Arrow-right Camera
Subscribe now
Gonzaga Women's Basketball

No. 16 Gonzaga women eventually find their flow, beat San Diego 85-67

By Greg Lee The Spokesman-Review

There will likely be a West Coast Conference women’s basketball team or two push Gonzaga this season.

By season’s end, San Diego will likely be counted among those teams.

Gonzaga led for 39 minutes and 47 seconds Saturday afternoon, and the outcome was never in doubt. But credit San Diego for making the Zags do more than go through the motions.

The 16th-ranked Zags pulled away in the second half, handling the Torero 85-67 before a crowd of 5,303 at McCarthey Athletic Center.

Gonzaga used an 11-2 spurt to open a 23-13 lead seconds into the second quarter. By halftime, the Zags, who extended their home winning streak to 28, led 43-33.

San Diego was still in the game, but Gonzaga (16-2 overall, 3-0 WCC), behind a 9-0 start to the second half, was too much for the Torero (4-13, 0-4).

It was Gonzaga’s 10th win in a row and San Diego’s seventh consecutive loss.

“They’re a really good defensive team,” Gonzaga coach Lisa Fortier said of USD. “They play hard and rebound hard. When you play teams like that, they’re always in the game. They’re not going to quit. They pushed us away from the basket a little more than we like to be. Ultimately, we had more good offensive plays than they had defensive plays.”

Leading the way as usual for the Zags was senior Yvonne Ejim, who had a double-double. She scored a game-high 25 points on 10-of-18 shooting from the field and 10 rebounds.

“She got deep position (in the post) and scored it,” Fortier said of Ejim. “She didn’t force anything. She faced up well and attacked where she needed to. I don’t think she scored anything outside of 8 feet. She was just around the basket and able to be patient in there. She finished through pressure and contact.”

Graduate twins Kayleigh and Kaylynne Truong combined for 32 points and 11 assists.

“We scored 20 (or more points) in every quarter and we didn’t turn it over,” Fortier said. “It didn’t feel like we went on a push that extended the lead. It just felt like we chipped away at it. It just felt like we made one basket at a time which is what we’re supposed to do anyway, right?”

Four times the Zags led by 19 points in the third quarter.

An Ejim jumper gave Gonzaga its biggest lead (81-59) with 3:46 remaining.

Kaylynne Truong said the Zags stayed patient throughout the game.

“Our offense was stagnant and choppy at times because we couldn’t really get a flow, but San Diego is always known for (its) defense and they play hard,” she said. “But we found it in the end.”

“Being able to move the ball, making San Diego play both sides of the court (was key),” said Kayleigh Truong, who had 21 points and seven assists. “Sometimes we struggle keeping the ball on one side and that’s easy to play defense on.”

Veronica Sheffey led San Diego with 20 points.

The victory moves Fortier one short of 250 (249-61, .803 winning percentage). She’ll get a shot at the milestone Thursday at Loyola Marymount.