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Zags’ defense stifles Saint Mary’s

The Zags coasted in this one.

The Gonzaga Bulldogs used their trademark stingy defense to hold the Saint Mary’s Gaels off in a win in which the Zags led for essentially the whole game, 65-51.

Buoyed by a huge offensive game from Yvonne Ejim, who finished with 25 points, the Zags made life hell for Ali Bamberger and Taycee Wedin for a majority of the game. With the Gaels’ two top scorers struggling from the field, the Zags utilized the standard practice of offense created from defense.

The Zags forced 20 turnovers, turning that into 25 additional points. It was a necessary addition for Gonzaga, who did their usual of converting from the line and three, but overall only shot 39 percent from the floor in the win.

The Gaels’ game plan appeared to be to deny the Zags’ outside shooters the space to work, and to a large extent, it worked. Brynna Maxwell drained a couple of threes but just finished with nine points. In fact, outside of Ejim, only Kaylynne Truong finished with double-digit points (14).

However, by focusing so much on the perimeter, it allowed the room for Ejim to go to work, and the Gonzaga forward did with authority. Ejim went 10-for-17 from the floor with eight rebounds—three offensive—as she helped the Zags to 17 second-chance points.

It was a fitting end to the regular season in Spokane for Gonzaga, who are putting together arguably one of their strongest seasons in years. The Zags close out the regular season on the road with games against San Diego and BYU next week.