The Gonzaga Bulldogs fought through a tough-minded Wyoming Cowgirl’s squad in a 54-47 win on Friday evening.
Ola Ustowska scored 17 points, shooting 4-for-5 from long range, including an and-one on a three-pointer with 1:30 left to close the gap to just four points. Yvonne Ejim turned the ball over on the subsequent possession, but the GU defense was able to get the ball on a tie-up, taking an additional 30 seconds off the clock.
Kaylynne Truong hit two free throws to give the Zags a 51-45 lead with 40 seconds left. The Gonzaga defense clamped in like it did the entire game, with Melody Kempton stealing the ball and draining one more free throws on the subsequent fouls to put the game away.
Defense was the name of the game for both teams. Wyoming turned the ball over 20 times and Gonzaga added to that party with 16 turnovers as well. The difference for the Zags was in the possession. Although the Zags only shot 42 percent from the floor, they were able to take a total of five additional shots, just enough to make the difference.
The Zags absolutely shut down McKinley Bradshaw, Wyoming’s leading scorer at 16 points per game. Bradshaw managed just two points, missing all three three-point attempts and shooting just 1-of-6 from the floor.
Melody Kempton was one of the few players on both teams who put in a complete game. Kempton finished with 13 points, shooting 6-of-9 from the floor, grabbed six rebounds and dished out three assists.
Starting point guard Kayleigh Truong missed another game with a knee injury. Her sister Kaylynne hit some big free throws, but it was not an efficient night. She finished with just 11 points off 3-of-10 shooting, with five assists and six turnovers.
The Zags abandoned the long-range shot for much of the game and focused on scoring in the paint. Ejim added 10 points and Abby ‘O Connor added nine.
With the win, the Zags improve to 7-1 on the year with a big game looming next Wednesday against the Washington State Cougars.