The Gonzaga Bulldogs had to fight hard through a stingy San Francisco Dons’ defense, eventually pulling away in the fourth quarter to win, 63-52.
The two teams played even through the first half, 25 points a piece, for 20 minutes. The Dons’ defense was physical, bodying Gonzaga off the ball and forcing eight first-half turnovers.
However, Gonzaga used their advantage down low, feeding the ball to Vyonne Ejim to offset the lackluster shooting from the rest of the squad. In return, Gonzaga’s defense did as usual, making life difficult for their opponents. San Francisco was held to 37% from the floor in the first half, enabling Gonzaga to keep it close despite their own shooting woes.
After opening the first half shooting 1-for-9, Kaylynne Truong found her shooting touch, scoring seven points in the third quarter as the Zags tried to put a little bit of distance from the Dons.
It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that the Zags could finally put the game away. Vyonne Ejim found her stroke and Truong continued with her second half barrage, scoring 14 of her 17 points in the second half. Ejim finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
San Francisco battled hard, but it was the few little things that mattered. The Zags, one of the best free throw shooting teams in the nation, were denied opportunities at the charity stripe. The normally dependable three-point shooting went just 7-for-21. Despite the 15 turnovers, the Zags’ defense was able to make sure they didn’t get punished too severely, with the Dons only scoring 11 points off turnovers.
The major difference in the game came from Eliza Hollingsworth, who grabbed five of Gonzaga’s 10 offensive rebounds, Those 10 extra possessions accounted for 17 second-chance points, enough of a cushion to hold off the Dons.