Arrow-right Camera
Subscribe now
Gonzaga Women's Basketball

No. 17 Gonzaga women roll past Loyola Marymount 72-48 for coach Lisa Fortier’s 250th career win

Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Brynna Maxwell drives against Loyola Marymount on Thursday in Los Angeles.  (Courtesy of Gonzaga Athletics)
By Greg Lee The Spokesman-Review

The Gonzaga women’s basketball team gave its head coach a historic victory Thursday.

The 17th-ranked Zags pulled away from Loyola Marymount 72-48, giving coach Lisa Fortier her 250th career win at Gersten Pavilion in Los Angeles.

“I didn’t know until Steve (Myklebust, the Zags’ radio broadcaster) said something to me this morning,” Fortier said about the opportunity to get her 250th win. “We’re just fortunate to have had so many great players to coach. All my time at Gonzaga as an assistant and head coach I’ve been really lucky to have players and people who you want to coach and who are good at basketball and make you look smart most of the time.”

As seems to be the pattern, Gonzaga led from start to finish. But stretches of turnovers and a sluggish third quarter allowed LMU to stay in the game until the fourth quarter.

That’s when Gonzaga took control, using a 14-4 spurt to open a 63-41 lead with 4:24 to go. The final 24-point margin was the Zags’ biggest lead.

It was Gonzaga’s 11th win in a row. The Zags improved to 17-2 overall, 4-0 in the West Coast Conference.

LMU, picked to finish last in the WCC, slipped to 7-10 and 2-3.

Gonzaga senior forward Yvonne Ejim had another double-double, scoring a game-high 24 points on 11-of-15 shooting and pulling down 12 rebounds to go with three blocked shots. Brynna Maxwell had 10 points and Kaylynne had a double-double with 10 points and 10 assists.

Making Ejim’s all-around effort even more impressive is the fact that she did it in 26 minutes. She had to play through some foul trouble.

LMU fought within 46-38 late in the third quarter. But it was all Zags thereafter.

The Zags were solid on defense, taking away the Lions’ usual offensive threats. LMU made just 22 of 66 shots from the field (33.3%) and 2 of 19 from 3-point range. They were also cold at the free-throw line (2 of 9).

“We reached our defensive goals,” Fortier said. “We held them under the percentages we wanted to hold them under and we outrebounded them by the number we wanted to do it by. Those are positives for sure.”

Gonzaga made 28 of 54 shots (51.9%). The Zags outrebounded LMU 42-32.

The Zags led 35-22 at halftime, but the lead should have been bigger. The Zags committed 10 turnovers in the opening half (17 for the game).

“We were just inconsistent in the game,” Fortier said. “There were stretches where we were really good and there were stretches where we weren’t very good. We need to level that off a little bit. We’ve got to work to get rid of those lapses in the middle of the game.”

A driving basket by Maxwell gave Gonzaga a 31-14 lead with 4:20 to go before intermission. But the Zags would only score four more points.

Gonzaga used an 11-0 run at the end of the first and into the second period for a 20-6 lead.

A basket by Maya Hernandez pulled the Lions within 33-22 with 44 seconds left in the second quarter.

Eliza Hollingsworth scored for the Zags off a nice pass from Ejim with 23 seconds to go to give Gonzaga the 35-22 lead.

Despite the turnovers, the Zags passed well on made baskets. They had 14 assists on 16 baskets in the first half (16 of 31 from the field).

Gonzaga heads back home for a game Saturday against Saint Mary’s. Tip is at 2 p.m.

Saint Mary’s was scheduled to play at Portland on Thursday, but the game was postponed because of inclement weather. The game will be played Monday.