The Stanford Cardinal defense absolutely smothered Gonzaga and a short-handed Zags squad just couldn’t find a way to push through in a loss, 84-63.
The Zags didn’t have a whole lot of options for players in this game. For the second-consecutive game, the Zags were missing Kayleigh Truong (foot), Maud Huijbens (concussion), and Eliza Hollingsworth (illness). After starting against Stephen F. Austin, Calli Stokes missed this afternoon’s game with a non-COVID illness, leaving Gonzaga with just seven players suited up.
Against a team like Stanford, that makes a tall task even more impossible. The Zags kept pace for the first 10 minutes, entering the second quarter trailing just 19-18. The outside shooting of Brynna Maxwell and Kaylynne Truong scored 12 of Gonzaga’s 18 points. Truong continued her somewhat heroic outburst, scoring 14 of Gonzaga’s 18 points in the second quarter, including hitting four three-pointers.
However, that is the quarter in which Stanford created some space. The Cardinal shot 9-for-11 from the floor in the second quarter including a torching 7-of-9 from three-point range to take a nine-point lead into halftime, and they just continued to build from that.
With pretty much zero bigs on the bench to help spell her at all, Yvonne Ejim was forced to play incredibly conservatively. Ejim finished with just eight points.
Truong and Maxwell tried their hardest to keep it close, finishing with 22 points and 19 points respectively, but with such little wiggle room to work with on the bench, it was all for naught. The Cardinal offense could impose its will knowing the Zags could not body up too much on defense for worry of fouls.
The Zags did the little things right to try and set themselves up to keep it competitive. They hit all 13 of their free throws and limited their turnovers to just 10. However, to beat a team as good as Stanford, not only do you need to bring your best, you need to have access to more than just two-thirds of your lineup. That, in itself, made it an uphill battle that was borderline impossible to win.