Brynna Maxwell made a jumper at the 2-minute, 41-second mark of the first quarter, the lead (20-9) never got below double digits.

Kayleigh Truong’s jumper capped a 13-0 run that extended the Zags’ lead to 37-11 early in the second quarter.

Maud Huijbens made a free throw that made it 46-21 with 4:07 to go before halftime.

Gonzaga took a 55-31 lead into halftime when Kaylynne Truong made a 3-pointer with 8 seconds to go in the second quarter.

But Gonzaga wasn’t through. Not even close.

If Liberty (2-3) thought the Zags might come out flat in the second half, there wasn’t anything that was going to slow down Gonzaga.

The Zags outscored the Flames 35-17 in the third quarter for a 90-48 lead going into the final quarter.

“I’m really happy that our team didn’t let down,” Gonzaga coach Lisa Fortier said. “When you’re up that big, it’s very hard to maintain focus. Really good teams do it and I think we can be a really good team. That was our biggest offensive quarter. Not our best defensive quarter. Wish we would have defended a little better in that quarter, but it didn’t get crazy out of hand.”

It was quite the homecoming for the Truong twins, who hail from nearby Houston. They combined for 42 points and 11 assists .

Kayleigh Truong finished with 25 points, eclipsing a career high she had twice this season (22). She shot 8 of 9 from the field, 5 of 6 from 3-point range to go with three assists. Kaylynne Truong had 17 points, eight assists and six rebounds.

On back-to-back 3-pointers, GU’s Eliza Hollingsworth established a career high. She ended with 22 points on 7-of-13 shooting (4 of 7 on 3s). She also had seven rebounds and three assists.

“It’s exciting getting a career high (points), but we have two hard games ahead,” Hollingsworth said. “So just giving myself a pat on the back while needing to refocus on the next game and going harder yet again.”

Maxwell added 11 points and Ejim had a team high eight rebounds and three assists with her 10 points.

Gonzaga finished 34 of 64 from the field (53%) and 17 of 33 from 3-point range (51%). The 17 3-pointers matched a team record set against BYU in February 2017.

The final 3-pointer came from Kayleigh Truong, a shot that doubled up Gonzaga’s lead at 102-51 with 3:06 remaining.

The Zags outrebounded Liberty 37-23, and all nine Zags who played scored.

Gonzaga’s wealth of offensive weapons isn’t new to Hollingsworth.

“We have tremendous firepower,” Hollingsworth said. “And we are still becoming better defensively. Once we get the two together, I think we will be unstoppable.”

It’ll be a quick turnaround for the Zags against a potent Alabama team.

“They’ve got good guards, a lot of size inside, they’re athletic,” Fortier said. “They can score in a variety of different ways. They love to get after you. They’ll pressure you.

“I’m excited to get to the film and see what areas we can be strong. It’s impressive to beat a team like Louisville … we know that we’re going to be in for a battle.”