The Gonzaga Bulldogs looked the better team in their first matchup with the BYU Cougars for the better part of the entire game, winning 55-43. Last season, the Cougars swept the Gonzaga in all three games.
It was a balanced offensive effort from the Zags, with Katie Campbell leading the team with 11 points. The BYU defense did its fair share of complicated Gonzaga’s shot, with the Zags only hitting 40% from the floor.
This was a game of swings. The Zags took a 32-18 win into halftime, operating nicely off of some pressure defense that forced 11 turnovers. They harried Brenna Chase Drollinger and Paisley Johnson into terrible shooting nights, and for the most part, this game looked almost over after 20 minutes.
BYU came out of halftime with a fire lit under their collective rear ends, immediately going on a 15-2 run in the first five minutes of the second half to cut Gonzaga’s lead to 34-33. Campbell, ever the senior sharpshooter, hit the most well-timed three pointer of the evening, and that spurred an 18-3 Gonzaga run to put the game out of reach. The Cougars put up a few more points as time began to expire, but the Zags could rest easy knowing they knocked off BYU on the road.
Although Gonzaga held 6’7 center Sara Hamson to just one shot, Hamson did more than her fair job on the Wirth twins, blocking four shots in the process of helping hold Leanne and Jenn Wirth to a combined 4-of-23 from the floor. Kayleigh Truong flashed more of a willingness to shoot in response, going 4-of-5 from the floor and knocking down two threes.
The Zags now sit at 13-1 with one of their hardest conference games out of the way. Gonzaga has been stuck at No. 17 in the polls for a few weeks, but tonight’s win should give them a slight boost in the polls. Most importantly, it ends BYU’s three-game winning streak, and has to serve as confidence boost for a team that is performing fantastically this season.