Gonzaga women make early exit from NCAA tournament, upset by Belmont

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SAN MARCOS, Texas — It was a quick exit from the NCAA tournament for the Gonzaga women’s basketball team, as the WCC champions were upset by 12-seed Belmont Monday in Texas.

Gonzaga made a late run, but Belmont was able to hold on, winning 64 to 59.

“I feel sad for our players because I know they really wanted to win,” said head coach Lisa Fortier in a press conference after the heartbreaking loss. “I’m sad for our team but I’m full of gratitude for a chance to do what we did with these people… it hurts.”

“Disappointment,” described senior guard Jill Townsend. “[I’m] so grateful to have a chance to be one of the 64 teams to be on the biggest stage in basketball — but, it wasn’t what we were looking to do.”

Jill Townsend led the Zags with 17 points, and Gonzaga ends the season 23-4.

“It was my dream to make an NCAA run, it’s every kid’s dream… obviously it hurts,” said Townsend. “I’ll probably think about it for the rest of my life.”

It was the first NCAA win for Belmont in its history.