The Gonzaga women kicked off their conference season, taking on BYU for one of the last times before they move to the Big XII next season. Historically, the matchup has been the battle of the top two teams in the WCC, but the Cougars are rebounding from major roster construction and six of their first 10 games.
BYU showed up in the first half, hitting 7 of their final 9 field goal attempts and held a 32-29 lead. The Cougars were successful early in limiting Yvonne Ejim in the first, holding her to 3 for 7 shooting in the first half and 0-2 in the second half before fouling out.
The game highlighted the diverse talent of this roster as the team continued to recover from absences earlier in the month. And in no small part, that’s largely thanks to Kaylynn Truong’s continual growth as a playmaker and shot creator.
Truong torched the Cougars in the third quarter to retake the lead and bring the Gonzaga offense back into the game with 13 points and a perfect 4 for 4 from the field. The Zags also were able to create offense out of turnovers scoring 7 points in the third quarter off of Cougar mishaps. She scored 16 points in the second half and kept BYU at arm’s length in the fourth quarter.
The Zags’ defense clamped down in the second half and forced the Cougars into tough shot selection. BYU was just 1 for 7 from outside in the second half and keeping the Cougars to 40% shooting from the field in the second half. The Zags also played a fairly clean game, committing just 7 turnovers to BYU’s 12.
Brynna Maxwell was the second leading scoring for the Zags, largely contributing in the first half scoring 7 and hitting a couple of shots to seal it in the second half. The offense was able to surge past the Cougars thanks to second-chance points off of offensive rebounds (14 points in the second half) and 13 total points off of turnovers in the final 20 minutes.
Gonzaga’s next game is against San Diego, who is 6-5 on the season.