The Gonzaga Bulldogs used an absolutely smothering first quarter to dispatch the Idaho State Bengals in a strong defensive and offensive effort, 69-39, on Thursday evening.
Idaho State scored two points to open the game and that would be the last time they led. Gonzaga immediately rattled off 21-straight points throughout the first quarter, eventually taking a 23-4 lead after 10 minutes. The Bengals showed a bit more life in the second quarter, but by then the game was pretty much completely out of reach.
It was the game we have come to expect from Gonzaga. Suffocating defense leading to more offense and the Zags using their height advantage to abused their opponent down low. In total, 10 Zags scored, led by Kaylynne Truong with 14 points. Yvonne Ejim and Cierra Walker eached chipped in 10 points.
The Zags were helped by a couple of gimmes as well. Kayleigh Truong was fouled hoisting up a half court shot as the third quarter ended for three free throws. Walker also drained one of her three three-pointers as time expired in the first half.
The Zags had a nice scoring night, shooting 52.2 percent from the floor. Meanwhile, the defense made life miserable for Idaho State. The Bengals shot just 34.7 percent from the floor and were held to 3-of-19 from long range.
All in all, it was an impressive showing against the team that is picked to win the Big Sky Conference. Turnovers stilled reared their ugly head. Ejim had six alone and the Zags finished with 17. Against their next opponent, Stanford, that could be problematic.
The Zags now sit at 3-0 with the biggest game of the year right on the doorstep. The Zags will take on the No. 7 ranked Stanford Cardinal, which should have a least a vocal cheering section thanks to the homecoming of Lacie and Lexie Hull. That game will take place at 1:00 pm, on Sunday.