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Gonzaga holds off San Diego 76-66

NCAA Womens Basketball: Stanford at Gonzaga James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The Gonzaga Bulldogs bounced back from their loss at Stanford last weekend to take their 11th straight win over the San Diego Toreros with a big 4th quarter that helped them secure a 76-66 win.

Yvonne Ejim led all Zags with 15 points off the bench to go with 8 rebounds before fouling out late. Kayleigh Truong had 14 points and 6 assists while keeping the team afloat during some tough stretches of play. Kaylynne Truong added 12 points and 4 assists. Cierra Walker finished with 11 points and 7 rebounds, and most crucially went a perfect 6-6 from the free throw line to ice the game in the closing minute. Melody Kempton closed things out with 8 points and 10 rebounds.

It was a bit of a slow start to the game, with both teams turning the ball over on their opening possessions followed by a handful of misses before Jordyn Edwards opened the scoring followed up by Kayleigh Truong who had a strong afternoon for Gonzaga. Neither team could do much to pull away from the other, however, as Fortier’s team was reeled back in to end the quarter tied at 16 apiece just as the Zags appeared to be putting a little run together to create some separation.

The second quarter did yield the lead that Gonzaga had been hunting for as they went up by as much as nine points as the defense forced San Diego into six turnovers during the period. The Zags went into the half with a 35-30 lead and better control of the game.

San Diego split the third quarter with the Zags, which didn’t help their cause since they trailed to begin the second half. However, the Zags would not have maintained their lead if not for Kayleigh Truong who scored 8 of Gonzaga’s 11 points in the third quarter to keep them ahead of the Toreros while the offense sputtered. Lucky for Gonzaga, the Toreros had struggles of their own as they went 0-4 from the free throw line, a problem that has plagued them all season.

The stage was set for a tight finish as the teams had shown there was not much separating them during the first three quarters, and the final quarter did not disappoint. Gonzaga’s balance was the difference as six different players scored in a 30-point quarter, while San Diego had to depend heavily on guard Kiera Oakry who scored 15 of her 24 in an effort to keep pace with Gonzaga. The Zags had just a bit too much for the Toreros, however, and win their 11th straight against them.