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Zags push past tough San Diego defense in win

The Toreros did not go away easy.

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The Gonzaga Bulldogs pushed through a rough shooting night to hold off the San Diego Toreros with a final score that wasn’t as close as much of the game suggested, 70-59.

The Zags looked like they were continuing the strong start to conference play, taking a 22-12 lead into the second quarter. The offense would slowly but surely start to falter, missing shots, looking a little out of rhythm, and not playing like the Gonzaga team most come to expect.

The issues continued into the third quarter. The Toreros went on a 9-0 run to tie the game at 37 a piece with five minutes left in the third quarter. Overall, the Zags were getting chances but not converting. Up to that point, they had grabbed 11 offensive rebounds and only converted that into four points. The Toreros briefly took the lead and Gonzaga finally ended up the four-minute scoring drought, quickly reclaiming the game and putting a few more points on the board to take a 47-43 lead into the fourth quarter.

The offense finally clicked in the fourth quarter. Kaylynne Truong busted through her forgettable shooting night (6 of 18 overall), hitting back to back three-pointers. The Zags were running and the momentum had clearly shifted. Truong scored 11 of her 20 points in the fourth quarter.

Overall, the San Diego defense did a nice job of bottling up the Zags’ offense. Gonzaga wasn’t getting the shots they normally enjoyed taking, often times late in the shot clock and with a Torero defender in the way. Gonzaga shot just 37.1 percent from the floor, but largely won the game thanks to an undying devotion to the offensive glass. When the Zags reclaimed the lead in the third quarter, they started to finally make use of those second-chance point opportunities, generating 14 more points off eight more boards.

It was the energy that was needed from a rare off night from afar from Brynna Maxwell. Maxwell, who is shooting a staggering 54.1 percent from the three point line this season, was just 2-of-8 from long range and 4-of-13 overall.

The Zags will take a brief break from conference play and host Montana on Wednesday, at 6:00 pm, before taking a week off for the holidays.