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Zags find just enough offense to pull out win over SFA, 64-54

A big run in the fourth quarter was the difference.

Cierra Walker and Kaylynne Truong each scored 18 points as the Zags found just enough offense in an ugly game to come out with the win over Stephen F. Austin, 64-54, on Sunday evening.

After playing on Wednesday, Kayleigh Truong did not see the floor in this game. Her sister Kaylynne started, and from the beginning, it looked like the Zags would be totally OK without their normal starting point guard. The Zags scored seven points within the first two minutes, but after that, the offense, for both teams, went completely flat for a majority of the game.

SFA finished the game shooting 34.9 percent and the Zags weren’t that much better at 38.2 percent. For the Zags, ultimately, it would be the free throws that made the big difference.

With the teams traded baskets back and forth, SFA led 52-50 with nearly three minutes left. the Zags went on a 12-0 run over the final three minutes, punctuated by a couple of huge three pointers by Cierra Walker to come away with the win.

Credit to the Zags, who did what they needed to find a victory on an evening when the ball wasn’t easily going through the hoop. The Zags relentlessly attacked the offensive and defensive glass, outrebounding the Ladyjacks 48-30. Anamaria Virjoghe grabbed 13 rebounds (nine offensive!!!) and Yvonne Ejim grabbed 10 more boards. The Zags as a team finished with 19 offensive rebounds, but they struggled to convert that into more points, generating just eight second-chance points.

The Zags had just 22 points at halftime, but thanks to Walker (13 points in the second half) and Truong (15 points), the Zags offense finally came to life just enough to pull out a victory that was much closer than the box score suggested.

It was an ugly evening for the Bulldogs, who on top of the poor shooting night, also turned the ball over 18 times. However, they did what they needed to take care of business, making life miserable in the paint for the Ladyjacks with 10 blocked shots and generating enough offense at the free throw line (16-of-19) to squeak out the points.

The Zags will take a week off for finals and head on the road to face UC Davis on Sunday, Dec. 19, at 2:00 pm.