The 19th-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs continued their dominance of the conference against Pepperdine, winning 77-63 in Malibu, California.
The Zags kept the Waves at an arm’s length distance with an 8-point lead after the first quarter and as many as 18 points in the third quarter. They did this by converting on 52% of their possessions and holding the Waves to just .94 points per possession.
Pepperdine simply had no answer for Gonzaga’s perimeter scoring. Teams have to know at this point that you simply can’t give Kaylynn Truong any space on the perimeter. Truong made 6 of Gonzaga’s 8 threes. She is now shooting 42.8% from outside and averaging 18.7 points per game in the month of December. Brynna Maxwell also contributed to the outside onslaught, making the other 2 threes on just 3 attempts.
The Zags won the rebounding battle pretty emphatically, 44 to 35, but credit to the Pepperdine frontcourt for battling and sticking around albeit with an 8-plus point difference from the first quarter onwards. The Zags led the Waves by as many as 18 in the third quarter before Pepperdine fought back into an 8-point deficit.
Four Zags were in double figures, led by Truong’s 26 points. Yvonne Ejim and Eliza Hollingsworth finished with 17 and 16 points respectively with 9 rebounds a piece. The free throw line was a fascinating component to this game, with Pepperdine hitting 11 of their 13 attempts and Gonzaga making 9 for 11.
Four Zags played over 30 minutes in the game, and Ejim would have likely joined them were she not in foul trouble and eventually fouled out. Minutes will continue to be something to keep an eye on as the team awaits the return of Maud Huijbens, Kayleigh Truong and Bree Salenbenbien. No player averaged more than 26 minutes per contest last season.
The Gonzaga women’s last game of 2022 is on New Year’s Eve on the road at Loyola Marymount. The Lions are 4-9 (1-1) on the season.